For the record, I really, really don’t like politics. Too divisive and argumentative all the way around for me. I am a registered voter — “unaffiliated” because I have commitment issues, or something. I guess. I don’t know. Anyway, I loathe contentiousness in almost every form, so yeah, politics and me, we’re not buddies.
For me, last year’s presidential election cycle can be summed up by a small snippet of the battle of wits scene from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride:
“I clearly cannot choose the wine in front of you. But you know I am not a fool, so I clearly cannot choose the wine in front of me.”
I guess others felt similarly, because on election day, I saw a reply on a Facebook feed where the poster was lamenting that neither candidate was good for America, that said, “Choose wisely how you destroy this country.” Feels about right.
If it’s any consolation, I don’t think Donald Trump is the real-deal antichrist because the actual antichrist is supposed to bring peace when he arrives on the scene, which is decidedly not quite what has happened. Hopefully, that’s encouraging. Besides, the antichrist’s promise of peace will last for a small amount of time, but ultimately won’t turn out well for all of humanity. Just thought I’d throw that little morsel out for you to chew on.
As if the presidential stuff wasn’t enough, it did seem like there were quite a few celebrity deaths in 2016. Not sure if there were more deaths than usual or if it was people who factored into my memories more than before. To be fair, though sad, many were on the older side of life. At some point, we should expect to hear a certain person has died. However, I was admittedly surprised by Prince’s and George Michael’s deaths—my teenage years took quite a hit with the passing of those two. In my younger years, I thought George Michael was really very good looking. My kids think that’s weird. The other moment that was a little out of kilter was hearing, literally minutes after seeing Rogue One, that Carrie Fisher had died. It wasn’t that much of a surprise really, just that, oh I don’t know, it brought on contemplative-y thoughts.
Despite all that, for my little family, here in this house, it was all around one of the better years we’ve been through. A few struggles here and there, but there were unexpected answers to prayers that had been prayed for what seemed like an eternity. There was being medicinally cured of Hep C. That alone deserves a big round of applause. We got to buy a new car. If you only knew how big of a deal that was for us, you’d cheer too. We got to take a vacation. Finally. Ooooh, and nobody ended up in the emergency room or hospital the whole year. How do you like that?
Probably one of the better things that happened for me personally is that last chunk of resentment towards my husband finally broke off. It’s not like I tried to hate the man. I fought against it. I didn’t understand why, if he did something that frustrated me, every other thing I thought he had ever done wrong kept arising in me. I thought I had forgiven the things that he had done that hurt me (read here for a little background).
I had. Really. I did forgive.
Yet there was still that small, lingering resentment. But why??? I couldn’t figure it out.
I began praying that it would go away. I guess I thought it would magically disappear, but it just kept coming back. Over time, I came to realize the biggest factor at play in this leftover angst was nothing but plain old fear.
It was a weird thing. I guess a part of me felt like if I let go of that last bit of anger, and allowed myself to enjoy his presence fully again, then when I allowed myself to truly like him, he would die. It sounds a tad irrational, I know, but it’s not the kind of irrational completely outside the realm of reality. He had come very close to dying a couple of years ago and I guess, somewhere in my brain, I figured if he did die, I wouldn’t miss him as much if I still didn’t necessarily like having him around.
Which wasn’t particularly fair to him. And I knew it. I didn’t want to keep on like that, I simply and honestly didn’t know how to let it go. I mean, he has worked so hard to get things in his life right. To be good to us. To grow and mature. How can I hold anything against him still?
Then I went to Florida for a night. All by myself. I was alone with my thoughts in my hotel room, when I suddenly saw my sin. Not his. I saw my fear close up. I saw how selfish I was being. How loaded up with concern for myself. I saw how ugly it looked and I couldn’t bear it anymore and fell on my knees. Oh dear God, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.
And then I cried and cried and cried.
When I finished crying and stood back up, I felt as if something heavy had been lifted off of me. It was gone. It has stayed gone.
He still irks me from time to time, don’t get me wrong. But now not all of life’s problems take over me when he does. I can now deal with the moment at hand, not a decade’s worth of old junk. That, my friends, is such a relief. I may not be losing physical weight, but getting rid of emotional heaviness is worth its weight in gold.