Tone Series with Tai Anderson

Documented by Lisa Larson

what do the words ‘so worth loving’ mean to you?

The words “so worth loving” are an antidote to the poison of comparison. Our entire culture holds up a standard of success in every aspect of life. This is how you should look. This is the lifestyle you should be enjoying. This is the influence you should have on others. This is the savings you should have in the bank. This is how your abs should be chiseled. It’s a perpetual drip from a faucet you just can’t seem to turn off. Sooner or later, we all face the reality that we just don’t measure up to those standards. The darker angels seize these moments to twist the knife and leave us paralyzed in doubt and low-self esteem. These voices culminate in a message that you are not loveable because you just don’t measure up. In those moments, “So Worth Loving” is a declaration that identity and worthiness is not found in comparison to others, but are rooted in our uniqueness; the fingerprints of God manifest in our identity.

when you hear the words dark and light, what comes to mind? did you find God in the middle of a dark season?

I lost my daughter Mackenzie to suicide on December 20, 2018. It was the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. It will forever be the darkest day of my life. Darkness is more than a metaphor to me. It is my perpetual grief. It is palpable pain in my chest. It is nausea. It is tears. It is a haze of confusion, blame, and doubt. I used to think that light would just drive the darkness away forever. However, the darkness lingers, waiting for its chance to envelop me. Yet, there is light. Even in the darkness, there is light. They co-exist. My daughter was both happy and sad. She had incredible faith and palpable fear. She shone a bright light, and she lived in the anguish of a dark shadow. In many conversations after my daughter’s death, friends have been surprised to learn that my faith has grown since I lost my daughter... that I don’t blame God. How could I? The light of my life is the hope that I will see my daughter again. That is my north star, my navigational point of reference for the rest of my life. You can’t see the stars without darkness. So, when I feel the darkness coming in, I welcome it, for it allows me to better see the light, my hope for an eternal reunion. By the way, the winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, but it is also the shortest, every day afterward still contains darkness, but is also filled with just a little more light.

what did you learn about His love for you at that time?

After I lost my daughter, I had friends lean in and demonstrate their care for me. I also had friends that offered nothing more than “I don’t know what to say” and then demonstrate the earnestness of that statement by an ongoing, lingering silence. They would literally back away or turn their back when I entered a room. In short, feeling love or even empathy from others has been hit or miss. God has been consistent. God is there when no one else is... at 3 AM after a dream that is so real I don’t want to wake up, and the reality of loss is fresh again, God is there. In my car, when I turn off the radio and just listen, God is there. With my morning cup of coffee, God is there. There isn’t judgment. God doesn’t back away or turn his back. God is not embarrassed or uncomfortable with my loss. God doesn’t avoid me. In fact, He waits for me and offers his consistent, steady, everlasting love.

what would you tell the next generation about God?

Nothing can separate you from the love of God. In your greatest moment of pain, you can react in anger, or you can be still and feel the peace of His presence. It’s always there, but there is always a reason not to perceive it... television, our phones, a mindless internet search. In short, you’re never alone. When comparison screams in your ear that you are not enough, God is quietly whispering,“You are so worth loving.”