Can I say it out loud? This hurts!
It hurts to live during such tumultuous times.
It hurts to have what you already knew confirmed.
It hurts to have people express and confirm that they think you and your people are “other than” and “less than.”
It hurts to see so many people motivated by fear.
It hurts to have your life be one so use to discrimination that this doesn’t even surprise you.
I hurt for my husband, a black man.
I hurt for my two black daughters.
I hurt myself as a black woman.
I hurt for my friends and family of color.
I hurt for the people who are so driven by fear that they would do anything to hold onto their power. That is scariest part, no?
I’m also grateful.
I am grateful that as a black woman I stand on the shoulders of generations of women that have risen through slavery, rape, misogyny, and other forms of discrimination to hold our families and communities together.
I’m grateful for my husband who is a man after God’s own heart.
I’m grateful that through all of this, my family has had so many opportunities to introduce our kids to the ways that love and fear and grief and gratitude can all be experienced at the same time.
I’m grateful to have voted and experienced this election from outside of the States. It allowed me to step outside of the bubble and shift my perspective.
I’m grateful to live in a country where I have the right to speak up, the right to vote any way I choose, and the right to worship God freely and openly.
Most of all, I am grateful for a Savior who tells me that it is okay to grieve. As a matter of fact, I am blessed when I do so.
So I encourage you, dear sisters and brothers, to grieve out loud. Grieve in your notebooks, around your dinner tables, in your churches, on your porches, and in your prayers.
And also express gratitude in those same places. Be grateful that you are not grieving alone. Be grateful that our people are known to be strong beyond belief.
Grief and gratitude can co-exist. Our hearts are big enough for both. Allow your heart to fully feel your sad surprise and to fully feel the joy of knowing a God who is fully in control.
And know this: We are worthy. We matter. We are loved. We rise…together.