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Inside: How I am Learning to Fight Hate and Racism: A heartfelt lesson from an ordinary day
I’m struggling with what to write this week. I feel myself struggling with the weight of the world pressing down.
- The racial fights
- The pandemic
- The disrespect
But for some reason, I keep coming back to a simple bike ride.
You see, my daughter finally learned how to ride her bike on her own. This has been a year or more process.
First, my husband and I are not the most consistent teachers.
Then there’s her little feisty and easily frustrated spirit. A few falls here. A few hundred tantrums and crying spells there.
To say it has been a process is saying it lightly.
And yet, here we are, we have finally made it.
And yet I still feel there is so much more to learn. So much more to teach. So much more to let go.
And there it is, my fears pushing to the top, yet again.
My worrying nature is my never-ending battle and yet some people today would think I didn’t worry at all.
But that has been a process as well.
In college, I had many sleepless nights, in part because of intense nursing degree requirements, and so much more because of anxiety and worries.
I never seemed to get it right. The studies seemed to come so much more naturally for others. And I worried, and I didn’t sleep.
And while my battle probably started before then, I remember those days being pivotal. I remember having a deep conversation with my father about these very things. How I was so worried about so much.
I credit the conversation with my father, though I can’t remember the details, and the book, How to Stop Worrying, by Dale Carnegie, as pivotal in my journey to conquer my worries.
And yet I still battle.
I seem to go up a little steeper hill with each worry. I seem to get a little further.
And that’s where we circle back to my daughter.
She wants to be a big girl so much. She wants to ride that bike by herself in our neighborhood. It’s really not a huge feat. The neighborhood is quite small.
And yet, I find myself pushing back, the worst coming to mind. Finding more to teach, more reasons to keep her from flying.
Because when it comes down to it, it’s not so much about the rules and the teaching.
It’s not so much about her, as it is about me.
When am I ready to let go? When am I ready to release those fears, those worries? Because worry is really just a fancy word for fear.
And then if I go deeper, it’s not about the fears really, but am I willing to trust? Am I willing to let go of control?
It comes down to the spiritual essence of all that is behind our worries. God says to Pray about everything. EVERYTHING. (Philippians 4:6 NLT) As a control freak that is a hard pill to swallow.
And yet I must, because without that there is nothing. What am I saying when I worry? Am I saying I don’t trust God? That I don’t trust that he has me in his hands? Despite his repeated promises.
Without that trust, there goes my freedom. There goes my peace.
Maybe for each hill I conquer, for each step I take forward, there is another hill around the corner, each one a little steeper. So much steeper that it may take an extra push from the almighty God.
Because it’s certainly easier to go uph
Our power lies not in our own control, but in letting go of control.
So with all that is around us right now, what choice do we have but to turn our eyes upon Jesus?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
And yet sometimes just saying those words is not enough.
Do we sit by in silence and let the injustices and unknown bring back our fears, or do we reach out in faith with our Lord Jesus Christ before us?
For we are surrounded by an army of angels, if we but have the eyes to see.
Our God is not a God of fear. He is not a God of apathy or inaction. He is a God of justness and righteousness; he is the God of righteous anger.
Anger is not the problem my friend. The anger you see all around you, while the actions spurred cannot be justified, the anger itself is justified. It is a sign of something wrong. It is a sign of righteous anger.
It is a sign of a broken and bleeding world.
But what are you going to do with the anger?
What are you going to do with your fears?
Fear and anger are often interlinked. Often fear comes off in angry outbursts. Fear for your loved ones. Fear for your country. Fear for your very own life.
For in what world is it right for a black man to walk down the street and have to worry for his life? What right is it for a white man and a black woman to be together and be judged? Or for white parents to adopt black children or black parents to adopt white children or any other race that God has created.
For He has created all the colors and all the races.
I see all the colors. I see the color of skin. Your skin color is beautiful because God has created you and nothing he created can be made ugly. He made everything beautiful and good.
I see even more colors.
I see red against those who have basic human rights taken away even though we live in 2020. I see red when innocent businesses and lives are threatened because of them crossing the path of rioters.
I see the color of fears, the color of sadness. I’ve cried oceans of tears for the broken families and yet I hold my own family closer in fear. The fear of not letting go.
But I also see the color of white in the peace that transcends all understanding. The peace that can only come from God. The peace when the white doves alight in a broken world.
So what is a white girl in a very sinful world to do, who is as mixed up in her colors as a camouflaged chameleon? What are we to do with the anger and the brokenness and the sadness?
Sitting and writing and even praying just does not seem to be enough.
But it will never be enough, for we are but a broken sinful world.
So do we just quit and throw our bikes down and say ENOUGH?! I can’t do it anymore!
Or do we get back on the bike and try again, and say we are not there, YET !?
When we crash, do we just lay there and hope someone comes to help us, or do we pull ourselves up and bow on broken and skinned knees?
Do we stop in the middle of the hill, or do we press onward further, knowing where our power will come from?
So I come to you as a broken person, one whose job is not done yet. I come to you a sinner. Take me as I am, dear Lord, Make me new and mold me like clay.
I sing my praises all day long, for Hallelujah, Christ is risen.
As always, Thank you for reading. If this post resonated with you, I would appreciate your shares on social media. One way we can fight the racism and hate is to stand united and say, We will not stand for it!
**God is still working on me and I stand open and vulnerable to you. You are welcome to comment, but be kind. Bullying or shaming will not be allowed and will be taken down at the discretion of the author.
Knowledge is Power.
Below is a small sample of resources I have found helpful or which have been recommended to me from a trustworthy source. Please feel free to share any resources you have as well.
Just Mercy: Book and Movie. I am currently reading the book and its disturbingly enlightening.
No one Ever Asked, by Katie Ganshert.: A fiction inspired from true events and real life.
13th Documentary on Netflix: