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Moving Forward After a Difficult Week

Unity may indeed be needed after the election, but it’s okay to grieve first.

The shocking election results have created much conversation in Christian circles, especially among women leaders. Some are feeling grief, shock, and even fear. Moving forward in a healthy way requires that we first allow ourselves to experience those emotions, sitting with them even when it’s uncomfortable. In this difficult week, we turned to women leaders to share their wisdom as we move ahead. I think you’ll find that however you’re feeling right now is completely fine. –Amy Jackson

Jen Oyama Murphy, Lay Counselor and Former Support and Recovery Director

Instead of saying anything to women leaders today, I invite lament—the guttural, primal wail of the soul that is born of suffering and loss. Community lament that involves compassion—a suffering with—requires us as women to bring our faces and bodies and hearts and minds and stories close together. Biblical lament comes through sorrow and moves toward repentance with the hope or restoration. My temptation is to analyze, shout, argue, demand, and advise on one hand. On the other, it is to retreat to silent isolation in despair and hopelessness. Before I extend my voice, I will extend my undone heart and, even in my brokenness, make room for you. I will allow your heart's cry, whatever that cry holds, to join and impact mine so that lament transforms us.

Cara Meredith, Writer and Speaker

My fellow women leaders, I don’t need your words, but I do need you to see my pain. I need you to understand what this vote means to me. It means that my life doesn’t feel like it holds value, simply because I’m a woman. It means that the lives of my husband and my children and my brothers and sisters of color don’t seem to hold value, simply because of the color of their skin.

And it means that the lives of my queer friends, and the lives of my friends with disabilities, and the lives of those who immigrated here years ago, and those who just fled their homelands to come to America, don’t seem to hold value in the eyes of society, simply because they're different from the majority.

And this hurts me. It grieves me. It causes tears to spill down my face, as fear cripples every part of me and of those I love. So all I ask in this time is simply to see me as Christ himself sees me.

Sharon Hodde Miller, Pastor's Wife, Writer, and Speaker

Whenever God allows us to see ourselves as we truly are—the dark corners, the broken places—it's deeply painful, and can feel shameful, too. But, it's also a mercy. Though a severe one. The gift of seeing ourselves honestly is that it helps us to identify our work, and today, the work couldn't be any clearer. We are a divided church. Just as troubling, we have forfeited our prophetic witness as people of another kingdom. It's a reality we need to grieve, and repent of, but one we should not look away from. It's an austere reminder that we need to lead better. We need to love better. We need to teach better. We need to listen to our brothers and sisters of color better. We need to keep fighting for the honor and integrity of the Bride of Christ. And I dare say we need revival.

November11, 2016 at 7:59 AM

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