Labels, Politics and Feathers…Oh my!

It can be dangerous to label someone or something.  Even with the best of intentions and however true it can come back to bite us “you know where”.  Yesterday I posted that I am not a “Republican” like most of my family.  My family.  The hardest-working, honest, All-American and for the most part (if not all) conservative people I knowI stand corrected in my “label”.  Even if not one of them has ever voted outside the “Republican” side of the ballot they apparently don’t want to be labeled that way, either.  What do I say?  “Hallelujah“!  I think they get what I’m trying to say…even if it did ruffle some feathers in the process.  But how can the truth offend someone?  I can honestly say I know the feeling.   Sometimes we don’t always like what we in fact are.

For a very long time I hid the fact that I have chronic pain to avoid being “labeled”.  I didn’t want people to think I was “faking it” or a “hypochondriac” or “crazy”.  None of those things are true.  This pain is real, life-changing and a struggle every single day.  But telling my story and being honest about it, while it’s been the most difficult skeleton in my closet to reveal, has been the best thing for me.  I am real now.  I am just me, no one else.  It is because of God’s grace and his constant presence in my life that I am able to function drug-free and staying silent about that was wrong.  If I don’t tell people about God’s amazing love and strength and faithfulness…how is He glorified?

I feel the need to set the record straight.  My family has accepted me for me from the very start.  I don’t think they realize that I am who I am because of them.  The influence they’ve had on me to work hard to succeed, to stand up and fight for what I believe in, that we live in the greatest country in the world and it is a blessing from God all came from their example in how they live their lives.  I don’t need to name names, they know who they are.  I label them my family, because they are.  I am proud to be one of them.  I hope they are proud of who I’ve become.

There are some labels I cannot, nor will ever, refute.  “Daughter”, “Granddaughter”, “Sister”, “Wife”, “Mother”, “Friend”, “Niece”, “Cousin”…but the most important is “Christian”.  In 1 John 3:1 God says I am a part of His family.  I cannot change the fact…nor would I ever want to…that my mother is my mother.  It’s the same with God’s family.  I have been adopted into His family by accepting His Son, Jesus, as my Savior.  I want people to know that before they know which side of the ballot I vote on, what I do for a living, or that I really have a strong affection for shoes.

The biggest reason I want to distance myself from things like politics, something I used to be passionate about, is because I’m having a hard time believing in it.  The more I see and read the more frustrated I get.  It’s so disheartening.  God says in Philippians 4:8 that we are to think of things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy and excellent.  Politics these days is filled with, some would argue has always been, the exact opposite.  I seem to get really aggravated and upset and think “Are you kidding me?”  I’ve decided not to concern myself with it so much.  Will I still vote?  Absolutely.  Like I said, I love our country and see it as a blessing from God to have the freedoms we have.  But I will vote for those with God’s principals and make my decision based on God’s Word and ask God what He thinks.

So, what is my “label” when it comes to politics?  I won’t accept being a Democrat or Republican or Libertarian or Tea Partier.  I told my Dad today that I don’t think I have one but to say “I’m a Christian”.  He said “That’s exactly what you should be”.  With that, I am at peace!

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