Joyce Meyer - Grace To Start Over with Taylor Madu
Ginger Stache: Hi, friends. Welcome to Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out Podcast where my friends and I talk about God's word and the real stuff of life and we hold nothing back. I'm Ginger Stache, with Erin Cluley, Jai, and of course, Joyce Meyer. We're all in different stages of life. A young career woman and mom to two sweet kiddos. An accomplished songwriter facing an unexpected new life's journey. A leader, creative, an author with a heart for adventure. And a world-renowned Bible teacher whose personal story has impacted millions. And there's you, because sometimes you just need to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us, and let's Talk It Out.
Ginger Stache: Hi, friends. Welcome. We are so glad that you are here with us, and you are going to love meeting our next guest. You, probably, know her well, but we're so glad to have Taylor Madu, here, with us, today.
Taylor Madu: Aww...Thank you!
Ginger Stache: And of course, Jai, and Erin, too: my favorites.
Taylor Madu: Of course.
Jai Williams: Glad you're here, high-five, babe.
Ginger Stache: In their matching jackets.
Jai Williams: Twinning. And we're twinning, too.
Ginger Stache: We've got the camo. We've got the same shoes on.
Taylor Madu: I have the black.
Ginger Stache: We're all very well in vibe today. But Taylor, where she came to many people's attention, and you may know this, is for Halloween, she, on social media, was Joyce Meyer.
Erin Cluley: And a really good one.
Ginger Stache: It was so cute, it was so good.
Taylor Madu: Honestly, an incredible one, right?
Jai Williams: You just said, "I was the incredible one"?
Taylor Madu: I will say it was incredible, yeah.
Jai Williams: "Nailed it".
Ginger Stache: Now, we'll get back to that. That's really important. But she's also the wife of the pastor that you co-pastor with at Dallas Social Church, pastor Robert Madu. And you have three really, really beautiful kids. And of course, you're a content Creator. And so, talking about social media thing, let's get back to Joyce. 'cause that...
Jai Williams: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, move on". "Great wife, great mom, Joyce"!
Ginger Stache: What inspired you to be Joyce for Halloween.
Taylor Madu: Okay. So, I'm gonna give y'all the back story, okay? The good stuff. So, I listen to Joyce every single day of my life. She's my hero. Okay? And it's so funny because I was like, I told Robert when we were planning our Halloween costume, I was like, we always usually do it together, right? So, in the past, we've been like wizard of oz, or we were like, one time, we were Cruella Deville, like, "101 dalmatians". What is it called? Whatever it's called.
Ginger Stache: Was he a dalmatian? And you were Cruella?
Taylor Madu: No, so he, I was Cruella, my kids were dalmatians, and he was a firefighter.
Ginger Stache: Oh, nice.
Taylor Madu: So, he's kinda like, stickin' in there. You know what I'm sayin'? He just kinda goes with it.
Jai Williams: He goes with it.
Taylor Madu: Yeah, yeah.
Jai Williams: "It's about me and the kids".
Taylor Madu: He was a firefighter: that's that, right? But he's usually the last one, because he's like "Ehh, I don't participate", but then he does want to participate when it's like, the day of, right? So, this year I was like, "You know what"? I said, "Babe, I'm just gonna do it on my own". I said, "I want to go as Joyce Meyer". And so, he actually was like, "Oh, my gosh, no, no, no, don't do that. Don't do that. 'cause I don't know if she's gonna get upset about it. Like you went", and I was like, "No, no, no, no". I was like, "I'm going to be the best Joyce Meyer you've ever seen," right? And hopefully get her attention. That's the goal, right?
Ginger Stache: And you were fabulous.
Taylor Madu: And so, I did it. And literally, no regrets, you know. It's like, and here we are.
Erin Cluley: Here we are.
Taylor Madu: I did it, and here we are.
Ginger Stache: It was so fun. Just the spunk, the attitude, you know.
Jai Williams: Yeah, it was perfect.
Ginger Stache: And I showed it to Joyce cuz, you know, I saw it and I thought, "Oh, she is gonna love this". So, I showed it to Joyce. And she looks at it twice, like, I think she thought it was her.
Jai Williams: "I look goooood"!
Ginger Stache: And she's like, "She does look like me".
Erin Cluley: Like, you nailed the movement of her, like, on stage, when she's telling a story. It was so good.
Taylor Madu: Well, I found, I was like, "What would make this even better is actually finding the graphic". And actually, doing, so, then, I asked our graphic designer, at socials, like, "Can you actually make this graphic and insert me"? So, I took the photo and then she, literally, made it, and I think that's just what's really took it to the top.
Jai Williams: The icing.
Taylor Madu: Yeah, the cherry on top.
Ginger Stache: The details make all the difference, yeah.
Erin Cluley: So good.
Ginger Stache: Well, today, we wanna talk about the fact that there is grace for everything in our lives. And Taylor has just a really encouraging story of how God's done that in your life. And I think it's important to also bring out that Jai and I are Taylor lovers.
Jai Williams: Yes.
Ginger Stache: We both have a Taylor of our own. And we love you, Taylor. So, you know?
Taylor Madu: Oh, that's where you were goin'. I was like...
Jai Williams: "Wow, you guys so love me". Like, we love you. Yeah, you're great.
