One of my most unexpected and startling personal victories has to be my acceptance that, no matter what goes on around me, God is personally and particularly concerned with my welfare. He loves me. He wants me to be happy, healthy, whole. God wants me to spend eternity with Him in heaven and no matter how many times I throw away that opportunity or do damage to our relationship His goal for me does not change. I don't really have to worry about a thing. God's got this, and God's got me.
That being said, one of my most difficult challenges in life is holding on to that knowledge or, rather, keeping that knowledge in the forefront of my tiny little brain. I can start to worry in a minute. I can get disgruntled, discontented and restless. I can become convinced that the sky is falling if you just give me a minute and the right background music.
Normally I can pull myself back from the brink of despair but every once in awhile I have a down period that does not seem to have an expiration date. It is those times that I need to reach out to a friend, call my 12 step sponsor, go to a meeting of like-minded and similarly afflicted types or run and sit quietly in the Adoration Chapel before the Body of Jesus. If I take the right action, I can become okay again pretty quick.
This past political season has been a tough one on me and, I suspect, on anyone who is quiet and thoughtful when it comes to making their decisions as to voting. I am a 1950's baby, the child of Depression and WWII era parents, a Catholic who remembers the excitement that gripped our parish when the first Catholic was elected President of the United States. I can remember watching the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Wars being broadcast by NBC and CBS news, narrated by Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley right into my living room as I sat on the floor with my Barbie. I remember our heroes and I remember the villains and quite frankly life was easier back then. The bad guys were Commies who spat on our troops and the bad guys sic'd dogs on young African American men who sat at lunch counters. The police were both the good guys and the bad guys - it is no coincidence that my ultra conservative Southern father could use the N word in a sentence without shame AND advise me to never stop for an Oakland cop once I got my drivers license (he told me that if I saw a red light in my rearview mirror and I was within the Oakland city limits to floor it until I got to Berkeley and head for the police station in THAT city). I was raised by a mother whose first language was not English. I was taught to pray and say the Pledge of Allegiance, but that same mother could remember when SHE was taught that same pledge and the word GOD was not in it. In other words, I had a fairly balanced upbringing - or as balanced as can be expected for a little Catholic White Girl in the Suburbs. We had a political bent. In those days it was considered Liberal...but not anymore.
Today, the traditional political stronghold for Catholics has been corrupted beyond belief. I cannot support a Democratic candidate when the party that once championed Civil Rights now thinks such rights include the right to shove a pair of scissors into the brain of a child emerging from its mother's womb. The political party of refuge for those with more conservative values has become a platform for reality tv. People like me have been left behind, called haters and bigots because we do not believe abortion is a right or that marriage can be redefined by civil law. It is not recognized that my kind are the ones opening our homes to those in society that have been discarded. Rather, we are vilified because we don't believe respect extends to being okay with false science about gender identity or that Bruce Jenner should be given an award for taking female hormones.
My kind is the first to send our loved ones into battle and we are the last ones anyone cares about when those same loved ones come home and cannot get a flipping doctor appointment while their nightmares increase, their drinking increases, their withdrawal from us worsens and we watch them fade from view.
I am one of the lucky ones. I would say that 85% of my friends know how to express an opinion without being horrid. They do not demand that others think like them and they do not find it necessary to imply that those who DO thinking differently are uneducated trash. However, and I mean this with all my heart, I have been saddened that there are at least a portion of my friends who DO actually believe the drivel they post via Facebook memes and one sentence statements. I have been shocked that people I thought were intelligent and thoughtful cannot seem to articulate their stance without attacking the stance of others. I am tired of the pompous statements about sin. I am exhausted by the holier than thou attitude exhibited by members of my Faith Tradition - on BOTH sides of the aisle - towards those who do not agree with them.
As I have previously stated I found a political party I am comfortable with and so will not be voting for either Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump or Mr. Johnson. I chose the course I am taking because, at my age, it is more important for me to be as clear as possible when standing in front of Jesus at the end of my life. I don't think having Mrs. Clinton as our president is a signal of the end times. Neither do I believe Mr. Trump is the anti-Christ. I don't think Mr. Johnson is an escaped mental patient. I believe that our country will survive the presidency of any one of these people.
Because I firmly believe that God is All. God's got this and no matter what happens, my job is to be able to look at myself in the mirror and like what I see.
My job is to fulfill God's destiny for me - to be able to spend eternity with Him in heaven....and I can do that no matter who gets 'married', no matter how many women make the tragic and horrible choice to end their child's life, no matter how many young men and women we march off to war and no matter where I go to Mass - Cathedral or Catacomb.
God's got this....and I am going to be okay.