Tuesday, November 04, 2014
It's election day in an election year that is forecasted to bring major change in our country. While the results will not be known for a while, there is a strong chance that countless people will awaken to news tomorrow that their jobs are ending as a result of the Republican Party taking control of the Senate. No doubt, many Hill staffers are filled with anxiety today as they wonder what the future holds.
I was one of those staffers two decades ago. Twenty years ago, I was in Cleveland campaigning for a Congressman in whose office I had been working since April. Eric had won my respect and given me the opportunity of a lifetime when he hired me to organize his Washington schedule. I loved my work on his staff, and I'll share dinner tonight with two of my coworkers in that office who are some of my dearest friends to this day. It was an incredible experience for which I'll always be thankful. I'll never forget it - and I'll also never forget the impact a lost election had on my life.
I can still visualize Newt unveiling the Contract for America on the Capitol lawn (though today I only see him in the shampoo room since we have our hair cut at the same place).
I can still hear the sound of silence that rang through the hallways when I arrived in the office on the Wednesday after election day after I took an early morning flight back to Washington.
I can still see the lines of people in a Congressional hearing room waiting to sign up for unemployment benefits.
And I can still taste the beer and smell the bar where I spent countless nights during a season of unemployment that lasted nearly four months.
It was a life-altering season. There were countless mistakes made during those four months of soul-searching. But there were also new paths found as I navigated my way back to church and found that my identity had little to do with the fancy gold Congressional seal on my business card and everything to do with my being a beloved child of God.
Sometimes the most difficult seasons of life lead to the most fruitful futures.
"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11