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Bridge builder.

This family will stand. We will build bridges. Not gaps. That is my commitment.

“In order to take a stand sometimes you first must have to take a seat.” Praise God for these words of truth for needing a minute to process.

Over the past few weeks the awareness of injustice has removed the scales from my eyes and helped me to see and understand something I truly never knew existed.

Coming from a white family raised in a small town I had no idea that there was still so much hate and violence against black people. I read the history books, heard the stories but thought it had come to pass.

I didn’t know that mamas had to train their babies to be cautious of police, that they worried every time they left the house even if it were just to go for a run, that the world they lived in wasn’t the world I knew as an innocent child.

As awful and as naive as it sounds the truth is that you can’t combat the fact that what you don’t know and you’re not taught you just don’t know.

If you’re not taught, if you’re not raised in it, if you avoid the news because the pain of seeing people in hurt is too great then I don’t condemn you and on one else has that right either.

Staying silent this past week wasn’t me “supporting violence” as some have said but instead given me the opportunity to process and learn about things I didn’t know existed.

To write out exactly what I wanted to say and to swallow hard as I post this knowing that what I say will never feel like it’s enough to end the hate. It’s been hard to come to terms with and to admit the truth that I didn’t realize these issues were still going on in the world today.

Over the last few weeks I’ve reached out and connected with so many people & I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who felt completely hopeless in speaking out against the darkness. So many of my friends and family are feeling the same way.

Like our words will have no impact, that we’ll say the “wrong” thing and then be considered racist when we know in our hearts that has NEVER been the case. But the fear of causing more pain has kept us quiet.

But as I sit here today as a believer in Jesus, in diversity but equality I’ve found my words and I can’t sit idly by as my brothers and sisters are being condemned because of their skin color.

Our job isn’t to be perfect in our words but to globally honor our position in the kingdom as we maintain our commitment to the local church aka our homes and children.

Last week when I posted about black lives matter I said everything I could manage to say but it all felt so empty. The pain and injustice that came to light shattered my heart into a thousand pieces and being still was all I could manage. The lack of humanity with the statements like “let’s find out what he did first” made my head spin and waves of nausea wash over my body.

The truth is regardless of the facts, regardless of race, regardless of what he did no human deserves to die at the hands of another human.

How can we as the “UNITED States of America” celebrate diversity but never address the disparity?

How can we sit back, not speak up and be okay with the world we’re living in, for fear of being attacked for not using the right words?

How can we call ourselves believers if we wait for everyone to agree with us before we SPEAK?

How can we make a change when we’re hiding in the darkness?

We can’t.

It’s time for us to ask ourselves what are we working AROUND out of fear in our lives that God wants us to walk THROUGH instead?

Growing weary doesn’t mean you’re weak and that you can’t make a difference. It means it opens up room in your life for God to step in and give you strength when you need it the most.

Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you’re weak.

Jesus preached, people disagreed, he grew weary and yet he was willing to die on the cross for all of us and yet we still sit back and let the fear being verbally attacked for saying the “wrong” thing stop us from standing up…

I don’t say this to condemn you but instead to convict your heart. I was RIGHT there with you just a week ago. I lived in fear of causing more harm than good. I stayed silent for time to process and learn, but now God has called me to speak.

If you’ve been quiet out of fear I see you. I know you’re not doing it to stand for violence but instead out of just not knowing that to say.

As we move forward we need to focus on love. On building bridges not gaps. We need to look at people through the lens of Grace. We need to discover empathy.

We need to ask God to heal the wounds of this country, of our hearts, of the divide because in truth the only things that violence and more hate are causing is further divide.

Speaking the truth of unity, oneness and EQUAL rights for all God’s children especially in your homes and in your local community is NOT optional. It’s NOT about being the loudest person in the room trying to make a change. It’s about consistency and recognizing that change can and will start with you. All you need to do is ask God for guidance and he will give you YOUR path. Focus on inward growth and trust me, the world will feel it.

Humanity is the human race, which includes everyone on Earth. It's also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien... When people do bad things, it tests your faith in humanity and my friends we are NOT robots.

Only the Holy Spirit can heal the wounds and it’s time we ask for healing. Let’s start asking. For race reconciliation, to see people through a lens of grace and for strength as we speak up.

”Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14

It’s time for us to recognize that no matter what we say someone will dissect us but that’s not worth us staying silent. If we wait for everyone to agree with us or worry about how it comes out then allow death and fear to stop us and we DON’T SPEAK UP. It’s not about saying the perfect thing, for God allows human emotion to be expressed WITHOUT judgement.

We need to ask God to help us to be okay with having conversations without destroying other peoples humanity. We can’t say we’re believers in church but then Monday through Saturday act in unity with death.

We need to STOP bringing God down to our frame of reference.

So now you’re probably wondering…yes, but HOW?

First we need to expose ourselves to the things we do not know.

We need to be present.

We need to start the conversation AT HOME.

We need to refuse to submit to the darkness and refuse to settle for hopelessness.

GUILT is NOT a strategy!!!

Do not allow yourself to feel condemned but instead ask the Holy Spirit to convict your heart and show you where you harbor wounds.

You need to repent and change directions.

Ask yourself the questions, what is in my heart about black people? How did it get there? Do I need to ask God to make a change in me or pray for those close to me?

Then we need to take action, we don’t need to have all the answers but instead we need to have compassion.

We need to pray for RECONCILIATION.

To be the voice of the voiceless.

We need to live in community and FIGHT for unity.

Pursue justice relentlessly.

Our presence will change the system.

For me, for now God has called me to work within my own home. To not be influenced by the hate and anger of others but to seek him in this time of oneness. To seek out wise counsel, to listen to more sermons, to learn about the division on so many levels and to seek UNITY above all else.

Let’s break the cycle, we can’t go back and change the past but we can change the future. Change starts in your heart. Let’s make a change now, together.

This family will stand for unity. For equality. For the voiceless. These boys will know that every single human on this earth is worth fighting for. That changes starts with us.

Love you sister. Love you brother. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Thank you @Steven Furtick & @John Gray for giving me the words to share and to find my own voice.

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