I'm Not Brave: The Vote That Changed My Life Forever

 

It was around 5:00 p.m. on October 25th. I sat at my desk in my office at work, mouse in hand, cursor hovering over a little blue button that read: “Post.” 

I stopped.

I lifted my hand off the mouse and buried my face in my hands as I began to cry. “I don’t want to do this Jayne. I really don’t want to do this.” 

My friend and co-worker Jayne sat with me for a few minutes to listen and comfort. 

“I know I need to. I know it’s the right thing to do. But I don’t want to. What will people think?” 

After a few words of encouragement, I took a moment to gather myself. It was time. 

The cursor hovered over the blue button again. Peace filled my heart. Sickness churned around inside my stomach. Tears welled up as my index finger pressed down. 

—————

Exactly six months ago, I did something that would change my life forever.  

I told the world I was voting for Donald Trump.

What was published as an innocent and vulnerable blog post, exploded into an overwhelmingly unprecedented semi-viral debate I could have never expected nor prepared for. 

My blog post about my decision to vote for Donald Trump garnered the attention over 27,000 visitors to my website, as well as over two thousand interactions on my Facebook post (likes, comments, comment replies, shares, etc.). For months, my inbox was flooded with kind, horrible, lovely, encouraging, cruel, empowering, uplifting messages. In a million years, I never could have imagined that so many people would react so strongly to my words. 

When I initially made the decision to vote, I knew I needed to write about that process. But I didn’t plan on sharing my words with anyone. However, the more I wrote, the clearer it became that the words I was writing weren’t meant to be kept to myself.

I was terrified. Up until that point, I prided myself in being the girl everyone liked because I was easy-going and down to earth. I was chill, cool, and open-minded. Nothing bothered me. Nothing offended me. 

And suddenly, I was about to be the girl with the opinion. The opinion I knew not many would like. 

But there was something stirring inside me that was more than just a passing feeling. It was a deep knowing—God was asking me to share these words. 

And so, I did. 

In the days following that post, I cried many tears of sorrow over friendships lost. I cried tears of agony over family members who cut me out of their lives. And I cried mostly, not because I was ashamed of how I felt, what I believed or what I had done, but because I was exposed, for all to see. 

I had picked a side—an unpopular side—and I let everyone know it. I was no longer comfortably hidden in the lukewarm middle ground.

—————

When news (very rapidly) spread about the decision I made, a word kept reappearing I never expected to see: brave. People were calling me brave, but I didn’t understand why. I never considered what I did as an act of bravery. 

Because I didn’t write that blog post to be brave. 

I wrote it to be obedient. 

Long before that moment, I settled in my heart that I would obey, serve, love and honor God regardless of the circumstances of life, and no matter what he asked me to do. Political opinions aside, I believe God asked me to write and share that post to see if I really would be willing to obey him—even if it I didn’t want to, even if it was painful, even if it meant losing people. 

Because the truth is, what I endured in my loss and even the pain of my own exposed heart, paled in comparison to the pain Jesus endured on the cross.

In his gospel, Mark tells the story of a rich young man who approached Jesus about what he must do to inherit eternal life. He tells Jesus that he has done practically everything right—he has obeyed all the commandments, kept the law, and basically lived a good life. Jesus tells him:

“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10: 21

I can identify with this guy, because I was him once. For all the young man had done for the cause of religion, he grieved when Jesus said these words, because he held his riches and possessions closest to his heart. But now I understand, that for all my Savior did for me, there is nothing I hold so dear—no friends, family, pride or status—that I wouldn’t be eager to forsake and leave behind, for the chance to follow him.  

I didn’t know the pain and loss that awaited me when I hit “post” while sitting in my office that day. But I also didn't know the great joy and the many blessings that would come from my act of obedience. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did the right thing, and I would do it all over again if God asked me.

That experience six months ago taught me that God will call us out of our comfort zones; he will call us to pick a side. He will ask us to follow him, wherever he leads, regardless of what we see or don’t see. He wants to know—will you do it? Will you follow? Will you trust him? 

My prayer is that you would have the courage to obey God when he asks you to do things that may seem painful or impossible to do. Because the truth is, it is more worthy to obey him wholeheartedly, than to hold on to any good thing this world could offer.  

So truthfully, I don't think of myself as bold or brave. I think of myself as sweetly broken, and wholly surrendered.