In the past, I have said:
I quit sharing when you quit listening.
When I felt that my story was not heard, I went silent.
When sharing my feelings and my story was met with judgment, condemnation, and unsolicited advice rather than tender loving care and Christ-like grace, I found tender loving care and Christ-like grace…elsewhere.
I have had some close people in my life who thought they were helping me by trying to offer advice. They tried to “fix” me, instead of offering to just listen to me share what it was like to walk in these “shoes.”
I have had some close people in my life who were so disappointed in me, they walked away instead of listening to my perspective, my story. A few of them wrote me letters telling me of their disappointment and hurt, feeling justified to share scripture and righteous wisdom in order to hasten my repentance.
For some people in my life whom I thought were good friends or close family, they went silent and chose to ignore the battle I faced. I understood, although I was heartbroken. They didn’t know what to say. It was easier to just go silent. I’ve done that to others…
Tomorrow makes me weary. Listening to really good people make ugly comments about this candidate or that candidate is so discouraging.
I told someone the other day that I am just as guilty of thinking one way versus the opposing view, simply because I pay attention to the hate and the internet and the news…and I do not know Donald or Hillary, but God does.
Hillary is His child.
Donald is His child.
And I suspect that deep down, they are both trying to do what they believe is best for our country.
I also know that, according to what I have heard and read, they have done things in their past that they most likely regret. Me too.
Until I sit down and have a conversation with either of them, HEAR THEIR STORY, and walk one step in their shoes, I have no business spreading negativity and hatred and disgust and unkind words. Whoever is my President tomorrow, I owe them a chance, I owe them many chances, because it isn’t going to be easy, and they are going to need me and millions of other followers of Jesus to practice the fruits of the Spirit and carry out the instructions from Micah 6:8.
I am grateful for a lot swimming around in my head today.
I am grateful that I am where I am, that even though it was a long hard road, I can hold my head high, knowing I am forgiven, I am loved, and I am surrounded with the friends and family who cared enough to hear my story before offering judgment.
I am grateful for my friends and my family who are interested enough to ask, and I am grateful for the reminders to be the kind of person who asks others to share their story, because sometimes I get so caught up in my own, I become one who unintentionally goes silent and ignores.
I am grateful for dreary days to appreciate a roof over my head and a warm blanket.
I am grateful for a Sunday message that continues to nudge on my heart.
I am grateful for a day without the TV on, a day without the radio on.
I am grateful for a cheese and bacon sandwich for lunch.
And I am grateful that tomorrow is a new day, a new era of possibilities for our country, and another opportunity for me to wear love everywhere I go.