Thoughts on a Disappointing Day

Let me just preface this by saying that I started this blog as a place to record life events so I can look back and remember details, thoughts, feelings, etc with clarity. Hence - Shanks for the Memories. If you disagree or don't want to hear any more about politics, you can stop reading now. I'm not trying to incite or provoke anyone, so please don't turn it into that. Thanks. 

Loren and I have been extraordinarily interested in all things Presidential Election over the past few months. We didn't miss a single debate (even the primary debates) or keynote address at either party's National Convention. I think L read Politico on a daily basis and I listened to Rush Limbaugh on my lunch breaks. We would discuss the various reports and polls we'd heard almost every night.

As Election Day approached, I could tell there were butterflies mixed with rocks in my stomach every time I thought about it. As often as it crossed my mind, I prayed - knowing that the Lord already knew the results and that He certainly knows better than me what He's doing and how to do it. And so, my prayers would always end up being more like..."well, have your way, Lord."

Sometime on Monday, I decided that maybe being overly optimistic would be helpful. Positive thinking sure never hurt anybody, as far as I know. I even told Loren, "What if....we get everything we want? What if it ALL goes our way? Wouldn't that be amazing?" He laughed at me and then we both laughed because we knew that really wasn't gonna happen.

I woke up early on Tuesday without any alarm, just awake thinking about what a huge, historic day it was. Not in a conspiracy theory, the-world's-gonna-end, the-sky-is-falling kind of way, but just in a monumentous we-will-remember-this-the-rest-of-our-lives kind of way. You get me. It was big. And obviously, everybody else thought so, too, because lines at the polls were an hour long first thing in the morning.

Facebook statuses and tweets all day long about voting. People posting pics of their "I Voted" stickers. It was a fantastic display of Americans exercising their right and responsibility. I can't tell you how many times I started to write a status, or take a picture, or tweet something, but I just...couldn't. Everytime I tried, something told me No. Stop. (Ok, Lord). Honestly, it just felt like whatever I had to say wouldn't be helpful anyway, so I just posted the verse I had studied that day in Colossians, which seemed extremely appropriate for the day.

I voted after work, and an evening of watching election results commenced. Talk about stressful. What's especially annoying about watching election coverage is when state's are about 5% reporting and then whatever network you're watching decides to "project" a winner. So much speculation and chatter is exhausting. By about 8:30pm I couldn't take it anymore and started doing pushups and crunches on the living room floor.

By 10:00pm, I was reading Lysa TerKeurst's book Unglued, but still half way listening to election results. Let's be honest, at that point it wasn't looking any brighter, but I really wasn't in the mood to be upset. Choosing to read that specific book ("Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions" is the tagline) while the President won a second term was by far the best decision I made that day. While everything was going down the toilet conservatively speaking, I was reminded of truths that people are never our enemies, and that my feelings are indicators, not dictators. We always, always have a choice in how we act. Always. (I need to remember that more often)

But still, it's disappointing. My initial emotional response is to be sad and disappointed and a little frustrated. I don't understand why people want to act all discontent with how the country is moving and then basically vote for "No change" when given the chance. I woke up this morning thinking, "did all that really happen?" Not at all what I wanted, but I trust the Lord. I believe the Bible, I know that God is on the throne and will reign over earth forever and he doesn't need my help and He sure doesn't need me despairing over here about how awful it is in America.

I think how we deal with disappointment can be a great testimony to the Hope we have in Christ. I do not want to waste an opportunity to let other people see how I am handling disappointment, and not despairing or acting like there is no hope. I don't want other people to see me and think, "Man, when she doesn't get her way, she's not pretty!" I don't want people to see the Church and think that when we don't get our way, we are pretty miserable and mean. Truth is - aren't we pretty much told in Scripture we won't get our way while we're passing through on Earth, but it's okay and we're not to despair because we're on the winning team and the day Jesus gets HIS way is coming (which is far better, because it isn't about us)?

It seems to me that life on earth is full of disappointment and frustration, and the very fact that we live alongside other people guarantees that it will be dad gum FULL of not getting our way, and that's why there is so much joy and hope in Christ, because He promises to give us a future that is bright and better and spent in His presence (and wickedness - finally - loses!). The best of days are always ahead when we are in Christ. So, in the face of disappointment - do not despair. Jesus is coming. Maybe not within the next four years, but He promised He would return and He will be faithful. So until then, in His power, let's be faithful to Him in all things.