Like so many Americans, I'm feeling a little unsettled today. Elections have a way of doing that, but the stakes have never been higher. In many ways, I feel like we're fighting for more than just the continued safety of our great nation that was founded on Christian principles with God at the helm. I feel like we're fighting for everything I've ever held dear, family, the right to express how I feel, worship the way I desire, work to build my own part of the American dream, protect the lives of the innocent, have the money I need to survive on as a senior citizen with a less than substantial income, not have history be rewritten or repeated and feel truly at peace in a world that seems to have lost any semblance of sanity. I applaud those who have been able to speak out in defense of the things they value and love in the face of severe criticism and even the loss of their lives. My tears are real as I feel the need to say goodbye to so much of what I remember about daily living. I never thought I would live to see so many prophesies being fulfilled at such a rapid rate.
But I know I can't give way to fear, regardless of what happens. The outcome of this election is not going to change who I am inside, how I feel about the things I value or the positive way I chose to conduct my life. I will still smile and talk to people I don't know, spend time with family and friends and pursue interests I find challenging and meaningful. I will listen to uplifting music, pray for those who need help and remember that we're all brothers and sisters created by the same loving God who cares for each of us equally. And I will find a way to be happy when I'm feeling down because I know who will win this war against good and evil, even if a few major battles are lost.
There is a stone sitting on my deck. A craftsman cut an image of a father holding his son's hand onto the smoothly, polished surface. Three simple words stand beside it - Expect a miracle. I still believe in them, regardless of the fact that so many of the ones I hoped for throughout my life never happened. For example, I kept believing that one of the babies I was trying to carry would survive until I was forced to have an emergency hysterectomy just weeks after having another miscarriage that now numbered in the teens. The doctor found eight tumors in my uterus that were in different stages towards malignancy. I never considered all of the ramifications back then. I was in too much pain. But sitting here today, I realize that had I carried that last baby it may have been too late to save my life from all the cancer that was growing inside. Maybe that tragic event had to happen so I could raise the two, beautiful children God had already sent to me in a different way. After all, I just wanted to be a mother, and that gift had not been denied.
So you see, we don't always understand what miracles really are, or how each challenge we face will help us grow. I never thought I would survive after my mother blamed me for the accident that nearly claimed my brother's life. I was five and he was three. I was supposed to be watching him, but he still made it to the field and tried to climb on the tractor behind our father. He wasn't seen, and when the tractor lunged forward, the blades of the tandem disk ran over his body, pinning him to the ground. With superhuman strength, my father lifted the disk with one hand and pulled him out with the other. My little brother spent six weeks in a coma, and an entire life in pain because he remained partially paralyzed and could never do the things other people took for granted. But the positive influence, and the help he has given others, cannot be measured. I often wonder about the real miracle that was set in motion that heart-wrenching day. Maybe the accident could have been avoided, but at what cost to all the lives of the people involved? Not one of us has ever been bitter or angry enough to take out our frustrations or agony on anyone else.
We will survive the coming days, regardless of how hard and painful they might be, as long as we never lose sight of who is really in charge. God will not be mocked, and everything he has proclaimed will come to pass. If we want to remain on his side, we can't allow ourselves to be led away from what we believe. Nor can we stoop to some of the actions of others who think it's okay to harm, destroy or blame others simply because they have different opinions. We are in this together as a nation, and we will rise or fall together. I just hope we can all keep that in mind during the coming days when tempers flare, and we need to decide how we're going to react. Personally, I don't want to become anyone different than the woman I am today - unless it's learning how to be more like my Savior.