Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dear Hope, I have lost you.

This year I voted early, on Halloween and dressed up as an elephant. It was a companion costume to my 9-month-old, who wore the family elephant costume that all my babies have worn. Four years ago, my now 5-year-old son wore the same baby elephant costume as I walked him house-to-house with a Mitt Romney yard sign taped to my shirt.  

When I compared these two Halloween nights and thought about the past four years and the palpable difference in energy surrounding the two elections, I began to wonder, what went wrong?

Today is such a contrast to Election Day 2012, when I was upbeat and positive about the events of the night and the future of our country. Four years ago, the women of SWARM were very involved in the election and this year, we are all at a loss for words.

I actually envy those at the polls today with a strong conviction for their candidate. For me and most of my friends, it was like having to play a really horrible game of "Would you Rather?" where all of the options make you sick to your stomach. Heads or tails, we all lose. That is what keeps going through my mind. It’s depressing. 

I think that in both parties, a lot of Americans feel this way. For me, as a mom, a woman, and an American, today is a sad day. Besides the obvious difference in candidate selection, I was at a loss for words as to why today feels so drastically different than Election Day 2012. In conversation this morning with my fellow SWARM ladies, one of them said “On this day four years ago, I was so excited. At least I had hope.”

That was it … it is HOPE, or the lack of hope.

The hope that one of the candidates could bring good change. Hope that my values are shared by those on the ticket. Hope that tomorrow brings a new day, a better future, a better America. Hope that at the end of the election, America wins.

Sadly, I have no hope in today’s Presidential Election outcome. I have no hope that either candidate aligns with my values or shares my vision for this country. I have no hope that we have good decent nominees that will serve America honestly and in good conscience. I have no hope that the next four years will be any better than the last eight. 

So now, with the 2016 Election results just hours away, I stand confronted with the realization that

I have lost all hope, so I must go and find some.

I must find some hope for those that deserve it. Hope for those who sacrificed for our freedoms, hope for my usually optimistic father who texted me and said “I don’t think I can vote for anyone this election,” hope for my friend who cried at the polls as she struggled with how to cast her vote, hope for the ladies of SWARM who build me up continuously, hope for those who have prayed for America, and most importantly, hope for my kids.

I am not sure exactly how I plan to find this hope. I am sure it won’t be easy. I’ll start by getting on my knees, asking God to guide the newly-elected President and other officials. I’ll ask God to help me see the good in America and not just the despair. I’ll ask God to keep America in his care. Then, I’ll get involved where I can, make an impact when I can, and slowly make a spot for myself and my hope to reside for the next four years.

Here’s to HOPE for America. May we remember your motto- “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

“And sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we still hope.”- unknown
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” - Shawshank Redemption
“Hope is the only thing to save you from despair.”- CS Lewis
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”- Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games
“My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.” -  Abraham Lincoln
“We want to create hope for the person … we must give hope, always hope.”  - Mother Teresa
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee.”- Isaiah 41:10