She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31: 25-26
The day that felt like it would never come, has finally arrived–the day after election day. No more awful commercials abouthow bad every candidate is (except the ones “approving this message”). No more awkward conversations with people you love, who happen to have very different political opinions than you. No more debates. No more debate remixes (sadly).
And yet, perhaps you are like me and have felt, at least a few times during this past year, powerless to help change our country for the better. Our country is facing many challenges right now, and perhaps, even if your candidate won last night, you have your doubts about how much they can accomplish, working in a broken system. It can be easy to find ourselves under a dark cloud in all of this, but when we do, we are forgetting something important about strength and power.
Over the past year, candidates–presidential, congressional, etc.–have campaigned for us to give them authority and power in our government. Today, because of our votes, some are looking forward to taking on that responsibility. But, they aren’t the only ones responsible.
The thing we often forget about strength and power is that we have them.
Though we may not hold a public office or have a known position of authority in our community, we still have both the ability and the opportunity to bring about change around us. Yes, only one person can be the president of the United States, but there are things we can change in our town and community, that the President can’t. There are needs that we see, that he won’t be able to get to. There are things that we have the power to change, if we just begin to look outside of our own homes and we begin to partner with one another in community.
One of the things that bothered me the most this past election year, was that there were very few women in the race and that there are few women in Congress in general. But then I realized, though we may not have political equality yet, we do still have great strengths and abilities to bring about change. As relational beings, we as women are uniquely wired to bring our neighbors together, to network within and outside our towns to bring hope and change to our communities.
Famous author and poet, Alice Walker has said “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” We as women have so often made this mistake, yet the world and our country needs us now, more than ever, to use the strengths God has given us. If we look back in History, we will find that the strongest people who have affected change, have not always been the people in positions of power. People like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King, have shown us that we don’t need titles to help bring new life to our world.
So, as we all heave a communal sigh of relief that election season is over, I want to ask:
In your community, where to do you want to see change?
And how may you be a part of the solution?