Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After

I woke up this morning, like most of the world, terrified to tap the Facebook app on my phone.
Dreading that first scroll through the dark, murky sea (or newsfeed rather) of a post presidential election. Where literally the entire world is free to expose all of their unfiltered thoughts and feelings and we are all susceptible to them.
I opened my eyes and was immediately aware of the pit in my stomach. The feeling of uncertainty as I dared to see who we would call our new president (since admittedly I spent last night watching season seven of Gilmore Girls and avoiding all of this.)
I laid in bed shocked as I realized that Trump had won it. He would actually be the next leader of our country.
I should pause here as you are probably beginning to think that this is an anti-Trump/Pro-Hillary post.
It's not.
The truth is, for me anyways, the pit in my stomach this morning would have remained had I seen a newsfeed full of Hillary winning.

I am not writing this as
a female
a white person
an American
a conservative
an expat
or a pastor
I am a white, American, conservative, female pastor.

I am a female who did not prefer to elect the first female president this time around, though I very much would love to someday.
I am a white person who very much loves living amongst people of color and immersing myself in other cultures and languages and traditions.
I am an American who is thankful for the opportunities her nation has given but isn't quite sure she'll stick around for forever. Who wishes she could still be proud of where she's from and not only thankful.
I am a conservative with a very open mind and heart and a deep love and passion for people.
I am an expat who adores foreign lands and building bridges and not walls. Who dreaded facing the lovely Mexican people today whom I work with and teach and love very much...somehow trying relay to them that not every American hates them.
I am a pastor who hates religion and wishes so much more of Jesus and His truth and light and love for this world.

But I am not writing as any of those.

I am writing this as a child of God.
From one of His children to many others.
You may identify me as American or white, or conservative, or religious, or a woman,
but my identity has always and will always be firmly rooted in Christ.

I am writing this because this is how I process, and because I realize this is a historical moment in my generation. Because someday my children will ask me about this, and I have to be able to take them back here. And honestly, because when it all seems so messy and unbearable, I have to be able to come back here myself. To this truth that I know and cling to in moments like these.

A lot changed over night.
So much.
The world has been a scary place for a while and this morning it's a little scarier somehow.

I will openly admit that I am by no means super informed or interested in political matters. Perhaps that is wrong of me. But it is who I am.
Yes I woke up this morning a little discontented with the results (which I would have been either way) but for me, not much has changed really.

I want to be clear.
I am a Christian.
I do not live my life for religion or around a set of religious rules and regulations.
I live my life for Christ.
For the sake of His name and His purpose being known to all.
Because I long for the world to know His love and His truth that has forever changed me.

My faith has never been in government.
A nation.
An important or powerful leader.
The government does not keep me safe or healthy or secure.
They can try.
But in the end, they cannot.
It is a false sense of security to believe that they can or that they will.
Nor do they dictate what I believe.
My faith and my security has always been in Jesus.
It is my faith in Him that allows me to sleep each night in peace and safety and His hand that protects and heals me.
And so when I woke up this morning, the leader of my nation had changed, but the foundation of my life had not and will not no matter how many more awful elections I may live to see.

And by the way, the last time I checked, awful leadership has never stopped God from working. In fact, He often worked through it to do great things!
Let's take for example Jesus.
He certainly found a way to "do his thing," in spite of tyrannical leaders, oppressive governments and greedy world powers all around.
He literally saved the world while the Roman empire bullied its way right along.
So let's not make excuses, friends.

It's like my parents always taught me,
"You are responsible for you."
Perhaps you cannot fully control who the next leader of America is. Perhaps you hate it. Perhaps you are incredibly angry with the things that he says and does.
So do what you can.
Be responsible for you.
You can be kind.
You can be compassionate.
You can spread love instead of hate fight for justice where there is none.
You can raise your voice for the voiceless and you can stand for what is right even when leadership does not.

In the end, Trump will stand before God and he will be accountable for every mean spirited, bigoted, hateful thing he ever said publicly or in private and for all of the other sins that he committed.
In the end, Hillary will stand before God and she will be accountable for all of the lies and corrupt power trips.
But guess what.
In the end, you and I will stand there too, and we will be accountable for all of the times we slammed one of the above instead of praying for them and for all of the awful ways that we judged them.
Saying awful things about a person is the same whether they are in the same room with you or on a world stage. For the record. (And oh, am I guilty of this right about now)
Because in the end, we are all the same. Hillary and Trump and you and me.
We are all children of God. Created in His image. Fallen. Sinful. Imperfect.
All with the opportunity to find Him and know Him and make our lives count for Him somehow.

Maybe this is all just a lot of rambling.
So be it.
It's my rambling and my processing and my sorting.

If you walk away from this with anything at all, let it be this.

Find Him. Know Him. Trust Him.
As long as your faith and your focus are anywhere else, this world is only going to get messier and scarier. As long as you are waiting for a Trump or a Hillary or whoever comes next to set things right and sort it all out, you're going to wake up every four years pretty empty and disappointed.

This morning, there was a pit in my stomach, but there was hope in my heart. Lots and lots of hope.

Hope because Jesus is first in my heart and He was long before Donald Trump and He will remain long after. Hope because He is more than able to work wonders in all of our messes. Hope because He hasn't changed and He won't change and come what may, He'll be exactly who He says He is.
Hope because put plainly and simply,
I'm with Him.

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