In the Raw: What I know

It’s been 84 days since I had a haircut, ate in a restaurant, grocery shopped without concern of wearing a mask or obsessively sanitizing my hands, or (and here’s the doozy) my children have been in school.

I’m over screens – and thankfully school is done now. But let’s be honest, I’m just over it all.

I want to pull the storied thread out of the ball and skip forward in this story a few days, weeks or even months and get to the “good parts”. But there is no ball with a magic thread and there’s no fast-forwarding any of this.

April brought heartbreak for my girl as she faced the cancellation of her week on Mackinac Island as an Honor Scout. Then the call saying camp completely cancelled their entire summer program. No horses. No next year of growing in her leadership skills. No fun experiences gained through hard work. She was devastated. I was so hoping that somehow there could be a solution so the kids could still have this “normalcy” with such an insane school year.

Mother’s Day found me packing for a sudden trip to Pennsylvania to visit my mom who has aggressive stage 3 breast cancer. It was unnerving driving the Ohio Turnpike and seeing only 3 other mini-vans the entire 10 hour trip. Not to mention… each Starbucks I found in those glorious Ohio Service Centers was being dismantled.

The push to find normal began reaching an obsessive level. I desperately wanted something that wasn’t going to have the floor drop out from under me. Safe.

I wanted to rail at executive orders and blame people in government, but I found myself listening again to the words I spoke to my 13 year old. If we truly believe God is sovereign… what does that mean in this situation?

It’s easy to wave away that question as one would an ugly old buzzer fly that does not comprehend personal space. Yet, it forces us to face the Truth.

If I truly believe God is sovereign, it means I know He is still controlling those in authority who make decisions I don’t like. Also, I can hold both the hard stuff and hope in the same trembling hands and trust Him to give me what I truly need.

I began writing this pre-riots. In all the newsfeeds what got my attention the most was images of people (every variety and hue possible) walking together with arms linked because they recognize the canyon of inequity.

I wear my privilege right out in the open every single day. It covers me and I’m so blind to it. Writing those words feels so ugly, but sometimes ugliness needs to be in black and white so it can be seen, then faced.

If I believe God is sovereign, what in the world can that possibly mean here? Let me be very clear: racism is truly ABHORRENT to God. The person who doesn’t look like you bears the same image of the God who created you.

Sovereignty? God knew this would come to a head.

So let’s root it out and call it out. Let’s not be content to let normal settle back on top of us stifling the growth.

Take a deep breath and ask someone who faces racism every day. Ask how you have made them feel less. Don’t defend. Just listen and then act.

Don’t 2 Chronicles 7:14 this. We are not the nation in that passage. (I’ve been waiting to let that one out!)

Face the ugliness. Stop and feel. Know someone else’s pain. Act when ugly words are heard. Refuse to ignore racist comments for the sake of peace.

Guys, I don’t have this all figured out. It’s just one day after another… but there is one thing I do know.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24 – ESV

It doesn’t say to “positive thinking” your way out of every hard situation or feeling. It says remember what is true.

All of this stuff is hard: cancer, being home, Covid, racism, but God isn’t any less because of it.

He loves me. He doesn’t give up on me when I screw up.

My hope isn’t based on anything I do. My hope is only on the fact that He loves me. Every day. Even in the middle of the ugly and awful and hopeless.

I hold tight to it when I want to close my eyes to the things that hurt His heart. It directs me to action because love always does.

That’s all I know.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

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