Have you ever been asked the question, "How are you doing, and the programed response you've used all day long was- good, great, going well, awesome, blessed, I can't complain....? I was thinking the other day that these are sometimes my go to phrases and responses to that question. Now let me ask how often you have asked that question to others and really don't even pay full attention to the answer because you are just expecting one of the typical responses above? Im guilty! No I'm not necessarily expecting someone to pour out their heart each time I ask that question or give me some sad detailed story buuut would it really be so bad occasionally for people to feel like they can be genuine in their responses? (S/N-if those responses really do explain how you feel-Im not referring to you haha) For example yesterday, Im sure I was asked several times at church how I was doing and Im about 100% sure I said a few of my go to lines to many people, but if I was being vulnerable some of my actual responses would have been more like: exhausted, emotional, confused, conflicted, waiting to hear from God, feeling pulled in multiple directions, and I have some big decisions to make. Honestly a couple of those feelings came over me just from an experience that occurred at church.
Why is there this need for everyone to always look like they have it all together? Don't look or seem fragile, don't share what is really going on in your life Heaven forbid we actually experience issues and or conflicts in life. I feel like one of the worst things I can do is pretend that I have it all together. I would hate for people to look at me as a person, wife, mother, friend and think WOW she has it ALL figured out because I truly don't!! I'm always making mistakes and lately Im a bit of a basket case when it comes to figuring out my life. I often wonder if God probably chuckles at me when he sees how all over the place I am, all MY hardcore planning/ ideas that jump all over the place, coupled with my limited listening skills when he is trying to help guide me. I know it's exactly what I do when my own child Malachi, asks me for something and then tries to boss me through the whole process and I'm thinking "girl just let me handle this-I know what Im doing." ;)
I'm typically an open book. I have to say after a lot of crazy and hard times from my youth, a time in my life when I didn't want stand out from the crowd and I just wanted to be "normal" (whatever that is??), I eventually found my place and voice. I finally got beyond myself and realized that my story and experiences can actually help others. I also realized that my testimony is the best way to share my faith. I know that God had been watching over me all these years even though some of my experiences were hard and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemies. The fact that I am still standing today can only be explained through my faith in God, because I know I could have taken a much different path in life without him. Being a self-discloser has also helped me build REAL relationships with others and some of my favorite people are so open and real about life.
Sure I want to live my life and experience the JOY that only God gives, so that my feelings and/or mood isn't contingent upon what is going on in life around me- but I'm also human! The next time you either ask or are asked "How are you doing," I want you to remember that even if things are perfect in your life, someone else may be experiencing a lost job, a exhaustion from a newborn baby, issues at work, financial strain, extended family issues, relationship expectations, student loan woes, and the list goes on. Also just because someone may say things are good, doesn't mean we can't always be praying for them anyways.
So we officially have a new President elect- Donald Trump. Yes I am shocked at the outcome in the sense that I just wasn't expecting him to win; although I am not naive enough to believe that he didn't have a chance in the world we live in. I really just don't have the energy to truly express he level of anger and frustration because I don't like conflict, and really at this point what would it change now (although I do understand people's need to do so). Im not a super political person because honestly politics is frustrating to me in general. I just don't have a lot of trust for most politicians and there are too much behind the scenes corruptness/fakeness that I will never really understand. So when it comes to voting in Presidential elections I just cannot say wholeheartedly that I am Republican or Democrat but I will say in this election I just could not ever allow myself to vote for someone who has spewed so much racism, sexism, and hatred for others. I don't vote just based on party labels, I go off who is running and who I feel is the better candidate at the time, I then exercise my right to vote, and let God handle the rest.
Everyone has the right to vote for whoever they want and I've always been a person who tries to see both sides of situations but it hurts when some people just can't understand or even admit that some horrible things were said and done by Trump. I try as much as possible to stay off social media b/c I would probably delete half of my "friends" (Most of which are Christians) at the horrible things said that would only create more hate in the world. Ultimately I believe God is the one who is leading me and the country and I'm 100% positive God knew that Donald Trump would be our next President and trust me there have been worst "rulers" in biblical times. Ultimately many people one way or the other was going to be upset at the outcome of this election for many different reasons. It is however not fair or right for people to assume and expect others to "just get over it" especially when if we look over the past eight years many people are still not over President Obama being voted President either.
Sure, I felt heaviness in my heart the day of the election, but honestly all the racism, sexism and hatred that I saw during his campaign was unfortunately already in the world. It was definitely brought out more freely in the open (which was absolutely disgusting to watch) but those particular people (NOT ALL REPUBLICANS) were that way before Trump and will be after Trump too. All I can control right now is how I react and what I decide to do to move forward, which lately has been biting my tongue...A LOT! I can only pray for him as President. When Barack Obama was President I was always completely confused to how angry people (ESPECIALLY Christians) can be and the lack of basic respect they had for him at POTUS. Even if you didn't vote for him, like what he has done in office, or like him as a person ultimately he was the President and at the VERY LEAST respect that. Am I happy that Donald Trump is President?...absolutely NOT...but am I going to do the same exact thing I watched people do to Obama for eight years...nope but I will say at least give people time to fully grasp how it may affect their lives! At this point, I can only give him a chance to prove himself one way or another and if he succeeds he succeeds and if he fails then let it be what it is.
My women's devotion: 5 Minutes with Jesus- Making Today Matter by Sheila Walsh surprisingly landed on "Worshipping in the Dark" the day after the election. Luke 7: 23 "Blessed is the one who is not offended by me". It talked about when John the Baptist was being held in the dungeon of King Herod's palace and the doubts and lies that were probably swirling around in his mind; "What if you got it all wrong John? What if you identified the wrong man? Besides where is Jesus now?" This was a great reminder to me. Just because I follow Jesus, doesn't mean that all the things in life is going to work out the way I want or that things will be easy or even make sense. It is scary what is going on in the world today and it would be amazing for people to try to think about others. Just because you don't experience racism, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Its important that IF you are friends with people of different races, that you ask questions and genuinely have open dialogue about how it may affect them because I think you would be surprised what you find out. I know my husband and I have only had less than a handful of people ever have an open conversations w/ us about race and those people are very special to us and they feel like they truly care.
In the end my role right now is to be a Christ follower, to be the light in darkness and to not join in on all the craziness and hatred shown in the world. I don't know what is in store for the next several years, but I do know WHO is really leading the country- God! Sure I have many fears or concerns, but lets just try to focus on God and take this day by day.