My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story … this is your opportunity to share your stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. “Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the STORY of your love.” Ps 89:1 If you would like to submit a story to this series, email me at email@example.com. Today’s crazy guest is my beautiful niece, Taylor Smalley. She will be GOing to Nicaragua June – July to serve and LOVE big with our family on the mission field. Check out her brand new blog here.
This is Taylor’s story …
Hello My Crazy Adoption Friends!
My name is Taylor, I am Kari’s 18 year old niece. I am a first year student at the University of Denver in beautiful Colorado. I am studying math and biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine, with a HUGE, crazy dream of someday going to medical school. Being a math and science major, I am naturally what some people may call a “nerd.” And let me tell you, being a nerd, although awkward, is so fun!
I recently started my own blog (which was greatly inspired by my aunt’s) called Hashtag Love. So far, it has been a place for me to wrestle with things in my life, as well as a place of encouragement (especially for myself) to live out each and every day completely sold out for Christ while developing the specific and very much intentional passions/talents he has blessed me with.
So what are some of my greatest passions? Well, over my short eighteen years of life I have been given more incredible opportunities to travel and fall in love with this crazy beautiful world than most people experience over the course of a lifetime. I have been given opportunities to travel to Ecuador, China, Israel, and (my favorite) Africa. Two summers ago, Kari brought me on a Simply Love trip to Uganda and Ethiopia, and ,wholly cow, I completely fell in love. I have felt a call toward the mission field since I was about 13 years old, and God has continually confirmed that calling in my life with each amazing destination he has brought me to. Although I am passionate about many other things in my life, this is by far my greatest passion (to hear more about some of my crazy and awkward passions check out my blog). The thought of loving God wholeheartedly and someday getting to spend every moment of every day simply loving His diverse and beautiful children is literally the only thing that has kept me going through my life right now.
Because, quite honestly, my life has been incredibly hard for a few years now. I know I am not alone in this, and I know God has a plan through each season He puts in front of me, but I have been struggling more than I can put into words. School is hard, it’s what I love doing, but it’s challenging and there are so many days I just break down and want nothing more than to hop on a plane to somewhere across the Atlantic and never look back. I struggle with loneliness, feelings of abandonment, intense bouts of fear of failing, and having to daily lay down my constant need for control while striving to let His peace consume me instead. I guess I’m stuck in this place of being torn between getting equipped to go, and the heart-wrenching desire to leave my entire life here in the US behind and just go to love the world as Christ did. The verse that describes the desires of my heart for my life is James 1:27- “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” And while this verse is good and true, it does not change the fact that my God has a plan for my life, and that even though it breaks my heart every day, He has me here, in Denver, for an extremely specific purpose that I just cannot seem to understand.
- Dying to love- like really love everyone around me through giving up the desires of my selfish flesh
- Living to go- living with the purpose to someday go wherever God leads me and being able to look back on my life with zero regrets
- And Living now- going through each day with the mindset that I am called to LIVE NOW, knowing that God has me in this season for His purpose, and finding joy in that thought alone.
Life is hard, I’m not very good at it yet (and probably never will be…), but it’s awesome to live with the hope and peace that Jesus alone provides me with. Thank you for taking the time to read about my heart and what’s new in my life. Keep loving BIG, keep giving BIG, and keep dreaming BIG. Y’all inspire and encourage me more than you will ever know.