Why I March

I had a few people ask me why I participated in the Women’s March on January 21. I gave them the short answer, but I decided to try and organize my thoughts to give a longer answer. I know not everyone will agree and some may not even understand, but this is why I march.

First of all, let me answer the question, “why would I, a peace-seeking Christian, take part in a loud, showy protest?”

Honestly, I feel it’s my God-given duty to stand up for what is right. We see many examples of this in the Bible. For instance, Stephen did not sit silently. The Book of Acts tells us he preached what he believed until he died. When the Sanhedrin began stoning him, he continued to preach. That’s quite a protest.

We read about Paul and Peter and the other apostles who preached when it was against the law. They stood up in the streets and proclaimed the truth. They did not sit silently. They went against the religious leaders and government of their day. They were thrown in jail, they were beaten, they were killed for what they believed in. They were preaching love. They were preaching the gospel of Jesus, that he came to seek and save the lost. That he loves the disenfranchised. He loves the minorities. He loves everyone. The apostles were going to make sure everyone knew that.

In the Old Testament, Esther protested. She illegally went before her king and could have died because of that choice. She did it anyway because she knew she had to stand up for her people. She did not sit silently. She protested, and her people survived!

So I protest by marching.

I march for equal rights. It should not matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you look like, you deserve to be treated equally and justly. If people meet the same requirements and have the same qualifications, they deserve to get hired for the same job and paid the same wages. Children deserve a quality education no matter where they live or how much or how little money their family has. All people, whether black or white, rich or poor, should receive the same punishment if they commit similar crimes. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:38, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” If we seek to be like Jesus, then we will treat everyone with equality.

I march for refugees. I march because people of this world need to be loved. People of this world need to know that someone is for them. That they are not alone nor forgotten. If we as free Christians do not tell them, who will? If we do not show them they are valued, who will?

I march so women are not sexually exploited. I march to see an end to sex trafficking and rape culture. I march so my son knows to treat women respectfully and that they are not sexual objects.

I march because God gave us the freedom to choose how we want to live. I believe living according to the Bible is the right way, but it’s still a person’s choice. I’m thankful I am not persecuted for my beliefs. I don’t want anyone else to be persecuted for theirs.

I march for gun control. I don’t have a solution, but seeing a graph like this shows me America needs to do something now!

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I march for our environment. I believe God has called us to care for his creation. He created this amazing world for us to live in, and we are destroying it. The science about climate change is fact not theory. We must tend to this beautiful creation.

I march because I live in a democracy and I can. The law allows me to speak out and speak up for what I believe.

To be honest, it’s hard for me not to have bitterness in my heart toward our new president and his staff. I don’t understand why God allowed him to be a presidential candidate or to get elected. (I think it goes back to God giving us free choice.) But I know that God is in control no matter our choices. I know that his plan will eventually unfold. So I choose to pray for our government leaders. I know they are people in need of a Savior. We all need Jesus and each other.

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Health

After Weslee was born in 2013, I didn’t stress about getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I decided I was comfortable with the extra 15 lbs I’d gained and bought new clothes. It was a freeing feeling to not be stressed about getting back to my pre-baby body. I’ve been content with my weight/body image for the last 3 years.

Then last October my doctor and I decided to up my dosage of anxiety medication. We’ve been trying to find the right meds and the right dosage for a while. We finally found it with this last change! Yay!

I feel normal for the first time in years…maybe for the first time in my life. I am not as moody as I used to be, not as impatient, nor as negative. I sleep better, handle conflict better, and am a much better wife, mother, friend, and employee. I used to wonder if I was abnormal because of the rollercoaster of emotions I rode daily – not to mention the anxiety attacks and bouts with depression I experienced. Feeling emotionally and mentally balanced – what I consider normal – is a wonderful feeling!

But with all of that positivity comes a bit of negativity. I’ve gained 11 pounds since my dosage changed. EEK! I can’t blame it on holiday binge eating because I didn’t binge eat this year. My diet and exercise have pretty much stayed the same as they were before the new dosage. Also, weight gain is big side effect of this particular drug. Boooo!

So, here I am almost weighing the amount I did when I was 9 months pregnant, and I’m definitely NOT pregnant. I’m not content with these new 11 lbs, and I do not want to buy new clothes in a bigger size.

On top of that, I read these two articles that talk about how heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women and how mental illness can potentially increase one’s risk of heart disease. My anxiety soared while I was reading the article that linked mental illness to heart disease. I had to stop reading it for a bit to calm myself down.

With weight gain and heart disease on my mind, I knew I had to make a change.

I emailed a friend with similar mental health issues, and asked for her advice. She shared: I am just committed to the reality that whole health is me on meds, exercising, eating whole foods and going to therapy. That is me whole.

Her words struck a chord with me. I know I cannot go back to feeling “abnormal” again, so I am determined to adopt my friend’s definition of a whole self. I will stay on my meds (let all the family say “Amen!”), I will eat healthy and clean, I will be consistent with exercise, I will continue to see my therapist as needed, I will be consistent with prayer and bible study, and I will commit to writing every week as another form of therapy and accountability.

I’m going to put up reminder post-it notes around my house, car, and office to help me stay focused. I might tell my kids to help hold me accountable too – they will be more than happy to have something to nag me about. Ha!

Here’s to a life of whole health – spiritual health, physical health, and mental health!