Yearbooks and Elections

It’s Election night in the good ol’ USA and I just feel….. sad.

I feel sad that 2020 was a thing.

I feel sad that people chose their political opinions over their relationships with friends and families.

I feel sad that people fought over whether to wear a mask or not.

I feel sad that everything had to turn political and nasty this year.

I feel sad that it’s November and everything still feels just like it did in March, when the outbreak hit.

I just feel…… sad.

I feel sad that everyone keeps looking forward to this year being over. Ehem….. What if 2021 is just more of the same? Or, God forbid….. worse?!

But I think the thing that makes me the most sad is how I’ve witnessed people talking to one another.

I’m over here trying to teach my sons to treat people with respect, because every human is made in the image of God. But then I turn on the TV or social media and I see people on both sides of the aisle just absolutely ripping each other a new one for thinking differently from them.

BOTH. SIDES. I’ve seen and read and heard venom in both red and blue.

Did it ever occur to any of us that we could be WRONG?

Yes, I said it. You could be wrong. I could be WRONG.

About so many things……

I AM wrong about so many things.

I feel like humility and gentleness has no place in society these days. And it just makes me…. sad.

Allow me to call myself out real quick. Because I believe I need to share this so I can truly begin to forgive myself.

A few weeks ago I was way up on my high horse. No, scratch that. I was on a soap box, which I had put on top of the tall horse. I was so far up, looking down my nose at all these jokers around me, passing judgement on how if people would just be KIND and GENTLE, and GOOD to one another we would be in a much better place.

I was going on and on about how disgusted I was with everyone. I was telling Chip all about how everyone needed to truly start seeing each other and listening to one another.

And then I was stopped dead in my tracks.

Be careful when you start getting all judgey and “holier than thou”. God can (and will) knock the crap out of you with a 2×4 labeled: HUMILITY.

I was looking through a pile of things my mom had given me from my childhood and I came across some old yearbooks. As I flipped through the pages I saw an awkward little insecure Stephanie. I thought of the mean girls and the cruel boys and all the laughing behind my back and I felt so sorry for that little girl.

**insert pity party here**

Then I got to some from when I was a bit older.

My jaw dropped to the floor and I felt my hands go clammy and my mouth got really dry.

The things I had scribbled in the margins of those pages about my classmates.

The cruel, hateful words about others who I’d had beef with. It was straight up, Regina-George-Mean-Girls-Burn-Book up in my living room.

I stood there as a 35 year old woman, looking at words in MY handwriting from 20+ years ago and I felt sick to my stomach.

I had been talking to Chip and the boys and I stopped dead in my tracks. I quickly closed the books and declared bed time for all. I got weird and emo and Chip was probably like, “what the…….???”

As I laid next to my little Bob-Bob’s sweet 3 year old self I cried silent tears and begged God to forgive me. I begged Him to help me forgive myself. I couldn’t BELIEVE that I had written those things.

I was completely wrecked.

I realized that I’ve been over here thinking I’m the pillar of goodness. I thought I was so completely above all the slander and hateful talk. I thought I was better than all the bickering on social media. After all, I haven’t engaged in any of it outwardly.

Inwardly? Different story.

In the quiet of my mind I have thought about how much smarter I am than certain people. I’ve thought about how misinformed others are and how if they were just more like me then this world would be a much better place.

Have you ever thought these things too?? Or is it just me??

I pictured my handwriting. I pictured the words I had used against other people, created in God’s image. I could have literally thrown up.

I’m surprised I didn’t. I’m pretty extra like that.

This year has been a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster of loving quarantine and getting more family time, and being home. A rollercoaster of feeling all the things and confronting depression and temptation and staring old habits in the face and praying in the name of Jesus to resist those old demons.

All year I’ve thought about how disgusting it is to talk crap on Facebook to family and friends because they did or didn’t wear a mask. They voted for Trump or they voted for Biden. They think this or they think that.

