Tayla Lynn is the granddaughter of legendary Country music artist Loretta Lynn. But being part of an iconic family didn't shield her from deep emotional trauma and severe addiction. In some ways, it made things worse.
"I can remember the first time I drank, I just loved the way that it made me feel," she recalls.
Tayla tells The 700 Club she spent the first years of her life near the glow of her grandmother's celebrity. But when her parents divorced and her mother remarried, Tayla's life suddenly changed.
Tayla remembers, "Their wedding night, uh, was the first time that he kicked me across the room... crawled down the hall into my bedroom. And it's one of those moments where you grow up all of a sudden really fast and go, oh, okay."
In her teens, Tayla turned to alcohol to take away the fear. She says it made her feel invincible, but inside she carried the burden of rejection. "I deserved it. It was my fault. Uh, I think when you are a fighter, you think that you're bad, so, it's really me that's the problem," Tayla says.
The alcohol she used to cover her pain sent her on a path of personal destruction. Tayla recalls, "The alcohol stole my integrity fast. Things that I can't imagine a 15, 16-year-old girl doing, it just took away whatever felt like was good in me, was tainted."
Her aunt told her stories from the Bible that gave her peace. Even through the abuse, and her own bad choices, Tayla found comfort knowing Jesus loved her. "She- would say, 'You're not alone. Remember that. You're not alone. Jesus is with you all the time. Like, all you have to do is close your eyes and Jesus is there.'"
Through her tears, Tayla recalls, "And so I can remember so many times, like being in my closet, 'I'm not alone. Jesus is here.' And without that I don't know what that would have – I don't know what my life would have looked like had I not thought, 'Let's, you know, either let's do it, let's fight.' Or like, 'I'm bad and nobody loves me and I want to just run away.' But the whole time, Jesus was always like in my pocket, and always. That never changed."
By the time she was 18 Tayla found the party scene in downtown Nashville and used her family name to get anything she wanted. "I sold my soul to pay for pills. I just was a gross person," Tayla says. "I did gross stuff in order to survive being an addict. I certainly dated drug dealers or whoever I had to be with to get what I needed. I stole so much money from both of my grandmothers. Once I ran out of some money and tried – went to heavier drugs like crack and heroin. Then I was gone. I mean, I was 80 pounds and lost."
After 14 years of heavy drinking and two years of heroin and crack addiction, Tayla felt darkness and death were constant companions. "There was a dark energy that was leading everything I was doing. And because I was disconnected, I was allowing that dark energy to do whatever it wanted to with me. And I was just, whoever Tayla really was, was just gone."
One night, Tayla was arrested for a hit and run in Nashville. After a stop in jail, she ended up in rehab where she was finally ready for change. "That feeling of hope, it was coming back. Right then, it started right then."
Tayla thinks back, "I just prayed. I said, 'God, I-I have to be done. And I have no idea how not to crave these drugs. I don't know how to stop, but I feel like this is my last chance. Please help me. If you – if you show up, you know, then I'm done.' I said, 'I'm surrendering.' And-and I was released from that bondage right then. God just took the chains, and they were gone. Now, I still had some physical cravings for the drugs and alcohol, but God was right there, and it just felt like I let God just cover me."
The love of God has continued to cover Tayla since her moment of surrender. Today Tayla is married and has a family. She is grateful for the work God continues to do in her life.
Tayla talks about her life today saying, "It's calling another alcoholic. It's being of service to someone. It's going to church. It's listening to worship music. It's doing the right thing. It's not running from God. It's when I do sin, which is about daily, letting Him know, 'Hey, I know you can see this already. Please help me figure out whatever it is you want me to do. Whatever I need to do to be a vessel for you, show me that. I know that that is my main purpose here, is to be your vessel, to be your child, and go on and spread your word. Show me how to do that today.'"
Tayla continues, "I mean, God never left me. I put a curtain up and built up some black demons around me and said, 'Not today, Lord,' but He was always there. So, the minute that I came back and said, 'I'm here, can I come home?' Of course, of course, He's so happy that I'm home."
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