Pearls & Vodka

How Dare You Vote…

Well, here goes and with that being said, I know I stand to lose a friend or two after this post.

This morning while scrolling through Facebook I saw a quote that struck a chord with me, “We don’t have to agree on everything to be kind to one another.”  The author was not listed and honestly I have read so much today I cannot even recall which friend had posted it.  I find these words to be very powerful on this day.

I want to start out by saying, I love this country.  I love democracy.  I love my freedom to vote.  I love the political process, with all its stresses and problems.  I love history.  I love my African American friends (and husband).  I love my friends who are members of the LBGTQ community.  I love my friends who were not born in this country but have taken steps to join me in citizenship to the greatest nation on Earth. I love my fellow Republicans.  And I love my friends who are Democrats.

I want to also say that I am incredibly proud of some of my closest friends who worked tirelessly over the past few months for both Presidential candidates (as well as numerous Senate and Congressional races).  I am in awe of your dedication, your strength, your resolve and your passion.  I remember those days on the campaign trail fondly.

Here is where the rubber meets the road, brace yourselves.  Last Wednesday, while standing in the voting area here in Wilmington, North Carolina, I held my little boy in my arms and prayed with him over my ballot. I’ve never done that before.  First of all, this is his first election, but secondly typically my mind is made up far in advance of my actual voting.  But as I prayed with Judd I asked God to give me wisdom and to protect our country through His will being done.  And I firmly believe today, just as much as I did last week, that God is still sitting mightily on His throne and nothing has happened that He didn’t expect, even when the pollsters didn’t predict it.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I cast my vote for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America.  I realize some of you are about to hit the unfriend button on my Facebook page, and that is fine. I understand your anger, your frustration and your pain.  But what I would ask of you is to hear me out and have an open mind.

Let me start by telling you, I am not a racist.  I am married to a strong, African American man who I love with my whole heart and I could not be more proud of anything in my life than I am of being his wife.  I am also not a bigot.  One of my very best friends in the entire world is a homosexual.  I love him as much, often times more, than I love some of my heterosexual friends.  I want all the wonderful things for his life that I have experienced in the past few years including marriage and starting a family.  Deplorable is defined as being shockingly bad in quality.  If you are my friend on Facebook, you clearly know me.  I would hope that over my 33.5 years on this Earth, even with my  mistakes, you have seen that I do have some redeeming qualities and I cannot therefore be considered a “deplorable” human being.

In a statement today, Ellen DeGeneres (one of my absolute favorites) said, “And I believe we can all come together because if you take away the labels, you realize we’re far more alike than we are different.”  You see I am probably more similar to those of you who voted for Hillary Clinton than you’d like to recognize today.  I am first, and foremost, a believer in my Lord Jesus Christ.  I mention that to say that I have complete faith that He is in control of this world, no matter how we view the election results.  I’d challenge those of you who said early on last night that you were “leaving it up to God” to realize your later statements of dread and hate do not equal up.  We are tasked as believers to have faith, even when we don’t see the way.

The truth is today, I do believe that love trumps hate.  I actually love that saying.  But it has to stretch further than just one particular campaign’s usage.  If love trumps hate, it trumps all hate, that includes the hate being spread through social media today-on both sides.

I am also a wife and a mother.  I am raising a child of mixed ethnicity.  I am married to a black man.  I get the fear that exists based on racial issues.  But I have to trust my Savior, He’s never left me or abandoned me and He commands us in Deuteronomy to “not fear or be in dread for it is You Lord our God who goes with us, You will NEVER leave or forsake us.”  I have to have faith in that truth.  My only peace is in Christ alone, not in Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  Today Barack Obama said, “We are not Democrats first or Republicans, we are all Americans, we are all Patriots who all want what is best for this country.”

As a mother I want the best for this country because I want to leave the best for my precious son.  I want the best for my African American husband.  I want the best for my gay friends.  I want the best for ALL Americans.  Today we have to hold steadfastly to Matthew 22:39, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  I get it.  A resounding number of Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, the popular vote displays that fact strongly.  And today you are disappointed, some are frightened, some are discouraged, some are saddened and some are confused.  But rest assured, this country can still be a great place to call home for ALL Americans if we love one another.  Love does trump hate.

In the worlds of Hillary Clinton from her concession speech today, “Never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.”  Don’t let the results deter you from taking part in the political process.  Don’t let the electoral votes stop you from striving to contribute to the greatness of this nation.  Don’t let fear drown out your faith.

To Secretary Clinton, President Clinton, Chelsea, Mark, Charlotte and Aiden-thank you.  Thank you for your service to our country.  Thank you for your service to my home state of Arkansas.  Thank you for your passion for your ideals.  Thank you for your dedication to democracy.  And thank you for your graciousness today, even in defeat.  And thank you Madam Secretary for reminding all Americans that your gender does not define you and equality is one of the most precious gifts we have in this country.  And to your staff, and my dear friends like Hannah Herdlinger, thank you for working so tirelessly for your party and most importantly our country.

To President Elect Trump, Mrs. Trump, Eric, Donald Jr, Ivanka, Tiffany and Barron-thank you.  Thank you for your dedication to this race in the face of great adversity.  Thank you for continuing to strive to be a voice for those who were likeminded.  Thank you for your commitment to our nation in this enormous role.  And to your staff, like one of my best friends in the entire world Sarah Huckabee Sanders, thank you for fighting so hard for what you believed in, even when no one else believed with you.

God bless you, and God bless America.