I did not sit glued to my television set. I did not tune into every debate. I did not read every article, scroll through all the running commentary. I shut out the peanut galleries, took my moments to chuckle at the many memes, but, for the better part of this 2016 Presidential election I remained at arm’s length.

Why should I care anyway? I am a white, middle-class stay-at-home-mom in rural Southern Ontario . . . CANADA! What does any of this have to do with me? What need do I have to concern myself with all this drama happening to the South?

Everything. It has everything to do with all of us.

This is the problem. We (I) dismiss our roles in the bigger picture. Do I live a life of privilege? Yes! I live FREE to believe in my God and worship him when and how I choose. I live FREE of terror and the realities of war. I live FREE of racial profiling. I live FREE.

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I am FREE and I want it to stay that way.

I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed filled with news of last night’s Republican win. Comment after comment was not in anger or even befuddlement (although there was much of that to be certain) but what weighted my heart was the desperation of the masses. How can it be that in the land of the brave, the land of the FREE, a leader has taken office who openly propagates hate mongering and fear?

How?

Because friends, we all got lost.

I’m sitting here looking at this screen flipping back and forth to articles and comments and my heart weighs heavy, tears stinging my eyes. This morning hundreds of thousands of people woke up and felt fear. Fear of what has become and what is inevitably coming. Assumptions can be made when we use words like inevitable. We think that we know what this history shattering diplomatic decision means, but we don’t. We can’t. Because friends, we don’t know anything past right now. I know that right now as I type through my thoughts I feel a tear stream down my cheek. I know that right now as I concentrate on giving my lungs deep breath, my lips quiver. I know that right now, here in this moment I am allowing myself to sit with these feelings. We all should. Do not forget how you felt when the announcement was made of this new American president; hold it close.

Right or Left. Red or Blue. The decision has been made. What has not yet been decided is what will you do now that you know? Fear is just a scathing whisper attempting to infiltrate our hearts and minds. Do you know what this election has done for me? Me, over here in my small corner of a cornfield somewhere in Canada? It has inspired me. It has ignited something within me. It has empowered me.

Friends, we have a very real opportunity here. Regardless of what side of the border you find yourself. We as a people, regardless if your family’s lineage takes you back 100 years or if you immigrated 3 months ago. We as a people, regardless of the beautiful colour of your skin or the church you worship in. We have an opportunity to cut the tongue of fear’s scathing whisper out. We have an opportunity to meet hate with love. We have an opportunity to meet ignorance with understanding. We have an opportunity to bring light into this thick cloud of dark.

Fear will knock, its beckon louder and louder, don’t leave it on the other side of the door. Answer the knock with courage.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ Nelson Mandela

We know that changes on a wide scale are coming. As we meet each one may I be a voice of encouragement that courage will always conquer fear, love will always be the right choice and that darkness cannot exist in the light. It simply can NOT. Today and every day, be a light, shine your light and do not make room for any darkness.
Yes, change is inevitable, but let’s turn the table and let us decide just what that change can be!

Be encouraged today friends!

Amy Bruinsma

Hello! My name is Amy and I am The Optimistic Mama! I am a stay at home mom married to the love of my life, doing the best I know how to be to our three little people. My hope is to grow them into difference makers, each their own beacon of light. I live in rural Southern Ontario where I enjoy (extremely) early mornings with my wee ones leading to full coffee mugs and beautiful sunrises, walks amongst the trees, small hands in mine, adventures in stick and pebble collection and anything in between. The intention behind The Optimistic Mama is to be voice of encouragement in a perpetually exhausting season of life. My hope to all who read my words is a simple one; be encouraged! http://www.theoptimisticmama.com/