Fear and Hatred in America

Donald trump hatred anger election blog post

I am baffled. I am disillusioned. I’m super confused. And there’s one word that can sum up all my feelings…TRUMP.

Donald trump hatred anger election blog post
Photo from BusinessInsider.com

Someone please explain to me what the actual hell is happening in our country right now? How can anyone get behind the hate-mongering that Donald Trump has been spreading since the beginning of his campaign. Are we so desperate for something different that we’ll just accept the first racist, bigot that comes along and shouts…”Make America Great Again.” Sounds a lot like “Make America White Again” to me.

It’s true. America is a great nation. A nation of freedom and opportunity, where a person with a dream can come here and have a chance at seeing it realized. What will happen when we start erecting walls and kicking people out? What kind of dreams can we expect from a nation that is ruled by fear and hatred instead of dreams and aspirations.

I don’t like to get overly political in my blog posts. This is a happy place where I like to gush about Star Wars and Disney and Marvel and Jane Austen. A place where happy thoughts live. It’s hard to think happy thoughts when the prospect of a Trump presidency is even remotely possible.

The scene at his victory rally in South Carolina can be described as nothing short of scary. Trump shouts, “Mexico is killing us — absolutely. We’ll do the wall. Don’t worry. We’re going to do the wall. We’re going to do the wall and by the way, who’s going to pay for the wall?”

And the crowd shouts, “MEXICO!” 

Adolph Hitler Trump blog post
Photo from Humanismandculture.com

This scene conjures up the image of a young charismatic Adolph Hitler screaming about how the Jews were killing the Germans. That they needed to be eradicated. People adored Hitler and believed Hitler and were devoted to Hitler. The way people adore and believe and are devoted to Trump. They take his words as truth. And no matter what he says, they give him passes. They let the bar drop a little more every day. And no, I don’t think the comparison is undeserved or harsh. I think it’s spot on.

If you believe that Donald J. Trump is a follower of Christ, then I call into question your definition of a Christian. Christ spoke of peace. He spread words of love. He talked about loving God above all else and loving our neighbors second of all.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12: 30-31

Mark 12:30-31 The Bible love God, love your neighbor
Photo from Slideshare.net

No commandment greater than these. Guess who our neighbors are…

The thing about harkening back to the golden age when America was “great” and ISIS didn’t exist…America was not without troubles in the “golden age.” Women didn’t have rights, African American’s didn’t have rights. Anyone other than white males didn’t have rights. There was a Civil War. There was slavery. There were 2 World Wars. There were concentration camps on American soil for the Japanese. There were assassinations and an arms race with Russia. There was a war in Vietnam and a war in Korea. Let us not forget the struggles that America has gone through to get to where we are today. America will never be without troubles.

See, we live in a sinful world. Plain and simple. And as long as we are humans, that sin will remain. The best we can hope to do is confront that sin with understanding and love. Not anger and suspicion and hatred. That’s not the kind of country I want to be a part of. That’s not the country I love. When America becomes something unrecognizable, what will we do to change the tide? What will be required of it’s citizens to uphold the freedoms that all men and women deserve?

America was never without greatness…what America are you living in, Mr. Trump?

The Nerd Returns to the City

“Well… I didn’t expect that!”

I was so sure that the tears I’d cried over leaving New York were because deep down I wanted to go back. I wanted my life back. I wanted what was familiar and what had become “normal” for years.

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But there I was, back in the bright lights and I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin. I am not an anxious person and I’m not a worrier. But everything about being back made me feel anxious and made me worry. I was late to meet my friends. I was bustling along the streets. I was stuck on the train that seemed like it would never move.

This was the life I’d lived for the past 8+ years. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer (and let’s just be honest…it was always for poorer.) This was how I’d lived. Blissfully unaware of the madness of the city because I’d become a part of the madness. I was the madness. I understood it and it had become a part of me. I fell in love with it. (Read about That Time I Fell in Love)

The first weeks back in Florida, I had a frog permanently living in my throat. I was on the verge of crying every single day. My mom asked me if I wanted to sing at church and I burst into tears saying, “It’s too soon! It’s not the Journey.” My friends suggested I try online dating to get over a certain person I may tell you about someday, but I burst into tears just reading the profiles saying, “It’s too soon! I’m not ready.” I drove out to the beach and even that didn’t feel right at first (despite what my Instagram portrayed) and I cried the whole way back saying, “It’s just not New York. It doesn’t feel right!”

Everything seemed to be a pressure point. Everything seemed to set me off. So, here was my chance. To make the choice to stay on the path God called me to walk on or to turn back around and run to something comfortable. It’s funny to call New York comfortable. It’s the least comforting city I’ve ever lived in. Surrounded by 8 million people and constantly alone. But when you acclimate to something it does feel comforting to be a part of it. So New York was the comfort and Florida was the challenge?? What an unexpected outcome!

