Along with the rest of the world, I have been waiting for this album, and I was not disappointed. Just so we’re clear from the outset, this post isn’t an analysis of her musical development or emotional growth, and it doesn’t critically review the techniques she uses to sell millions of records. Nope, what I want to write about is how once again, Taylor has poetically voiced thoughts I’ve had or am having and how yet again, she’s inspired me to write, to dream for more and to believe in being in love.
I’m writing this on my flight home for a best friend’s wedding. It’s December. At the start of this year, I thought I’d be planning my own wedding by now. But I’m not. And this heartbreak was worse than the others. I’m sure that for everyone break ups get worse as you get older, but I had genuinely believed that this one was ‘IT’, and I didn’t just mourn the loss of him, but of the life I’d dreamed for us too. And, as I’m sure you know, that’s hard to come back from.
The first song I fell in love with from this album was ‘Call It What You Want’. It’s a game changer because he ‘loves me like I’m brand new’. The sad truth is that our messy baggage doesn’t disappear when we start a new relationship. None of us start from scratch, we all have things we’d rather not have done or said or seen. But I believe in a God who chooses to remember our sins no more. Total forgiveness. Our shame is removed as far from us as the east is from the west. Those are all real Bible quotes. We do not deserve it, but Jesus says we are worth it. So I am brand new, renewed, restored and redeemed. And if Taylor’s found it in a relationship, then I have hope that one day I will too. She doesn’t need him to save her, but she asks if he’ll run away with her. I’m currently living in Cyprus, planting a new church there, and I need someone who will run away with me. Someone who picks adventure and commits to a life of it, with me.
In ‘Dress’, another favourite, she says ‘I only bought this dress so you could take it off’ and its cheeky and I love it, and you’d better believe I will be singing it on my wedding day. But to continue the theme of redemption she says ‘even in my worst times, you saw the best in me. Flashback to my mistakes, my rebounds, my earthquakes. Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me.’ I get her, I have those times, those lies. But I’m holding out for someone who sees the truth of who I am, and who I can become.
If you’d been there when I first heard ‘King of my Heart’ you’d have seen me grinning from ear to ear. The part of me that is sad that I’m not in love anymore was completely won over in this song. Because it doesn’t matter who my husband turns out to be, the King of my heart is, and always will be, Jesus. I’m so happy for Taylor; this album is full of strength and sass and being in love. She’s found someone who takes her exactly as she is, reputation, baggage, drama and all. But I’ve already found that in Jesus and he will always have me, ‘body and soul’.
My last thought is mainly written here to keep myself accountable, but hopefully it’ll speak to you too. I can’t listen to ‘New Year’s Day’ without crying (for very personal reasons) but there’s one line that profoundly says ‘hold on to the memories and they will hold on to you’. That’s precisely why I had to lay them down. I would have stayed, like the song says, but God told me to let go. And His voice wins. Even over Taylor.