Politics Taught Me How to Surrender to Jesus
Just before the 2018 Texas primary run-off I told a friend, “I don’t think you have lived until you have had almost a million dollars in negative advertising thrown at you.”
I was raw and vulnerable in that moment.
Almost five years later, I can still say that while I may never understand the pain that Coptic Christians in Egypt feel as they are murdered for their faith, or the depths of rejection that former Muslims experience when coming to faith in Jesus; I do, however, understand suffering through years of working in a mudslinging political profession as a consultant and later becoming a congressional candidate myself. These are my decades of laboring for America that I will never regret and have shaped who I am today.
At the beginning of 2018, I spent my days driving around East Texas, going non-stop through seven counties, speaking and campaigning, all while using my cell phone to raise money everyday. I was on a mission with destiny, and I knew it.
My former employer, U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, had announced his retirement from representing the 5th district of Texas in Washington DC. I was now running for his seat. This shift in my life had come out of nowhere. I had never considered running for anything in my life – let alone for Congress. I was completely fulfilled working behind the scenes as a political consultant for thirty-two candidates and elected officials.
Then, in a flash, I had gone from desperately trying to find another candidate to run for my former boss’s congressional spot, to now sacrificing my own life, career, consulting firm, and even my own house, in order to run in an eight-candidate primary. This was crazy!
I was running for CONGRESS myself!
There were days during that season when I felt incredibly brave. On other days I felt a little stupid, yet I knew I was on a mission. After having served as Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s campaign manager for over a decade, I knew everyone in that district, including all the volunteers and donors. I had deep relationships inside the DC Beltway and around Texas. I understood federal public policy. I had small business know-how after having run three companies (a pest control company and two restaurants), together with my husband Tim. But most importantly, I cared for the people of the district. I cared for them deeply.
This was my daily prayer during that turbulent season. God – I just want to be where You are. In those intense months of my life, I continually told the Lord, “I am willing to go anywhere You lead me, Jesus – even Washington DC,” – though the latter was said with a bit of reluctance. “God - I am willing to go to the darkest place on the planet.” At that point, I had worked in politics for ten years. To me, Washington DC was extreme darkness.
I knew in that season that there was no way I could operate in my own strength and do this work successfully. Studying policy papers, listening to people’s detailed problems with the federal government, and dealing with the media was intense. Forced by the circumstances of the race to raise more money than I had ever done before for any of my clients, and in the shortest amount of time, I meant to walk with Jesus through it. I had no other option but to walk in His peace and joy, or I would not survive.
Let me just say – you have not lived until you have lived on the frontlines of a battle far from the place where your own abilities can make something happen. I was now living there in an adventure of complete dependence on God.
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