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I was truly shocked by this panic attack. I’ve never even had a panic attack before, so I can’t be sure that’s what I was experiencing. But my heart was racing and I couldn’t breath… so I started to pray.

To be honest with you, I’ve been mad at God. Why did he call me to leave my beloved city? Why did he bring me down to Florida where my purpose is still being figured out? Where my friends and family already have their lives figured out down here?

I decided at some point that I was too angry to listen. I decided that I was going to make my own way!

If you’ve ever gone your own way, you’d know it’s not the right move! I know it’s not the right move and one restless night God hit me hard with the news that I was supposed to be listening! And this feeling that I felt in New York was just confirmation that I’d made the right choice in listening to God. That moving was His plan, not mine. And that my new challenge was to listen for the next light he shines in front of me instead of buying batteries for my flashlight and finding my own path.

It’s not a revelation. It’s not new information! It’s just a daily reminder that I need to constantly turn my eyes up to Him. And a daily reminder that I am right where I need to be. Even if it’s hard! Especially if it’s hard! And trust me…it’s been hard.

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2014: A Year in Review

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It’s funny how fast things can change. January 2014 started out hopeful. I was on the verge of starting some new projects. I had finally abandoned making resolutions that I was never going to live up to. I had accepted New York as my home (which was a very big deal.) I had a new hairdo (picture above.) And overall I felt really good about the year. I’d chosen the word Bold to start my year off and I was already on track to make that word a reality!
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But things change. I was in a blind spot and I couldn’t see what was about to happen. After an entire year to process these events, I won’t rehash them now. I’ll only tell you what came out of this very dark time in my life. And after these things happened, I didn’t think I could ever be Bold again.

Prior to what I can only describe as a life-changing moment, I had begun to rely on myself and my own ideas and dreams. Which can be big and beautiful and wonderful. But nothing I dream up comes from me. It all comes from God. And I had forgotten that. And when we forget such important things, God will take any opportunity to make sure we remember. He took my pride and allowed it to be torn away. He took the things I thought were true and allowed them to be turned upside down. He stripped away the people I had always trusted and turned to for everything and instead reminded me to turn to Him first and foremost!! And I am better for it.

After January, I sought out a Christian counselor and got some wonderful help. It was not the lowest I’d ever been, but I was pretty low. And I just have to say that if you are facing a challenging season of your life… go get some outside help. You cannot do it alone. Turn to God and then turn to the leaders you know and get the help you may need!
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8 weeks of counseling helped me to clarify a whole lot of things. 8 weeks of counseling helped me find out what it means to be truly Bold. 8 weeks of counseling taught me that I can’t do it alone, I can only do life with God at my side. My pride was overwhelming before that. And after that, I knew that it’s only in my weaknesses that true strength can be found.

I started writing more music. I started working on the scripts to what is now my fun and awesome web series. I started writing children’s books again and coming up with a million more ideas for my future. But all with the confidence that “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) Something I knew long ago and only had forgotten.

I wrote a song last year that I was able to share with some friends. Up until that point, I had written hundreds of songs that I never shared with anyone. But Christ allowed me to find my Boldness. God laid these lyrics on my heart and I want to share them with you all. And if you ever want to hear what it sounds like, I’d be happy to sing it for you.

Bring Me to My Knees

Bring me to my knees. Cause in my strength I fall.

It’s only in my weaknesses. That I give You my all

When I stand up on this mountain top I lift my eyes in praise

But the valley is where I learned to pray

When the water’s rising over me My soul is all but lost

That’s the time when I turn to you the most.

(Chorus)

When I bow my head to praise Your Name, Your grace, it covers me

When I step outside that grace I cannot breathe

But You reach Your hand back down for me

And pull me to Your love

And You whisper, “Child, I am enough”

(Chorus)

Jesus, Majesty! I bring my offering

Only to You I sing.

Jesus, Majesty! I stand on the mountaintop

My heart is Yours, Lord I lift You up.

2015 is starting out beautifully so far. But I know that nothing lasts forever (except Christ’s love, of course.) Tomorrow, things could fall apart. Tomorrow, tragedy could strike. But no matter what happens, I know my faith in Christ will see me through. I have been blessed with people who watch and enjoy my web series (if you aren’t watching yet, Click Here.People who read and enjoy my blog (if you aren’t reading yet, Click Here.) I’ve been blessed with a bevy of new ideas for the year to come and have chosen the word Today for my word of the year. As in “Seize the day” “No day but Today!” “Give thanks for this is the day the Lord has made.” And I can’t wait to see how God blesses this word for my life as well as this year! So stay tuned, cause I am determined to love life even more than I love it right now!!!
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So… what’s your word?