Trading “Failures” for “Setbacks” – How God Spoke to Me Through Hillary’s Concession Speech


I’m a mess of emotions lately. Today is actually pretty good so far – I’m not anxious or down or terrified about the future. But just 3 days ago I was all of those things, and I’ve been swinging up and down emotionally for months now.

There are some legit reasons for this roller-coaster ride. For one thing, I recently turned forty-five, and I’ve noticed that my friends of similar ages seem to be spazzing out a little too with all the hormonal shifts. So that’s comforting. And being a mom of three while also running a nonprofit is justifiably challenging at times. Especially as we head toward fundraising season and the pressures of meeting our financial goals.

When you throw in a few recent disappointments, and the emotional distress of beating myself up about them, it can start to feel like life is too much. And I’m too little.

Luckily God is big. And he sometimes speaks in unexpected ways.

Yesterday I watched Hillary Clinton deliver an incredibly gracious, dignified and even inspiring concession speech to her supporters and to our country. I studied her body language and facial expressions as she spoke, and found evidence of strength and humility I didn’t expect. There was even a bit of tenderness in her demeanor, as she nearly teared up a few times acknowledging what she admitted was an incredibly painful experience.

And then she said something that reminded me that all truth is God’s truth…

“I’ve had successes, and I’ve had setbacks,” Hillary told the crowd in an impassioned voice, encouraging her supporters from the depths of her bruised heart. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

While Hillary and I may disagree on what’s “right” for our country, her words challenged me deeply, especially the first part of that statement. So often I face the disappointments of life from a shame-based posture, viewing them as “failures” caused by some devastating flaw in me rather than “setbacks” allowed by an all-knowing, ever-loving God as he works according to an economy so much different than my own.

But “setback” really is the better word-choice.

While failures weigh us down, setbacks remind us that there is something ahead, worthy of our continued pursuit. Because fighting for what is right IS worth it, not just for a politician, but for all of us, especially those who claim to know a power greater than any human, a love more enduring than time itself.

So today I will deal with hormonal shifts as they may come, but I won’t contribute to the emotional distress they cause by ruminating about my so-called failures. If God is big enough to speak through a candidate I didn’t vote for, he’s big enough to help me keep pressing on toward his purpose for my life.

And that’s just what I’m gonna do.

One mood swing at a time…