Ginger Stache: We do.
Jai Williams: You are the bomb, girl.
Taylor Madu: "But we're not talking about you".
Jai Williams: I be talkin' about our kids.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, we both have Taylor, daughters.
Jai Williams: I have a 19-year-old daughter named Taylor.
Ginger Stache: Erin loves you, too. I don't wanna leave Erin out.
Erin Cluley: I love a Taylor.
Ginger Stache: I love a good Taylor.
Taylor Madu: Ah, that's so funny.
Ginger Stache: Anyway, back to grace. So, what I love in talking about this is there are so many people, Christian, like, they grew up Christian or not, who are asking that question, "Well, what about this thing I did"? "What about this one thing"? Or, you know, maybe even a string of things and they just think God can't use me because of it. Or grace works for everyone else, but not for me. And we're just gonna combat that today and let everybody know that, that is never the case. But Taylor, your story is one that so many people can relate to because it really is that looking for love and trying to find what it is in life that will bring you satisfaction even at a very, very young age. So, tell us a little bit about what was going on in your mind, like, even as young as high school, in that area?
Taylor Madu: Well, I grew up as a pastor's daughter, right? So, what my husband does now, evangelizing, traveling the world for, he did that for like, 20 years. So, I grew up, my father did that my whole life. So, I was born into ministry. I'm at age seven, my parents divorced, and it rocked our world. I think from there, just the split, it was a very unhealthy divorce. I don't think anyone, there's, I don't think you can read enough books, you know, get enough advice or counsel that helps you and prepares you for the proper way to walk through a divorce, right? And so, because of the dysfunction, the instability, it created a lot of voids in my heart. And I didn't realize it at the time. I was just longing for stability, for consistency in my life. But whenever my parents split, just a lot of dysfunction came to the surface, right? And so, from there, when I was about, I wanna say 12-years-old, my mom had a mental breakdown. And from the mental breakdown, that's whenever her journey of addiction began, she got addicted to antidepressants. And then, one thing led to the next, right? So, it was another void that was created. My mom was my hero. My dad is my hero, as well. Love my family, but I think, you know, I think it'd be naive to believe that just because you're a believer, you won't face attack and hardships, right? And so, we love Jesus. We were in church, faithful in church, and yet, there was great attack. There was a target on our family. And I think my parents were incredible, are incredible. But once again, this is just a part of our journey. And I wouldn't change it for the world. And so, from there, there was a guy, you know, and my dad was traveling the world preaching Jesus. My mom was going through her journey of, you know, trying to navigate depression and, you know, mental illness. And so, it wasn't the most stable home life. So, it opened up many doors for me to pretty much do whatever I wanted to do. And here I was, a girl loving Jesus, loved the local church, serving in the local church, and yet, so broken inside. And, you know, here comes this guy. I'm a cheerleader. He's a star basketball player. And it just kinda made sense. I think I was too immature, too broken to even begin to understand what a relationship, a healthy relationship looked like. But he filled a void in my heart. And that's where I think probably the greatest strategy and trap of the enemy was that season of my life, was bringing a boy along to fill the voids in my heart, which we know that no one, no human can fill a void and take the place of Jesus, right? So, I get into this relationship. I'm in it for three years. It's very dysfunctional. There's obviously grace for him as well, but just two broken people in a relationship that should have never been in a relationship. I'm in and out of this relationship, more so, because of him. Wanted me, didn't want me, wanted me, didn't want me. I was just seeking for someone to love me and not leave me. I felt like I dealt with a lot of abandonment. And so, when he would come back around, it filled the void. And even though it was temporary, it was almost worth it. It was worth even when he would walk away, just for that, 10 minutes of him filling the void, it seemed that it was worth it to stay. And so, three years later, I found myself 17, I'm pregnant out of wedlock. Definitely not the life that I ever thought I would live, but here I was. And for me, abortion wasn't an option, and also adoption wasn't an option. So, I was like, "Okay," like, "Let's do this. I made really terrible decisions, but here we are. And I believe that we talk about this Savior that can make all things new. I believe that the baby is not the mistake. I made bad decisions, but I believe that God can redeem and restore. And there's purpose in my little boy's life," right? So, I choose to have the baby, but I go into early labor. I believe I was, it was like 32 weeks. It was Christmas eve of 2005. And here we are, emergency c-section, and I give birth. I wake up because it was emergency c-section. So, they put me under. And when I woke up my, you know, mom and dad to each side of me and they told me that my little boy, Micah, he didn't make it. He didn't survive. And so, the umbilical cord wrapped around his little body, and he lost oxygen. And so, from that moment, I remember so many things I had experienced loss in so many different ways, right? So, a broken family. My mom was still available there, but like, alive but not living, you know? So, there was that void. And then, there was the reality of the dysfunction of that relationship and the abuse, not physical, but emotional. And so, here we are now. My baby was almost like the one thing that no one could take away from me. So, I'm like, "I'm gonna raise this baby boy, us against the world, teach him the ways of Jesus, and watch God redeem my life". But God redeeming my life looks so differently than what I had expected. So, here I am, 18 and a half hours, I hold my baby boy. And he was lifeless. But I remember in those 18 and a half hours begging God. I believe there was a moment where my dad took his body and held him up and begged God to raise him, "Breathe your life in to him". And it didn't happen. But that's the beauty and the pain, I think, of trusting Jesus. Trusting Jesus isn't always easy, right? But that's the key is that you can trust him despite what you see, despite what you feel. And so, I held him for 18 and a half hours, and then the nurse came in to get him. And I remember the level of grief is something I'll never forget. I didn't know what tomorrow was gonna look like. And it was another layer of loss, of one more thing, this being stripped for me. But as I laid there, I thought, "Man, dang," like, the shame and the guilt that I felt, because my terrible decisions had gotten me to this place. The pain that I caused my family, they were all grieving. The pain that I caused myself. And just my bad decisions got me here. I deserve this. But then I also...
Ginger Stache: And at that age, too, when you've been hurt by so many things in your life and then something like this happens, I would think there would be so many things going through your mind like, "God, why? Why did you take him? Why did you let this happen"? Or even, "Is this my punishment"? You know, "Is this something I deserve"? And like you said, the way other people are hurt. And there's no way to understand, for any of us, at any age, a situation like that. So, that had to be so devastating.
Taylor Madu: Yeah, it's so interesting because my whole life I was raised in church, I was raised in ministry. So, I know the talk, I know the language, the lingo. And we talk about this Savior, you know, we sing about him. You hear people preaching about him. I've had a relationship with him my whole life, but this was just different. The valley is different. The valley, valley.
Jai Williams: When you're in it, yeah.
Taylor Madu: When you've tried every single thing, and here you are, rock-bottom. And so, now, it's like, "Okay, now it's time to put into practice what you were always singing about, and what you're always hearing about, talking about". It's like, "Now, walk out the truth of God". And "Do you believe that I am a redeemer? Do you believe that I can bring you peace in the chaos? Do you believe that I can give you strength in the midst of your frailties and your humanity and your weakness"? Like, "Can I or can I not"? And I remember, it's weird because I didn't doubt him. I didn't doubt him. I didn't doubt that he could. I just didn't know. And I think the unknown is what's probably the scariest. "I don't know what's ahead, but I know that you are who you say that you are. So, hold my hand, hold me, and teach me how to walk this thing out". And so, I'm 35 now, and I have, I don't think you ever arrive to fully understanding. But I clung to... Is clung a word? I clunk...
Erin Cluley: You clung.
Taylor Madu: Clinged, clung...
Jai Williams: Clung, I think.
Ginger Stache: You did it.
Jai Williams: You stayed close to him.
Taylor Madu: When I tell you, but here's the deal, too, is that it wasn't just Jesus like, yes, applying the word, but there were so many factors to my journey of healing. It was community. Like, surrounding myself with just the body, body of believers that saw something in me that I didn't see myself. Calling things out of me that didn't even know were there. Lifting my arms, tear the roof off, friends, right? They were willing to hold my arms and pull me forward. But then, also, it was the therapy dynamic. Had a counselor at 19, when I moved to Dallas, and started, you know, a new life, right? The life that I was like, "Wait, this is what I was made to do". But therapy. I'm still in therapy. And my spirit-filled counselor has impacted my life, I would say, more than anyone in my life. The way she's walked me through healing and the lies that I believed, and just the trauma, she just spoke truth to. And right, what does the truth do? Like, it sets us free. So, I had been on this journey of healing and freedom since I was 19. But there's so many elements to what it looked like to walk through Jesus, walk with Jesus through this. And it came through people. You know, how God uses people. And so, it's been the ride of my life. But once again, like I said earlier, I wouldn't trade anything because it's made me who I am today and the things that have been birthed inside of me and have shaped me and made me: I know, that I know, is because of the valley that I walked through.
Ginger Stache: What a statement that is. You know, that through all the hurt that God can heal you to a place where you can say those words. That is huge. And there are so many of our friends who are with us, right now, who need that desperately. And so, we're gonna go to a little clip from Joyce, where she talks about the fact that it is the brokenness in our lives that God uses so often, to bring out the beauty. So, let's watch this and then we'll come back and talk about it.
Joyce Meyer: The Bible calls us jars of clay. And that God chooses to use foolish people so that the glory and the grandeur might be seen to be of him and not of them. Or I like to say, "God uses cracked pots". Now, you know, if I was goin' out to buy a pot, any sane person in this room, if you were going to buy a pot, who would choose this one with all the cracks in it? You wouldn't wanna take that home. You think... You'd even think a person was crazy to even have that in their store. No, we'd want the one that was all polished and shined up and looked all nice. But God wants to show himself strong through us. Let's bring the lights down. Let me show you what happens. Now, watch. There's a light in both of these pots. Now, wait. In this one, the perfect pot that we would all like, the lights on but you can't see it. Same light in here, that's in the other one, but you can't see it. However, look what happens when you turn the light on in the cracked pot. I love this! So, I'm just gonna be a happy cracked pot! Here I am, just deliriously happy cracked pot! I'm not gonna worry about my cracks. I'm not gonna be upset about my cracks. I don't even care if I don't get rid of my cracks. I am just gonna be a happy cracked pot. Amen? I'll tell you, some of my stuff's been around so long, I'm getting' kinda comfortable with it. I'm startin' to like it. I have a feeling I'll always be a little sassy. My mouth, may always get me in just a little bit of trouble. But I'm quick to repent. Oh, Lord, there's nobody that can repent as quick as me. I mean, I can't repent when I'm still in the middle of it. Come on, now, why don't you just give up being mad at yourself, because you're not the perfect pot? God chooses, on purpose, the weak and the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. He chooses what the world would throw away as trash. I thought later, it was too late to do it, but I am gonna get me a trash can and preach out of it, one of these days. I'm gonna get in that baby and I'm gonna preach a whole message. Because that's where the world woulda put me, in the trash can. But God. C'mon, but God.
Ginger Stache: But God. I love that so much. Because how many of us, at any given point in our life, you know, there's probably something that just made us felt like we were throwaway material. And God doesn't see it that way. Taylor, you've talked about the lies that had to be undone in your life. What were some of those lies?
Taylor Madu: Oh, my gosh. The lies that had to be undone, that are still being undone, you know? Not enough. I would say the lies of, I think, failure. Failure: failing as a, even now, a mom, failing as a wife, failing as a pastor, failing as a sister, failing as a friend. Not enough and failure. And I believe that you spend the rest of your life overcoming. It's a daily renewing of the mind. His mercies are new every morning. It's asking for his help. Because I believe we spend our lives becoming something. But also, unbecoming, so, it's like that tension. And I think the only way to overcome is clinging to the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the vine, and begging him, asking him to come. And you overcome by the Word of God, through prayer. And once you overcome, you may have to overcome again, and again, and again, and again. You know?
Ginger Stache: Yeah, you know, I wake up every morning, and it's just one of those instant things, you know, the first thing is like, "Good morning, Lord," and, "Good morning, Holy Spirit," and, "I need you desperately, today. Thank you for your mercies that are new today". Because it's so easy for the first thoughts in your morning to be, "Oh, that thing that I said yesterday". Or, that interaction that didn't go the way that it should have. And so, I'm just so grateful for what you're talking about. The lies that the enemy wants to fill our head with the things that we did that make us unusable, the things that make us trash, instead, for those things to just be covered by the grace of God and his mercy to give us something new every day.
Erin Cluley: And I think there's such, like, I'm so glad you said what you said, that there's freedom in knowing that "It's okay that I have to get rid of that lie again today," like the thing of failing. Sometimes, I feel that, and I think, "Erin, we just dealt with this last week, why are we here again"? So, now, I'm failing at not failing, and thinking, "I'm a failure". And so, it's just a cycle. So, I think to know that God's grace shows up in that, too. Like, I'm doing the best I can, and I just have to daily commit this thing that I'm struggling with to him. And that's where his grace shows up the biggest, when I realize, it's like, "Stop trying, and just keep going, keep showing up". Like, at what point did you feel like you kind of got a grasp on the fact that those were even lies, and like you could see?
Taylor Madu: Gosh, I feel like, well, I feel like it's been a journey. I don't even say I have a specific like, timeframe. And I think I still actually battle 'em and fight 'em. Once again, the things that have been done, you spend your life undoing that. Even now, and I think different scenarios, different seasons bring those triggers out. So, like, being married, it triggered stuff from my past. Not just being married. I'm happily married, and yet, there's triggers. I have children now, and there's triggers. Like, as a mother because of... And I have a great relationship with my mom, right? But because of some of the decisions that were made, I deal a lot with I don't want my kids to ever experience that abandonment, right? So, a lot of decisions that I've...Find myself making are based off of like, worrying if they're going to feel. And one time my therapist said...
Ginger Stache: That makes so much sense.
Erin Cluley: It does.
Taylor Madu: She said, "They're never going to feel, because you're not gonna, you're not gonna do that," like, so they're not gonna, because that ends up damaging them in the long run, you know? So, it's something that I would say, and it's not even a negative thing. It's almost the thorn that Paul talks about. It keeps me lean into the Spirit of God. Like, if we were perfect, if we live this perfect life, you've heard it, we wouldn't need a Savior. Jesus came and he gave us access, and the cross was enough. And I think the biggest turning point in my life, I would say, I don't, there's not a date to it, but I remember the moment of when the Holy Spirit gently spoke to me and said, "When you receive shame and you continue to walk in a life, daily life of wearing shame", shame is heavy, guilt is, it's a heavy thing to carry. "When you receive it, and you carry it, and you wear it, what that simple action says, 'that the cross wasn't enough'". It is the, "Was the cross enough? You talk about it, you preach about it. Was the cross enough or was it not"? Then, I'm like, "Of course the cross was enough". "Then receive my grace, receive my love". And you receiving that, and receiving grace is saying, "Dang, I don't have what it takes. But through Christ, I can do all things". You know, through Christ, I can forgive those who have hurt me so deeply. I don't want to, but through Christ I can, and I choose to, and I may have to do it again tomorrow, but that's what grace is. Through the cross, I can love again, and I can trust again. I don't wanna trust again, but the cross says I can trust again, you know? The cross says that I have another chance, I have another opportunity. And now, what was once set out to destroy me, is now, I have an anointing to speak to that thing and tell people how to walk this thing out. Not perfectly, but because I've overcome, i, now, carry an anointing for that. And so, to answer your question, you know, there wasn't that date but there was that moment of saying, "Oh no, devil. The cross, my Jesus"? Like, "It was enough, father". So, I'm gonna choose to walk in this grace, and tell people about my brokenness, and that I'm so imperfect, and I'm a mess. But with Jesus, he is a God that makes all things new. And I believe it, and I walk in it. So, now, my favorite thing to say is that "I want to spend the rest of my life making people feel less broken". And the way I do that is just by sharing how imperfect I am, and how much I need him.
