Survivor, Thriver, Faithfilled Plan Deviser

This week has been emotionally challenging and soul stirring, twisting even. More than I have felt in my adult life, there is a divide forming in my circles that is threatening the deep threads and strong tethers built in both my professional and personal life. I am seeing arguments break out on Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkdIn (not Instagram yet which I willingly attribute to it's chill factor and not my inept use of the platform.) This may because I am on these platforms more often with the nature of this chapter of my life, but something tells me I am not alone.

Instead of using this post to share the grimy details of the week and the myriad interactions, I suffice it to say that this week has been a grind for restraint and perfecting the art of what I now call Tweet and Delete. I have to continually check myself about my own reactions and whether or not any contribution is productive and reflective of the leader I am called to be.

In that statement lies the challenges I have faced this week. Though they are complex, it boils down to two items.

I am emotionally involved because the topic fueling the divide is centered on one that evokes my own trauma. It is impossible for me to not feel deep wounds burst open when everywhere I turn someone has an opinion about women, sexual assault, and reporting. Not only do I have my own feelings, there are those of my close circle who also share their freshly opened wounds, laid bare from the nation's political division. Over a topic that should not be political. It's personal. And it's painful. For a lot of people. Probably plenty who are reading this post.

The other is that the political chasm that is forming in our country gets so inextricably tied to religion that I have suffered with the weight of feelings of fear and guilt this week around my own faith. When I see people of professed faith posting such hateful and polarizing messages, I honestly worry about my own message. Will people align me with that? It was a legit fear being in this new #RISE space where I am to speak of God's love and work in me. At one point, I hung my head in shame for both the words I saw some people of Christian faith use and for feeling ashamed for being a Christian. What I grueling conundrum.

So, I am addressing both of these issues in the poem I drafted this morning on my run. It's not perfect. It is a statement that I feel clears up both for me. This post and creative work are much better than any Tweet and Delete because they come from a place of truth. I will still love the people in my life who are posting polarizing, hate-filled, negative messages. I just won't engage on either side.

And I may still feel the pain and some shame, but at least people will know where I stand. And as a person who leads with faith, that matters to me more than any 140 character message deleted or tweeted in a moment.


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