Monday, May 18, 2009
Sarah and Todd Palin were interviewed by Christian Living Magazine. The result is a rather encouraging, faith-filled conversation on which we get to eavesdrop. To read the entire interview, visit http://www.gofishproductions.net/home/T287-todd-sarah-palin.
The more I hear from Sarah Palin, the more committed I am to support her, to fight the attacks against her, and the more I, too, want to lead with a servant's heart. She paints a completely different picture of a political figure than we're used to--certainly the kind we need.
I encourage you to read the entire article, but I will highlight aspects of it that stood out to me and encouraged me personally.
There's no doubt that Sarah's appeal to many conservatives is her faith. They find in her a person with whom they can identify, a person who stands on Godly principles. They are refreshed by a woman who is unapologetic in her faith--especially at a time when many claim there are no moral absolutes. Read first about her initial decision to accept Christ as her Savior:
"Just like with everything else, Mom and Dad expected us to go church whether we wanted to or not," Sarah recalls. Her experiences there solidified a belief in something bigger and better than herself. At age 12, she made the personal decision to commit her life to Jesus Christ. "I knew even then that if I put my life in His hands, God would lead me and direct my paths. That decision still guides me today," she shares.
The following series of questions center on how she has manages to handle the attacks against her, her children, and her values. Let's be honest: Many of us would have folded under the pressure of what she continues to deal with.
CL: As a Christian leader, how do you deal with such difficult situations?
Sarah: I look back at Scripture that reminds me, hey, I'm sure not the first to face this. Criticism will come. Unfair shots will be taken. The question is how are you going to react? I like I Peter 2:12. It says to keep your conduct honorable, so that by your good works, which are observed by others, God will be glorified. When I read that I know others have faced this before me. They face it today. Who am I to exempt myself from a principle like that? In spite of it all, I've got to live my life to glorify God. That's what I promised myself I'd do 30 years ago, and that's what I must do now-not just to talk it, but to walk it.
CL: But how do you pass that concept on to your children?
Sarah: It's very timely that you should ask that question. Just the other day Bristol and Willow were at Wal-mart and Bristol called me and said, ‘Mom, you will not believe what I'm reading on the cover of the National Enquirer!' At first I said, ‘Don't even waste your brain cells!' But she was upset because the inside story said that she used drugs and that I was trying to talk her out of getting married. It gave me an opportunity to tell her that if we let it, lies and criticism can consume us to the point of becoming paralyzed. We have to answer our critics with how we live our lives.
With Bristol, God turned a situation that at first looked full of despair and embarrassment into such a blessing for our family. She has the most beautiful baby boy! I remind her and all our children that we have to stay focused on serving God, putting our lives in HIS hands and seeing the blessings flow from some less than ideal circumstances.
Just because you're a person of faith doesn't mean you don't go through difficult times. It doesn't mean that you never have a doubt. But it does mean that you have the strength to stand in the midst of adversity. The Palins know this as well as anyone. And one of the greatest opportunities to stand in God's strength was when they learned that Sarah was carrying a child with Down Syndrome. Statistics show that 90% of these children are aborted. Thank God, they chose life for Trig. They talked about this also with Christian Life Magazine.
CL: Another teaching opportunity came when your youngest son, Trig, was born with Down syndrome. How did this affect you?
Sarah: Trig did give us another occasion to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk. It's easy to say that every life should be cherished and every life carries potential. But at age 43, pregnant and at 13 weeks along learning that the baby would be born with Down syndrome, the situation necessitated a decision: Would I live what I've talked and taught? Or would I take a different path out of these perhaps less than ideal circumstances? I'm so thankful God gave us the strength and optimism to welcome Trig into our lives. God has gifted us with this child who has given us a way to connect with others around our country who also have special needs children. It's been nothing but wonderful.
Todd: I thank God for Trig every day. We are certainly very blessed to have him with us. You know, life is about being willing to walk the walk, not just talk it. As we go along, it may be tougher than ever to make the right decisions, but we must try to do so. That's all we can ever do.
Everyone knows how much I respect Sarah Palin. (Todd's not bad either!) Of course, I do know that they are just regular people--no masquerading as something other than who they are, no storehouse of riches, nothing like that. They're just like the people you pass everyday on your way to get the mail out of your box. What sets them apart is their heart for God. Sarah Palin reminds us of what public service is supposed to be all about: service. And she recognizes that before she can serve others well, she must serve Christ well. Other than the fact that it's just plain wrong and dishonest, what bothers me about the treatment Sarah Palin receives by some is that it discourages others who want to serve with integrity from putting themselves out there. I wrote about this issue here in February.
We need to do all we can to persuade, not just Sarah, but others with pure motives and heart-felt devotion to throw their names in the hat. Some people of faith believe that Christians have no place in politics. I disagree. We need people who love God influencing policies, and laws, and lifestyles. We need people who won't be found simply responding to the culture, but shaping it. Don't misunderstand: America doesn't need perfect people; we just need Godly people. We need Sarah Palin--and if you fit the bill, we need YOU! Funny thing is: When we have those kinds of people among us, their politics look less like politics as usual and more like service to Christ.
While we're on the topic, I'll take this opportunity to put in a plug. You can receive the book, Sarah Palin: Faith, Family, Country by Susan Sherwood Parr for FREE if you donate at least $25.00 to the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. Find out more by going to http://www.2012draftsarahcommittee.com/. You can watch the 32 second book trailer here:
"Personal integrity is making a hard decision and sticking with it. It's about digging down deep and holding onto your faith, even when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel." - Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska