2016 has been the strangest election cycle of my lifetime, and I lived through the hanging chad fiasco of 2000.
I just couldn't take it anymore last night, so I made comfort food, watched an inspiring, non-political movie, and went to bed early. My politico husband repeatedly popped in to give me election updates, which I found both irritating and helpful. How could I hide from the reality of either a Clinton of Trump presidency when I kept hearing the result as each state was called? On the other hand, I really did want to know.
I need to be clear- I voted for Trump. But it was the hardest ballot I have ever cast. I thought of unborn babies, religious freedom, education options, healthcare, and then I pulled the trigger. My kids all voted third-party, but I am just too old and practical to be idealistic. I did the best with the choices given.
I have NO ILLUSIONS that now all will be well and the Republic restored. I sit this morning with a sober spirit, cognizant of the challenges that lie ahead for us. Our country sits on a precipice and we all must work together. Sipping my coffee and strolling through Facebook reveals the disparity of emotions and reactions among my own family and friends.
I find myself full of questions and concerns. How will we ever move forward? What can I do personally? After some soul searching, here is the battle plan I have come up with.
I am praying now. And when I am done, I will pray some more.
Never has it been so important to pray. The only actual hope for our country lies in the hands of God. It has never been in the power of a man or a woman to "fix" us. God is the Great Fixer and He alone can restore our hearts and our land.
Specifically I am praying for:
- Revival in the people- there is no political solution to our issues. Our solution only comes from Jesus.
- Trump to be surrounded by wise counselors- wise, frugal Secretaries of State, Education, Treasury, etc., could affect our lives much more than a President.
- Healing of the divides widened by this election- a fractured nation can never thrive.
- God to be merciful, forgiving, long-suffering, and patient with us for a little longer. Enough said.
- Respond Kindly to the Disappointed
I remember the depression I walked around in after Barack Obama won eight years ago. The apprehension about what would happen next almost overwhelmed me. This morning I may be very grateful that Hillary didn't win, but how do I respond to those who are heartsick about last night?
I WILL NOT gloat. I will be kind, give hugs, and go about my day speaking words that build rather than tear down. We need some collective healing as a nation. So, as far as it depends on me, I will be peaceful and dignified.
- Reach Across Racial Lines
I have grieved over the last few years as I observed racial divides deepening. One of the greatest concerns on social media this morning after the election comes from minorities. But what can little 'ole me do about such a systemic problem? How can I help?
On a practical level- I can't do much. But God has never asked me to do more than I can. He just requires I do ALL I can and trust in Him to do the rest. He is a "two fishes and 5 loaves" kind of God. He take my meager offerings and multiplies them beyond imagination.
I don't yet know what this will look like, but I am asking the Lord to give me creative ways to do what I can. Then I just have to be obedient enough to do ALL He reveals and leave the results to Him.
Before any results were in, I became convinced that there was NEVER A MORE IMPORTANT TIME to build: build hope, build lives, build the Kingdom.
Writing words of life, speaking words of admonition, loving my neighbors, serving the poor, helping unwed mothers, and participating in my church are some of the ways I can positively affect my world for good.
No finger pointing. No tearing down. Now is the time to build up.
- Take Care of Our Family
There has also never been a MORE IMPORTANT TIME than right now to actively forge loving, responsible families. As our families provide nurturing environments for kids to grow and elders to age, we do our own tiny part to taking strain off our national government. Governing ourselves well means we add life and health to our country.
So for my part I will not ask government to take care of me or mine. I will make dinner, help with math homework, pay taxes, and be an energy-giver to my community. It is simple, small, faithful acts that build a firm foundation. And without a firm foundation the whole structure will crumble.
We live in precarious times. We don't have time for half measures. We can't afford to go back to business as usual and hope the government takes care of things.
Here is my action plan: I will place my hope in the Lord and my faith in His plan.
I will place my hand over my heart and my shoulder to the plow.
America, we have a lot of work to do, and I pledge to do all I can for as long as I can to the best of my ability to the glory of God and building of His Kingdom.
Want to join me?