It's taken me a couple of days to be able to articulate how I felt/feel, but here it goes...
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I was wide awake and I felt a million emotions at once.
It got to the point where after I while, I just went numb. As I sat and listened to A Seat at the Table on repeat, (thanks Solange) I couldn't believe that white people (my personal opinion until the numbers came in and confirmed it😒) hated 'the other' so much that they were willing to burn the entire house down instead of giving the keys over to someone who while you might not like, would do her best to try to better everyone's life. It was the realization that,
'Dang. Y'all really don't care about us.' I couldn't deal with that level of ignorance and selfishness. Let's be clear: I don't believe that everyone that voted for Trump is misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, or any of the other horrible things he's shown himself to be, but you support someone who is, so that means you either: are those things or don't care that he is, which are both problematic to me.
I was thankful that I didn't have to work the next day because I didn't want to talk to anyone. I was mad at all white people (UNFAIR I KNOW, BUT THIS IS THE PLACE I CAN BE HONEST RIGHT?) and didn't want to talk to someone I liked out of fear that they'd reveal that they either didn't vote or voted 3rd party (which would've gotten you worst case scenario cussed out or best case scenario a serious side eye). Even though I felt this way, God put people on my heart for me to reach out to who I knew would be directly effected, so I did. I cried through my texts and calls because these were people that I loved who were terrified of the future and all I could do was try to encourage and offer hope. After all that, I just felt like I needed to be in church. Luckily, the night before one of my Facebook friends showed me that a church would be open at noon, so I made my way there.
By this time, I was feeling less negative and more optimistic. I had prayed and read my Bible and God had led me back to my life Psalm, particularly verses 13-14:
As I walked in and sat down, I realized there were only a handful of us, but that the room was extremely diverse. There were older people, younger people, Black people, and White people. After prayer, the Pastor allowed us to get up and say however we were feeling. I went back and forth over if I should speak, but I knew the pressure of the words wouldn't let up until I let them out, so I did.
I spoke about my anger and anxiety, but I also spoke about my trust and faith in God. About how despite how I felt, I have to continue to be light and to be positive. I refused to let this crush my spirit. I read Psalm 27:13-14 then encouraged them to do the same. After me, an older white man got up and spoke. He looked at me and said, "I'm angry too and I haven't let it go yet." He spoke about he didn't fully understand his privilege until Trump won and how disappointed he was in white people and how we have to do better. His wife got up and echoed his sentiments. At that moment, I felt my heart warm up and my eyes water.
After service, the older white man came up and hugged me. I told him that I appreciated him speaking because I don't get to interact with white people who feels the way he feels very often. He said, "There are a lot of people who feel the way I feel. We just have to step up and voice how we feel."
Then, as I was heading toward the door, an older black woman walked up and hugged me. She told me that with the way the world was going, it was going to test my love and heart for others and she encouraged me to stay tenderhearted.
"Don't let this world make your heart hard. You're too sweet and God has too much for you to do."
As I sat in my car and thought about what she said, all I could do was smile. A few years ago, I would have hated what she said because as far as I was concerned, me being tenderhearted was one of my worst traits. It was one of the reasons I kept my walls up with people for so long, but the more I've gotten to know God, I've realized that being tenderhearted is not a liability, but adds to the strength that God has instilled in me. Being tenderhearted doesn't mean being weak or easily disrespected. It means being compassionate and using wisdom when you interact with others.
So as we weather these next four years together, I encourage you to stay tenderhearted. To try and love the unlovable and be be light. As we deal with the ignorance of others, please don't allow them to make you feel less than or inferior because YOU ARE NOT!!! You have every right to be here and be as smart, beautiful, handsome, creative, loving, and daring as God created you to be.
But don't get it twisted, because in the words of Kid Fury:
'My heart and my soul are tired, but my mouth and these hands are just getting started.'
Try me if you want to😉.