by Samantha Garcia
For many years I thought I had life figured out. I was planted in a church, had a solid place in my office and felt secure in my neighborhood. Life was humming along perfectly, or so I thought… I can look back now and say 2016 wonderfully wrecked me. The life I thought I knew or that I thought I was comfortable with was not life for me. I was playing along with what the world wanted not the life God wanted me to have.
I never thought I would be interested in politics but the 2016 election reeled me in to a level I never thought it would. I became a woman obsessed. Anything and everything I could read, listen to, and watch on the election I took in. I became aware of different causes and issues at whole new levels. I remember in school hearing aboutlife changing elections and social movements. I was now seeing these unfold before my eyes. Hollywood couldn’t write this script if it tried. The thing I noticed was my need to get involved. Not just by voting but by making my voice heard and actually becoming an activist.
It was the summer of 2016 when I was challenged. I was seeing our country torn apart on issues of race, gender and even political party. In fact, for awhile it seemed mypolitical views seemed to clash with my spiritual views. My church seemed to be a place that was far from welcoming, in fact as I stood aside and looked I no longer liked the church family I was a part of. The “production” that was known as my weekly service no longer fed me spiritually and I was no longer willing to participate. I went home from one service going, “What am I doing there?” But it was all I knew as far as spiritual journeys go. I remember going, “God where do you want me to go? What am I supposed to do?”
Then one night God spoke. The once comfy life I knew, HE was going to turn upside down and have me venture to the part of the unknown. I was going to have get comfortable being uncomfortable. The past summer I had to have the tough conversations, let some people go and embark on a new journey that God has for me. In that process, God helped me grow. I grew deeper in my relationship with God. I’ve become more dependent on Him which has freed me in so many aspects in my life. Through the summer, God led me to a different church, helped ease the tension the election was having on me and most importantly introduced me to friends I can actually DO LIFE WITH.
The once quiet girl when it came to politics and who would only use social media to post cute photos of her shoes or food has become passionate about sharing her political and religious views. In a world where politics and faith are often seen as separate, for me they have become very much intertwined. I’ve removed any and all masks that used to hide me from conflict in one arena or another. The deeper I got with God, the more transparent I became with others which allowed me to grow spiritually, creativity to levels I’ve never imagined.
I no longer look at the unknown as something to avoid. I’m growing to embrace the changes life can throw my way. God had to break me down to the point of tears and frustration to rebuild me. In the midst of my mental and spiritual agony He helped sand off the rough edges. Through the chaos of last year He helped open my eyes and softened my heart. The journey was rough, it hurt but in the long run I have grown stronger, more confident as the women God wants me to be. There’s a plan for my life andwhile I don’t have a road map I know the best is yet to come.