Ginger Stache: And that really brings us all back to that hard aspect of forgiveness for ourselves. You know, of being able to move past that shame that you're talking about. And you've said that you can really connect in ways to women in the Bible, like the woman at the well, for instance. What are some of the ways that that's been so helpful to you?
Taylor Madu: Well, I just, I love her. And I love the story. And I don't know if y'all have ever seen "The chosen," but "The chosen" really just sent me over the edge with the story.
Erin Cluley: Me too.
Taylor Madu: But I think it's just, you know, her background, you know, outcasts and many, many men and just, just a broken individual, you know? And then you look at Jesus, Savior of the world. Clearly, he's on a time, you know, a strict time, like, frame, time limit, right?
Ginger Stache: Stuff to do, people to see, places to go.
Taylor Madu: He's got some things he's got to do.
Jai Williams: He's gotta die, rise again. There's a lot goin' on.
Ginger Stache: So much ahead.
Taylor Madu: There's a lot goin' on. Savior of the world, salvation. You know, it's like, this is a big deal. But yet, this is what I love about him is like, he takes time to go sit, and he goes to where he's not supposed to go, technically. But he goes, and he chooses to go to those places to sit, to have, his goal was to have one conversation with one woman. Because ultimately, it would lead to whole transformation of a city, right? But it's like, he takes time. It shows me the importance of his intentionality, but also the importance of just one, the power of one conversation with one person: the person at the coffee shop, the person at the gas station, going through the drive-thru, saying, "Hello". You know, it's like, loving that person and being intentional with the person that's right in front of you, the power of that. But here, you know, she comes and she's doing her own thing, trying to avoid other women. And we all know the story. But he has this one conversation with this broken woman and literally everything changes. And I think it can sound so cliche, but it's so true, just one touch from Jesus can transform everything. And it doesn't mean, like I would love to know what was her journey like after that conversation? I guarantee it wasn't perfect. I guarantee you it wasn't like, one conversation, and like, now, everything's perfect. But it's that one moment and an encounter with Jesus is something that you'll never forget. No one can take that from me. No one can take the moment when I was in the hospital room, and I felt the presence of God enter the hospital room, holding my lifeless baby. It doesn't make sense to people. It's supernatural. But one moment, that one moment is what has carried me through. You know how often I revisit that moment? I revisited it this mornin'. I had tears in my eyes pulling up on the campus here, because I'm like, and I'll do it right now, I'm like, it's overwhelming because I remember the moment of, like, devoting, like, "Lord, I don't know how I got here, but man," like, "I believe that you are who you say that you are. And I promise I'm gonna spend the rest of my life telling this story of what you've done for me". So, for me, this is a moment of like, I'm revisiting, and I don't ever want to forget. I believe, it's like my mat. I don't think we should ever forget of just the moment where, "Where were you whenever you felt Jesus in bay"? He's not limited to walls of a church. He'll meet you in your car. He'll meet you in the club. He will meet you anywhere, right? And the way he met me is what has carried me through. That's the picture. And that's what we have to remember. I think when we meet Jesus, we think everything's gonna get better and change it's gonna be perfect. And that's not the case. When you meet Jesus, it's the moment you can't forget. But then, he can meet you day in and day out. And that moment is what will carry you through for the rest of your life. It's what's carried me, and I can't ever forget. And I believe that it was that encounter with Jesus. And then, that woman goes, and she begins to tell her story, right? So, I feel so connected 'cause I'm like, "That was me. I was a mess. I was so broken. And now, all I wanna do is just share what Jesus has done," you know? So, I just feel like I connect. I connect with the dysfunction.
Erin Cluley: Taylor and I were talking another time, recently. And you also, mentioned the woman with the issue of blood.
Taylor Madu: Oh, love her.
Erin Cluley: And so, I went and read that story. It had been a long time since I read about her. And then, I watched "The chosen," too and saw that part, I just weeped. But to see Jesus, this woman is so desperate and she's unclean, and people won't go near her. And all she has to do, this will make me cry. She just has to touch him. She's so desperate to be anywhere near him. And there's like, crowds of people around him, and he feels her, and her desperation. And he stops, and he's not disgusted by her. He loves her and he looks her in the eye. And to know that, that is that is my Jesus. Like you're saying, to have that moment with him, that is my Jesus. And he doesn't care how yucky I am on the inside. He just wants to see me. He wanted to look her in the eye, and he had her. And I think that speaks so, so much to what you're saying, that we don't gross him out. My ickiness isn't, push him away. He just wants to be with me because I'm his. Like, I'm his girl.
Jai Williams: Yeah, and it doesn't take a huge grand gesture to get that encounter. It just, it was a simple touch. It's just a simple, you know...
