Glucose Tests, Political Ads, & Swords Into Plowshares

I grew up in a family of opinionated debaters. My mother has a ravenous interest in history and politics, my siblings and I are not quiet people, and my grandparents show up to family gatherings with newspaper clippings.

It makes me absolutely miserable.

Please see above pics of my family as photographic proof that they're very nice, rational people who enjoy a healthy debate without any flinging of the Sunday pot roast or negative epitaphs. See? Normal. Me? Not so much...

Not because I'm a holier-than-thou person. Not because I'm of opposite political leanings. Not for any intelligent, moral issue... No. I can't handle it because of my massive, misplaced empathy. I can't watch most thematic elements in movies (I have the maturity level/movie taste of a seven year old boy. Hellooooo, super hero movies!). A lack of agreement makes my heart ache as I jump back and forth from the different perspectives being presented. I can't handle watching someone else under stress. I absorb it and filter it through my own perspective. I sob all the time when someone else is crying. So, any kind of debate (even the amiable, lively conversations of my family!) just depletes me to a miserable, shaking, stressed-out mess. 

Debate team was clearly not my strong suit in high school...

Last week, I was trapped in a doctor's office for three hours as I went through the miserable process of a glucose test. (This baby had better be adorable.) As I was intermittently stuck 5 times, all while being woozy and wanting to pass out from sugar (which I haven't consumed in such massive quantities in forever), The Today Show blared in the background.

The inanity almost killed me. As our world falls apart, you want to talk about someone making pop art from Skittles? Also, who pays for those women's shoes every day? Why do they need such amazing shoes while they're sitting down? Of course, standing in those shoes would probably be more difficult... Man, I love shoes.

Then came commercial breaks. They were pretty much back to back political ads. And the smut, name-calling, lying, and depressing "I'm a creepy serial killer" voice-overs made me want to crawl out of my skin.

I tried reading magazines. They were full of unhappy women claiming that they could "have it all." I know they were unhappy, because according to us "common folks" they do have it all. But "all" is apparently not enough.

Maybe it was the glucose, or the loss of blood, or the random men in the waiting room that were "pro-abortion" and tried to convince a 7+ month pregnant woman that they were "progressive" in their views of women's health (yes, this happened several times)... perhaps it was the TV, or the ads, or magazines, but I stumbled out of that office tired, weepy, and carrying a large bag of misery (along with a raging headache).

Our world is a mess, people. 

Our "pop culture" is pointless, our "celebrities" inane, our politicians immoral, and our populace over-exposed to news and yet still undereducated.

And I became scared.

And as I opened my Bible the next morning, my head still throbbing, my heart still heavy, my empathy throbbing for all the pointlessness, the drivel, the name-calling, the immorality... God wrapped me in his truth, and I began to breathe again.

They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
— Micah 4:4 (ESV)

Start at the end... "For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken." I heard a lot of people speaking. Their speech did nothing beyond turn a very hormonal woman into a sobbing mess. But when God speaks, that is all that needs to happen. Words. That's it. His very words are all that are needed. Have we ever had a world leader that can do that? "Talk is cheap." Unless they are words proceeding from the mouth of God.

All he has to do is speak.

"No one shall make them afraid..." I'm battling a lot of fear right now. Fear for my children, fear for our country, fear is crowding upon fear. There is no where I can look in this election that does not fill me with terror. That will not always be the case. Someday, there will come a day when NO ONE can make us fear. NO ONE.

A world without fear.

And there will be peace, and home, and stability. "Every man under his vine and under his fig tree." This comes directly after verse 3, in which God promises an end to war and a beginning of unthreatened prosperity. We need peaceful homes. We need to be able to sit down and rest.

And all this... the world without war, the world without fear, without terror, a world filled with peace and prosperity and resting in safe homes... all this will come to pass because "the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken."

It's coming, friends. Peace is coming.

It's just not here yet. Unless you have anchored your soul to the one Leader who can establish peace with mere words.

I Am Allowed Hatred Without Caveats

I hate the Holocaust.

Hate it.

I hate that it happened. I hate that the world stood by and watched. I hate that people were gathered, based on their DNA, into pens, camps, and gas chambers.

Hate it.

If I were to state this sentiment at a cocktail party (what a buzz kill, right?), or to express these thoughts during a history class (probably a more suitable venue), everyone would nod along with me. Everyone would agree. Everyone would join in with their hatred of this atrocity and suggestions of how we could have acted faster.

But let's say everyone didn't join in my indignation.

I shout, "I hate the Holocaust!" And everyone just stared, and then someone patted my arm and said, "Courtney, you can't really hate the Holocaust. I mean, you're only allowed to protest about it if you're also for a Jewish relocation program."

I stare at them blankly.

