I went to bed last night in tears, having stayed up far too late watching election returns. I woke up when my 7 year old daughter came in to snuggle before breakfast. I hugged her warm little body next to me and burst into tears again when I told her that Hilary Clinton did not win the race to be our president. I had to tell my daughter that no, even though she was not born in this country, she would not be deported, and that since her parents are American citizens, she is one, too. She had heard from a classmate at school that if Donald Trump won, he would make everyone who wasn't born here leave, and she was scared.
I don't want to make this a post about politics. I am sick to death of politics, like just about everyone else.
I want to make this post about what do I do now? How do I move forward, how do I find hope?
I find hope in raising my children. Raising my daughter to be a strong, smart, capable woman who can truly be anything she wants to be. Raising my 5 year old son to be a sensitive, kind, empathetic man who would never use his power to abuse or degrade anyone. God, give me strength to guide my children through this world.
I find hope in my faith. My Facebook feed (which I promised myself last night I would not look at today, but misery loves company) has a number of Christians, (mostly liberal, but not all of them) who are trying to make sense of this outcome in light of their faith. The ones who are making the most sense to me right now are the ones who are noting that this too shall pass, and that we are still the light, and that we are commanded to love and serve one another, no matter who our elected leader is. This world is not my home, but I do care an awful lot about it and the people in it, so onward I must go, serving the least among us, and in so doing, serving Christ himself.
I find hope in my work. My work is to comfort and to encourage and to advocate for and with new and expecting parents. Both my faith and my politics help motivate me to do this work. Every time I see a new baby and mother and father born, I am in awe of the power of God to bring life and to create the bond of family. And every time I see a woman empowered to speak up for herself and her body and her choices, I am inspired to help another woman to do the same. I have to believe that every mother I help to tap into her strength and find her voice, means another baby who can and will grow up to be peace-bearers and change-makers in this world.
I mean, just look at the power in the photo below:
That baby is learning from that mama what it is to be loved and what it is to be strong.
In my work as an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor, I teach families how to access evidence based care in their births. This is one of ways that I bring peace to the world. Birthing women are definitely among the least of these, and if you don't know that, then you aren't paying any attention at all to the shameful state of our maternity care system today. I'm doing my bit to change the world, one baby, one family at a time. That's where I find hope. That's what I am going to do now, heartbroken as I am, to move forward and be the light.
God, help us all. Amen.