Erin Cluley: Reaching out.
Jai Williams: Reaching out. It's a simple going to the well and minding your business and he'll meet you where you are. And that's been one of the most comforting things, you know, with someone like going through something. And hearing you, tell your story from your perspective, and the fact that your name's Taylor, if you were a black girl, there would be a whole 'nother different thing, too. I can see my daughter being able to tell this story, and like, something that was so hard for her to see, you know, her parents that were in ministry. You know, and to see you say, you know, your parents were pastors. And it just gives me, it's one of my biggest fears, too. 'cause i, you know, to hear from her perspective, like, when she's brave enough to say it. But to hear how you've clung to Jesus. You've had your ups and downs. But you're finding your way. And you found your way, and you're doing good. Like, it's just, it's hope for me. Because that's the biggest thing for me is that, like, that's a part, that's another little scar that I worry about is, you know, like, as a mom. Because as a pastor's kid, I was striving for perfection. Like, you know, I didn't make any bad decisions. I didn't make any bad grades. And then, this thing came up, that was something I didn't even do. You know, and it just, I'm like, "Am I good, mom"? You know, like, so, yeah.
Ginger Stache: But Jesus, he's got that moment for Taylor, and he knows.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: He knows, right now, exactly what it is.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: And, you know, maybe she's already had it, maybe it's coming, maybe it's a little bit every day. But what I love about the capacity of Christ is he has that for every one of us. And it's so specific to what and when we need. And I think about people, right now, who are saying, "Well, where's mine"? You know, "Where's my touch? Where's my time with Jesus"? Girl, don't give up, you know, be there because you don't know when Jesus is gonna walk up to the well and say, "Could you give me a drink"?
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: And it's because his love is so full and he's able to do that for every single one of us that no one is left out. That's what grace is all about.
Jai Williams: Yeah. I, literally, still feel like I'm crawling.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, yeah.
Jai Williams: You know, like, I feel like I'm, a lot of times, I feel like I'm crawling. Still, like, pushing through people, trying to figure out, what is it, like, "What does ministry look like for me"? You know, "Look like for me"? "What does life look like for me"? Like, I was talking to another pastor friend, who went through a divorce the same time, and she's pretty well-known. And we were both talking last night, and it was just like, we were both like, we're sitting in our, I'm sitting in my living room in st. Louis, and she's in Georgia. And we're talking and she's like, "Girl, what is going on? How are we single"? Like, "We don't have our kids in the house," like, and we're both living downtown in different, and, you know, so like, it's like, "What does life look like"? So, it feels like a crawl.
Ginger Stache: It's like, "How did I get here"?
Jai Williams: "How did I get here"? Like, "How am I just, by myself, at home"? You know, like, it's different. So, that brokenness is still like the crawling, and I constantly keep reaching out. And it doesn't, because it doesn't feel the same as when I used to reach out before and touch him. It used to be almost instant, you know, like, you know, I could bounce back. But this thing, this piece of brokenness took me down. And I'm grateful for you guys. Like, you were talking about those friends that help. Like, this was help, this, I don't know, I can relate to your mom, like, I don't know if I would have even been able to keep my mind if I weren't, like, still connected to this, because it really was something that, especially, in the middle of it, that I'm like, "God, thank you". Because it shook me to the core. Like, so, I don't know, like, what you were saying to those that haven't felt like they've had the touch yet, just keep crawling. Like, keep moving forward. He'll meet you.
Ginger Stache: So much of it is changing the way we're thinking. Because if we're thinking, you know, "God has nothing for me, I'm not good enough for him," then it limits how we're able to receive him. So, we're gonna listen to Joyce again, talking a little bit more about the opportunity for transformation for every one of us. And it begins with allowing God to renew our thoughts.
Joyce Meyer: "Take every, every thought captive and make it obedient to Jesus Christ". Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world". You know what that means? Don't let the world draw out a little box and cram you in it. Say, "This is what you have to do if you wanna be accepted by us". But be transformed, and that means changed from the inside out, which only God can do. Christianity is not a program for behavior modification. Christianity is falling in love with Jesus and focusing on him until you become like him. And he changes you. Now, watch how your transformed. "And be transformed by the renewing of your mind". How many years did I think nobody liked me, people didn't like me. But now, I know that God loves me. And so, I think more about that than who doesn't like me. So, if there's somebody that don't like me, I'm not thinking about it, so I don't know about it anyway. There is so much that goes through our minds like she's talking about, you know, "Somebody doesn't like me," that can derail your day.
Erin Cluley: Yes!
Ginger Stache: Your life. You're week, and in such powerful ways. And thinking, thinking the things that just fall into our head, and we don't have to be stuck in that place. And Taylor, I'm sure that, you know, let's be honest, there were probably many people in the church who were like, "Oh, look what's happened over here". You know, "This is gonna be a problem for the rest of Taylor's life," not knowing that God was gonna use that very thing to shine his light through you.
