We all go through many challenges throughout our lives; some belong to us and some to those we love and care about. No matter the struggle, we are always faced with the decision of whether to have faith and press on or lose hope and retreat. This year has presented numerous challenges for most of us as we have navigated our way through a pandemic, job loss, family tensions, political strife, failure of established institutions to provide security and integrity, and just plain emotional overload.
The overall sense of insecurity that we’ve been feeling (And I think we all have been feeling it; though maybe for different reasons) has definitely contributed to a bunch of emotional issues. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression in the past, there were many times when I feared I might slip back into some unhealthy thought patterns and it took a lot of prayer work to keep myself focused on the right things. For example, routines are very important to those who suffer with anxiety and depression and I’ve spent years developing routines that help me to feel secure and healthy. Unfortunately, the way I usually relate to the world had to change due to the restrictions placed on us by COVID. I have always been someone who relied heavily on books, television, and movies for entertainment, so when the majority of celebrities decided that instead of entertaining us, they would rather be lecturing us or virtue signaling, I was forced to find better things to do. It used to be that a person could relax by watching a favorite television show or even scrolling through the internet to see what their favorite people were doing, but you can’t do that these days. You can, but do you really need to be bombarded with absurdity from people who have now made it their mission to make everyone around them as miserable as they are?
It also doesn’t help when your whole world and way of living is shifted and the people you love aren’t available to you because your state is locked down and you can’t visit them or because you disagree with someone on politics and they decided to throw away years of friendship instead of practicing the very tolerance they preach. Everything has become so unreasonable. I’m an old-fashioned gal by today’s standards. I grew up in the seventies when there was still some semblance of reverence for authority. Granted, our foundation was eroding then as well, but not to the extent that it is now. I never would have dreamed of talking to a police officer the way I see people talking to them…or even about them. I never would have thought to be as disrespectful to the President of the United States as what I’ve seen over the past four years. And I never would have thought that we would reach a point where someone would be offended because you didn’t address them by a “preferred pronoun” but wouldn’t be offended by the notion of killing a child in the womb. Yes, I know that I risk being “cancelled” just for expressing my disapproval of all of this nonsense. But what if I told you that I don’t care? I’ve actually spent a good part of the year “cancelling” just about everything, so at this point what do I care if the masses don’t like my opinion?
I am okay with being a woman who likes men and doesn’t need to identify as a group (we, they) instead of just one type of person (she, her) in order to feel substantiated. I’m okay with being a white person who isn’t fraught with guilt over the actions of people who lived in another time and by a different set of standards than those which I live by. I’m okay with being a Christian who believes that God has the final say in all of this and that I don’t really need to be a part of the tapestry that is being woven if it doesn’t include Him.
If my choices are that I’m going to have to forego my own values and beliefs in order to stay relevant to this culture or bow to the masses so that I can get a handful of insignificant likes, then I guess I’m good with fading into the background. I’m not a millionaire. I’m not even a thousand-aire. I’m so not significant that I’m not even permitted to think about becoming an elite. But that’s by this world’s standards. And I’m not really worried about where I will finish the race here in terms of status and monetary worth. What matters to me is that I lived as God made me to live and that I served the purpose He created me to serve. He will bring me through these challenges and out on the other side where the real reward lies. I don’t need the labels of this world to prove my value. I’m already labeled as a child of the Most High God and that’s something they can’t cancel.