When all along I’ve had those yearbooks just waiting in a closet, the mean words festering away on the pages, collecting dust, just waiting to remind me that I am not above anyone.

The truth is that we are ALL capable of being mean and cruel and hateful. We can ALL fall prey to pride, and thinking we’re too good for certain things. Too “above” certain sins.

Thank God for Jesus and for grace and for second chances and new days and fresh starts. Thank God for forgiveness and for reality checks and for big old humble kicks in the butt.

So no, I’m not mad anymore at what I’ve witnessed these last 8 months. I’m just so incredibly saddened.

And when I feel sad and blue like this I turn to the only Hope I know.

The song below has meant so much to me the last few months. It speaks into how even though we fall short, even when we mess up, even when we fall to pride or whatever your “thing” is, God can turn it around. He turns ashes to beauty. Graves into Gardens.

There are a couple things I need you to see in the video below:

1: Please allow me to lighten the mood for a moment…. I feel like it’s worth you watching if for the soul purpose of Brandon’s hair. I can only imagine this is what Samson’s hair was like… I need to know so many things. What products does he use?? How is it so healthy?? So full??? How long has he been growing those stunning locks?

I need answers!!!!

2: I want to be in a room again, mask-less, full-on, hands raised, bawling my eyes out with all of these people.

Hell, I just wanna be a in a room mask-less.

Truly, above all, I want to be in a public space, have a good sneeze into the wide open air and no one around me to run away in fear. That is the honest truth. The deep yearnings of my heart.

Who would have thought 8 months ago that would be a legitimate heart’s desire request?!

Please, COVID, I need you to go home. You’re drunk. You’re belligerent. No one even likes you. You’re the worst kind of “Karen” imaginable. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

3: Enjoy.

My prayer is that the Healer and Redeemer of all things covers you in grace and peace and joy and mercy as you listen to this. He’s given me all those things, even in the midst of being so incredibly mad and sad about what’s happened to society. Even in the hurt, even in the pain, there CAN be joy and peace.

And no matter what happens in the hours to come with this election outcome, God is still on the Throne and He is still in complete control…. Even when we can’t see it.

Let’s all take a deep breath, show extra kindness to one another, and remember that no matter what we’ve done, His Grace covers it all.


2 thoughts on “Yearbooks and Elections”

  1. Wow, so much to say to this but this was so wonderful, healing, and humbling at the same time. All the things you said I was like, “Yes! I feel that way!” The word Humility is worth more than anything right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie, I’ve been waiting for you to start writing again and I was so excited when I got the message with your new post. Thank You, from the bottom of my heart for giving me the kick in the butt that I needed and deserved! Lets be honest, this has been a year that none of us will ever forget. Larry and I kept getting knocked down over and over and each time as we would start to pick ourselves up we would get knocked right back down. I got angry! Straight up, Angry! I was blaming everyone except the one who should have been blamed and that is the devil himself. Just like you I have been judging others in my heart and thinking that because I had never done this or that, that I was a better person than these people. WRONG!!!! I have failed not only God but myself time and time again. I too, have been having a big ol’ pity party for myself. I choose to look back at 2020 as the year that my life began. Forgiving myself has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do and right now, today, I choose to forgive myself, Cindy. I was lost, broken, and a hot mess prior to April of 2018. But, Larry and I found our family, Chase Oaks church and our lives began to change. We found our way back to each other and most importantly back to God! I hope Stephanie, that you can truly forgive yourself like I am choosing to do. We are human and we will always make mistakes but we are also God’s children and that means we are forgiven! This year in our lives, mine and Larry’s is the year that Love, Grave, Forgiveness, and new beginnings happened! Stephanie, you truly are an Inspiration and such a Blessing! Never, stop being YOU, because you ROCK!!! I will be in the front row at church the first night that we don’t have to wear the masks any longer singing my heart out and Thanking and Praising God for ALL that HE has done and is continuing to do in mine and Larry’s lives!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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