Taylor Madu: Yes, yes, yes, I'm like, man, I keep saying this, but I'm still trying to overcome that, as well, you know? I'm currently reading a book. It's "The rejection and praise of man". Obviously, don't let the rejection, or don't let the praise go to your head. Don't let the rejection go to your heart. And that's what, I'm naturally a people-pleaser. So, I would say going through that season was so embarrassing, obviously. And here's the deal. I wasn't this young girl. And if you are, and you're watching, there's grace for you. But I wasn't out here like, wildin' out. You know, like, i, literally, my heart, I'm a lover. I love. I can meet you, today, and like, now, y'all will hear from me, all the time because I love...
Erin Cluley: I can only hope.
Ginger Stache: Yay!
Taylor Madu: I love, love, love so deeply, right? And so, I will say there was an incident where I remember, I wanted to be free so bad, you know, but, you know, I ended up becoming sexually active. And that was not what I wanted. It wasn't what, I wanted to satisfy and please the father. But yet, I kept making, you know, terrible decisions, and I don't know why. But I'll never forget, I would say my family: talk about practice what you preach, the grace and the level of forgiveness that my family had for me. They never put shame on me. They never, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, actually, my father had a dream that I was pregnant, and that's how it all came to be. He said, "Are you pregnant"? And he said, "I had a dream that you were pregnant". And I'm like, "No". And then, I run to the store, get a pregnancy test, and I am pregnant. But when I told my dad, I remember him crying, but him saying, "Hey," he held my hand, "We're goin' to get through this".
Erin Cluley: Oh, wow.
Taylor Madu: And so, it was, that's Jesus, right? Not condoning what I did, my bad behavior, but also loving me through it. And that's what impacted me more than anything. But there was an incident, I remember I wanted, there was all-state choir, and I was in the choir. And the choir director had called me to come, drive two hours because he wanted to talk to me. The couple wanted to talk to me. And someone had, they called me out, I go out. And someone had reported to them that, you know, "Taylor shouldn't be in the choir". And so, they kicked me out of the all-state choir. And I remember that being so crushing, because I was so, it wasn't who I wanted to be. And it wasn't that I was like, living this terrible lifestyle. I just would have moments. But I needed church community. I needed support. I needed someone to look at me, and tell me, and call me higher. And I did have people that did that. But there was that moment. And I remember, "Oh, my gosh," like, "I'm getting kicked out of the all-state choir," and how embarrassing, and how shameful. But once again, the grace of God, God used that. Even now, as a pastor, it's taught me how to navigate people. Because people are human, and people have their, usually you pull people in, it's like, they're gifted, they're talented, they have, and then, it's like, you see this side, and then all of a sudden, you get a little bit closer, and now, you start to see the humanity. So, what do you do? Do you just dismiss people? No, no, no, no. You hold their hand, and you love them through it. And you take 'em on a journey because that is what the cross is about. We're all on a journey. And so, if anything, it equipped me and gave me tools on how to navigate the humanity of an individual.
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Taylor Madu: There you go. What a gift, you know?
Ginger Stache: Yeah, abolutely. And a really important gift that we all need. And so, then, as your talking, right now, to some people who have had that feeling, that strong, strong feeling that "There's no coming back from what I just did," "There's no way God can use me in this circumstance". What do you say to them, to encourage them, that that's not how our God works?
Taylor Madu: Well, I love it because the cross, it was so ugly. It was so dirty. It was so painful. I mean, there's nothing worse than crucifixion. And so, but yet it led to our salvation, our freedom, our eternal, eternal life through the cross, the finished work of the cross. And the ugliest parts of my life, the mountaintop is great. I love the mountain. We all love the mountain.
Erin Cluley: It's a good place.
Jai Williams: It's nice up there. It's good up there.
Taylor Madu: We like the mountain.
Jai Williams: For sure, yeah, it's nice.
Taylor Madu: You know, but it's like, but I would say, I learned who Christ was for myself, not because of what someone else said, but because of the way he met me: it was the valley. And that is what has made me who I am today. And so, the reality is that you're gonna have moments of failure. If you're not, I need to meet the person who hasn't failed and made, you know, mistakes in their life. But now, I would say the level of authority that I speak to when someone comes up to me and says, "I'm walkin' through a divorce," the level of authority, and I believe anointing that is on my life to speak to that thing, I wouldn't be able to speak to it had I not faced it. Almost anyone that you speak to that, look at Joyce, her story, and the way she shares it, like, that is who our God is. And so, to the person that has made terrible decisions, to the person that is going through the valley, stay faithful. Not stay, even strong, cuz God uses our weakness. If you're weak, lean in. Lean into the Spirit of God. If you're confused, lean into the Spirit of God. If your lost and, lean into the Spirit of God. Keep showing up. Stay consistent in God's word. Stay consistent. Crawl your way to the presence of God every single day. And there will come a time, in due time, we don't know the time. And that's the challenge. That's where it gets hard is "I don't know when this is gonna end. I don't know when I'm gonna see a glimpse of hope again". It's coming. And when you get on the other side of it, I believe that, the way I have gained strength is seeing, as I speak to it, the others that overcome because I didn't give up.
Jai Williams: Mhmm.
