I am weary. Today I received some very hard news for my family and I am so tempted to throw out ALL efforts to participate in this life. Caring beyond my family is a real struggle. At least, I would like to be in a bubble with my family and give no more cares for the outside world. I’m ready for heaven and home and it hurts to breathe. There isn’t a hug that can fix it, no conversation to bring comfort. It’s just me in my struggle to survive the next 10 minutes and then the next. It’s a dark place. I hate it. For the girl people often see as lit with life and light and the Love of God, I’m embarrassed I don’t know who she is today.
Last night I was a keyboard warrior and while I had fun, I toyed fighting with evil. I knew it going in and knew when I walked away that I had indeed looked Satan in the eyes and said, “Not today!” There are days where my contribution to the impact in Texas feels massive and even quantitative. But… today… I am weak, and I hate this prison planet. I’d like to go Home.
There are days when I plead for mercy to be set apart from the evils of this world and I lose hope. I have more Jonah moments than I care to admit. Daily, the enemy conjures accusations that I am a DANGEROUS parent – neglectful and even MURDEROUS – in order to manipulate the social climate and political mandates that would ultimately enslave my family. The whims of the next media driven scare tactic haunt me. I repeatedly hear myself say, “Those people don’t deserve my help.” Many times, I’m not even sorry. Then I read about another baby dying the day they got their scheduled shots. My heart breaks that I couldn’t help them, and pounds with righteous anger. If I shout it from the rooftops, they still have deaf ears. Or maybe they do hear, but their consciences are seared. Another one dies. Another is brain damaged with seizures for life. Another is unaware as to why they are sick all the time, and survives struggling with lifelong complications. My voice is hoarse from shouting and I feel drowned out. The enemy is pleased.
I have 5 healthy, homeschooled, non-vaccinated children. Why should I care beyond my family bubble? This isn’t my fight, right? We will homeschool until the last child is finished. I could be silent. I could let someone else handle this. It would be so simple to walk away and take care of my life in new and better ways. The business I’m building could get all the attention it needs. My kids could have a better homeschool experience. I could BE that Pinterest homeschool mom.
Except, Pinterest is censoring vaccine choice content – calling it “self harm” – and Facebook is threatening to do the same. Rumors are coming in from just about everywhere that we will being silenced on every platform. The latest assault on spreading the truth came from Amazon. Why is the company I buy my toothpaste from getting into the political war for my body? Who forced them to take a side?! My hoarse voice cracks, muted by a computer algorithm programmed by someone out there who has no clue.
Then, the claim that we are well-funded was a hard slap to our faces. The husbands of the hardest working volunteers on the planet clinch their jaws because they are literally working out what bill gets postponed so they can fix their family vehicle. This was never about money for us.
I told a man who was insisting government mandates are necessary that I would walk through hot coals to keep my right to make medical decisions for myself and my family. No one wants this battle! I’d NEVER choose to walk over hot coals for the fun of it. I realized he, and those who agree with him, ARE coming after my family. There is no safe bubble. They march this war to my doorsteps. They delight in throwing coals and have no problem demanding we walk over them.
Friends, meet me in the dark places. We know them too well. The dark places where your child is permanently damaged, hope for them is so small, and life is HARD. Meet me in the dark places. Meet me at the grave site of your loved one. Remember the dark places where you were refused medical care and had no place to go. Meet me. Bring the coal they threw at you. Meet me where your bodily autonomy was violated in the name of taking one for the team. Meet me in the place where your family no longer wants you to visit because you cannot vaccinate your child. Meet me in the dark places of ignorance and hate. Meet me! Meet me where discrimination and public shame impacted your family and opportunity. Meet me in the dark places where CPS was fraudulently called on your family. Meet me in the doctor’s office where medical duress was rampant. Meet me where the death threats assaulted you and where they hoped your children die. You know the dark places too well.
Dark places make it hard to see who is there. Some I know simply because I’ve battled beside them so long; I know the sounds of their hearts beating. Others are new to me, but they brought their coal. Bring yours. Bring ALL the coal they threw at you!
Coals, once cold and black, are only dependent on ONE coal being red hot. Red hot coals ignite other coals. The heat and fire spread.
Our reasons for why we endure the dark places light the fire as we fan the flame. The coal thrown at us grows red hot. First we walk over them, and then, carry them. Finally, we offer them to those who need light and warmth. Hope.
We are made to do the best of things in the worst of times.
Meet me in the dark places.
Soot is our war paint.
Love is our strength.
Hope fans the flame.
The fight is fueled.
Light the fire.
Come and Take It.