Eight years ago, I sat in my college dorm room, watched election results, and cried.
I’m not particularly political by nature, but it was the first presidential election I could vote in and one that I had campaigned for despite personal discomfort. [Two words: phone banking.] As the “worst” happened, I couldn’t help but feel sad for our country and a concern that we were doomed.
Yesterday, I knew election results would not go the way I wanted, because I found it difficult to even voice a strong preference for president, other than, “Can we have different options?” While I care about my country and I know it is important to be active politically, I have chosen to remain a bit removed from the fray. It has given me a greater sense of peace over the past few months and I am grateful for that.
Walking out of the polling place yesterday, I just felt tired. I feel a bit like I voted for the election to simply be over. Question #1: Would you like the campaign season to end? Yes!
Maybe I’m naive about the situation of our country. All I know is that this is not my home forever and I refuse to be in a constant state of stress for the next however many years. The Lord wants me to do what I can, but it is a method of Satan to divide and tear people apart. The fate of this nation does not rest in my hands and it will not help anyone for me to feel burdened by weights that are not my own. So I am striving, in the midst of the chaos, to seek peace. Not to avoid problems or to pretend everything is fine, but to face the problems that are mine to handle and to entrust the rest to the Lord.
I prayed for this election. Yet even as I prayed, I couldn’t help but think the answer I truly wanted wasn’t going to be given. I wanted to re-wind time and try the campaign again with new people and a clearer focus for our nation. But that is not in my power. I do not believe our prayers were ineffective. They will bring about some change, unforeseen but actual.
As we drew closer to election, I saw Facebook posts change from candidate endorsements to professions of Christ as the Eternal King. That is perhaps what our country most desperately needs. Instead of placing our hope and faith in political systems and party affiliations, we need to rest in the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth. Nothing else works. No one else is sufficient. The Lord has a mission and a plan for me regardless of who holds the position of Commander-in-Chief. And I find great peace in that constancy.