Taylor Madu: That's the power, is I didn't, I think the, sometimes, we don't know how to fight for ourselves, right? We don't even see ourselves worthy enough to fight for. But when you sometimes put on the other side, I'm actually fighting for someone else's victory, then now, all of a sudden, I have this grit of like, "Oh, no, I'm gonna overcome because there's thousands of people", if you woulda told me of the thousands that have heard the testimony of Jesus in my life, I wouldn't have believed you. But now, because I overcame thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands will overcome. Because if he did it for me, I share the story. I am a trophy. I say I'm a trophy of grace. That's who I am. I'm a trophy of grace. And I'm, once again, imperfect. Can't say that enough. But now, because I overcame, now, thousands upon thousands, millions, I declare millions, upon millions, that anyone who sits under the sound of my voice, the Holy Spirit speaking through me, will now live a victorious life. Because if he did it for me, he can do it for you. That ain't a church phrase. That's reality. If he did it for tylor madu, if he forgave me, if he washed me clean, the blood, the cross was enough, if he made it new for me, he can make it new for you.
Ginger Stache: There's always space to start over. I mean, that's what he's all about. It's not even just transformation. It's not even just taking this little mess and dressing it up and putting a band-aid on it. It's a completely new beginning. And that says so much to me, because we all have our stuff, you know, we all have our things. And because of who God is, those are the things that he uses in our life, if we let him. But there are so many times that we get in that way. That we are the barrier that's saying, "No, I'm not, I'm not good enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not," you know, "Pretty enough, perfect enough," whatever it may be. And God just wants us to tear down those excuses and say, "Just step back and watch, and see what I do".
Jai Williams: Yeah. It's just the fact of we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony, you know? And that's what's fueled my crawl. What's fueled my crawl is knowing that my testimony is causing me to overcome, it pushes me forward in the crawl. But I know that it's helping somebody else, you know? And that's why, like, so many people, are like, "Well, why in the world would you talk", I think your sister had asked me, like, "Have you shared your journey, like, before"? I'm like, "Yeah". Because I wish I had more people that would have shared it for me when I was going through it, initially...
Ginger Stache: In the middle.
Jai Williams: In the middle of it. "How do I act when I don't know what to say, when I'm praying for," you know, "This". "Or when I've stood on the word that my family's gonna come together and it still doesn't. Like, what do I do"? There aren't a lot of people that weren't overly spiritual, so, I'm like, "I'm just gonna tell how I really feel. When I say, 'I'm angry'". I was angry. But I kept people around me, you know. Not a whole lot. I got rid of a lot of people, for real, for real.
Taylor Madu: Protect yourself.
Jai Williams: Like I had to protect myself. I didn't want super corny. Like, I couldn't have that. Like, I just wanted, I needed only a few people around me that would be able be like, "Yeah, girl, that's right. But Jesus said this". Like...
Erin Cluley: That was me, huh?
Jai Williams: That was you. This one's more like, "Yeah, girl, that's right"! This one was like, "Yeah, but, yeah, yeah, that's right. But Jesus, this". And so like, just having that balance in my life has helped me. But seriously, sharing the testimony, and keeping God at the center, and keeping people around you that will speak truth to you, like, that does help. Like, the testimony helps. Don't let the brokenness shut you up, you know.
Taylor Madu: I think every time I've noticed, and you can speak to this as well, but every time I share, and then, I hear someone say, "Your story changed my life," I gain strength.
Jai Williams: Oh, yeah.
Taylor Madu: Strength. So, it's like, I get stronger every time. Today, I'm getting stronger. It's that rep.
Jai Williams: Yeah, it pushes you forward. Because, it's like, there's gotta be purpose behind the pain. What's God gonna do to turn this thing for my good? So, I can't give up. Because I gotta, I need to see was on the other side of this. And I need to see who, like, somebody needs to hear this, you know? So, I have to keep going.
Ginger Stache: And there's something on the other side for all of us.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: So, we just wanna encourage all of you. If you've been listening, I know that you've been encouraged by Taylor's story, by everything that we're all sharing. And most importantly is don't give up on the possibilities of what God may have for you. It's really, it's one thing to say, "I don't know if God can use me". It's another thing to say, "I'm not even going to give him a chance to find out". So, just open the door of your heart, and say, "Okay, God, if you have grace for me, I'm here for it," and see what he does. We love to share with you God's word. So, we do have a free resource you, today. We are offering you a digital, audio download, absolutely free, and it's called, "Changed by grace". So, the best way to understand this is to dig into the Word of God and see what it really says about you, about your life. Because that moment that Jesus can reach out and touch you is available, and it's real, and it will happen. Well, you can get that resource at: joycemeyer.org/talkitout, and then, of course, you can find out all of our past episodes and you can share it with other people. Make sure you subscribe. And we just, more than anything, we really wanna encourage you. You may be a cracked pot. Well, welcome to the rest of us.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, come on in.
Ginger Stache: But we are glad to have you with us. And God is gonna shine through you. Taylor, thank you so very much.
Taylor Madu: Oh, thank you. It's been the best. You are the best.
Ginger Stache: Such an encouragement and inspiration. Thank you all very much. And we will see everyone next time. Bye-bye.
Erin Cluley: Bye.
Ginger Stache: joycemeyer.org/talkitout is a wonderful place. Go there for today's resource, to check out all of the episodes, and to get to know us a little better. Please, don't forget to subscribe wherever you listen or watch Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out Podcast, and let us know what you're thinking. Your voice is important to us.