My current favorite song from Taylor Swift is not one of her big hit singles. It’s the 13th song of her album 1989 “Clean.” When she went on the 1989 tour, she did a speech before performing this particular song. Here’s a variation of one of them:
I still remember how lost I felt a few years ago. I was so trapped by all the anxieties and lies that almost lost myself. And if it wasn’t for God holding me in his arms and leading me out of that dark place, I don’t know where I would be. The most astonishing thing, though, is that the pain I felt all those years ago is not there anymore. I don’t even imagine that memory in the same way anymore.
I still see the girl I used to be huddled in the backseat of the car, parked at a rest stop, hyperventilating while clutching my phone. I still remember the rain falling down. There weren’t any divine interventions. Just the smallest realization that I had to stop giving into the lies. I was a child of God. And nobody was going to decide what I would do or how I would feel except me. It was a quiet revelation. The way I choose to remember it now is that all the prayers from my family, the saints, and friends that I haven’t met yet came down on me just like the rain on the car. These prayers became my strength. I had a song in my heart that I didn’t know the words to, but it was there.
I never expected that the scars would fade. I never thought I would ever get out of the dark. But I did. And this was not a journey I took by myself. God led me out. So many saints intervened. My parents pushed me to volunteer and get myself out there. The healing was a long and slow process, but I feel so much stronger now. The broken pieces of my heart have been put back together, held by the grace of God. I’m no longer lost in the dark. It’s very much like what Jenny Williams said on her “Modern Day Ruth” blog: God’s love encountered me every day that I felt lost and now he’s given me wings to fly.
Since today is International Women’s Day, here’s my message to all women who are in a dark place right now, who find themselves walking through torrential rain or a firestorm of pain: You are not alone. You will get out. There is a light that is shining through this darkness. Choose to be strong in Christ and walk through all the storms with Him. Eventually you’ll find yourself again. And you’ll find that you are so much stronger than you ever thought you’d be.