And the person on my other side said, "I mean, I understand you're upset about the super-intelligent Jews that were killed, but you can't really be anti-Holocaust unless you're also pro-Jewish education."

I blink. Shocked.

It was genocide. It was horrible. It was deplorable. I am allowed to hate it. Without caveats. Men were killing men based on a man-made determination of worth. I. Hate. That.

So, this is what I'm saying...

I HATE ABORTION.

It is genocide.

It is murder.

It is the mutilation of little babies.

Don't tell me I also have to support adoption. Don't tell me that I also have to be pro-woman. Don't tell me that I must caveat my hatred for this despicable, horrible, satanic practice.

Listen to what I am saying: I am a woman. I respect women. We bring something to the world that no man can. I love children. I've adopted one, birthed one, and am in the process of adopting our foster son. Because I love children. And I want to help and heal and serve those who are hurting, overwhelmed, and underprivileged. I love the women who work at those clinics. I love the women who are driven to desperation. If you've been through an abortion, my heart yearns over you. I want to hold you and let you cry. I want you to find help and healing. (If this is you, please. Please, there are women who want to help you heal... https://www.healinghearts.org/). I love the women who made this painful choice. 

BUT I HATE THE CHOICE.

I love the doctors, the nurses, the heads of these difference agencies. My heart aches for them, because I know that they are hardened or struggling. They are trying to provide truth in a vacuum. I cry for their souls. I shudder at their future.

I HATE ABORTION.

I do not need to provide a list of things I am "pro." I am pro-life because abortion is genocide. No one asks me to caveat my views of the Holocaust. No one insists I must be pro-Israel. I'm allowed to just HATE IT. In the wake of Planned Parenthood videos, I see many people stating that I must be "pro" a whole list of other things in order to justify my "anti-abortion" standing. Listen to me. There is no verse in the Bible where I have to support my intense dislike of murder. To demand that I must list thirty-seven ways I love children, women, and families, in order to be against the brutal mutilation of a silently screaming infant: THAT IS IDIOTIC. And completely unbiblical. 

I refuse to caveat my hatred of abortion.

These are babies.

Abortion is slaughter.

This is our Holocaust.

You're allowed to hate it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Searing Vision

There are certain books I have read probably 10+ times, and I am almost positive (since I'm only at the tender age of 31), that I shall probably read them at least 10+ more. There are my staple Austen's (Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion), my requisite children's literature (Ella Enchanted and Little Women), my life-changing biography (God's Smuggler), the staple Victorian chick-lit (Anne of Green Gables and anything by Angela Thirkell), and of course... the delicious "Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, that I have read so many times, I can quote portions of them right along with the audiobooks.

One of my favorites scenes occurs in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. A boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb (who was so awful, he almost deserved that name), has been transformed into a dragon. Incapable of changing himself back into a scrawny boy, he seems destined to live out the rest of his life on a forsaken island. One night, Aslan, the lion/Christ figure appears and takes him to a hidden spring. Eustace tries to get in to the bubbling, pure water, but is told first to "undress" from his dragon scales. He peels off his outer layer of scales. Once. Twice. A third time. But to no avail. His dragon coat remains impenetrable. Then, Aslan offers to help... “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.” recounts Eustace to his friends. Aslan proceeds to strip him, hurting him with a searing pain, and yet, Eustace says, it feels so good.

I'm in dragon stage right now. Sometimes, I'm legitimately a "dragon mommy." (I had a break down last week which involved me hyperventilating... to myself. Alone. In a toy room. While my family ate dinner. I'm not proud of that...) I have three small humans (and a not-so-small one in my uterus that is growing like gangbusters), who are the proverbial moral "blank slates." Every day is a battle. It's wrapped up in cuteness, but it's a battle. A battle for "please/thank you," a battle for obedience, a battle for thankfulness, attentiveness, politeness, kindness, and gentleness.

And my dragon skin is being ripped off, one layer at a time. I'm still a dragon. But my layers of scales are being peeled off. Bit, by painful bit. That's what I'm praying for, anyway. I don't want the hard days to leave me unchanged, or bitter, or with a handful of cute stories and nothing more. I want the brutal battle of motherhood to transform me.

But on the hard days... when I find a third puddle of urine, I've lost count of how many peanut butter sandwiches I've made, and we're having a 45 minute battle over wearing a sweatshirt (that yesterday was a favorite and today is apparently like acid touching the skin)... On those days, I dream about the day. The day when I shall see HIM. The one who will peel away every layer of dragon in one swift motion. I know that's what will happen.

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)

We are not now what we will be... we are humans disguised as dragons, but in one searing vision, in one swift glimpse of our Savior and our God, our dragon skin will be ripped completely off. And we shall be seen for who we were meant to be. And that, my friends, will make all the urine puddles and toddler battles worthwhile. Keep peeling that skin, my friend. Keep peeling.