Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why I'm Glad My Husband Is White


{Elissa Ewald Photography}

I originally started this post over two months ago when everything was happening in Dallas and Baton Rouge, but I just didn't have it in me to finish it. Sadly, the recent happenings in Charlotte have given me a reason to revisit the post and hit publish. This time it's different. It's much closer to home. My sister lives in Charlotte, and I don't want to go to bed at night thinking about her safety. Y'all, please hold your loved ones close and be kind to every person you encounter. This life is too short to get caught up on the small stuff.

The other night, when I was trying to process through all of this junk, I looked at Rory, and I said, "Is it bad that I'm glad you're white? Because if I had married a black man I might have to be more afraid of how my kids will survive in this world." He just looked at me and said, "Well, that's a really dark thought, but I understand."

How messed up is this world that thoughts like this run through my mind? In light of all that has changed, there is still so much to be done. But it starts with the little things. The news portrays all of the tragedies that we see. People share statistics about why it is important to understand that black lives are not the only ones being threatened. There is ignorance on all sides of the issue.

I grew up in the suburbs of East Cobb in Marietta, Georgia. Not exactly a hotbed of racial tension, but also not a place with a ton of diverse attitudes and perspectives represented in the majority. People often would say "You're the whitest black girl I know" or "You're like an Oreo, black on the outside but white on the inside." I often would laugh and joke along with them, glad that I was "accepted." Um, false. Because when you qualify someone's personality by saying that they are more comfortable with you because you act like them and people with whom they are more comfortable, there's a problem.

Much as I hate to admit it, I wanted to be accepted, so I would poke fun at my color and make jokes that literally sicken me to my stomach when I think about them now. Because the fact is, it's not funny to make fun of yourself. It's not funny to continue cycles of shame. And it certainly isn't funny to do that because you feel as though you must in order to be accepted by the majority.

Last night, I was praying for the people in Charlotte, mainly my sister and her boyfriend. As I started praying, I said, "Lord, we come to you saddened by the events today-well, I don't know if Rory's sad, but I come to you saddened tonight..." And Rory kind of stopped me and was like, "Why do you not think I'm sad?" Because try as I may, there are still some very dark parts of my heart. Because maybe I still think that this is a "black issue." False. This is a human issue. I assume that because my husband is white that maybe he's not sad. Maybe he doesn't care. And that is completely and totally untrue. He cares because he's a person, too. He cares because he happens to love an African American woman. But he cares because he is a follower of Christ.

After crying and praying, I rolled over and said, "I'm scared to bring kids into this world." Because I may try to comfort my thoughts by thinking that maybe because our kids will be biracial it might not be "that bad." But the truth is, people are mean and ignorant. People are unkind and harsh. And our kids may face a lot of junk that neither of us faced simply because of their sweet caramel skin.

So why am I glad my husband is white? Because it forces me to face some dark parts of my heart. It forces me to be honest and be a truth-seeker. And it forces me to ask myself if I am truly loving as Jesus loved.

Further Reading

Why I'm Prejudiced & So Are You
The Real Reason White People Say 'All Lives Matter'

9 comments:

  1. Thank you Jessica for sharing this - your heart and your revelations. We all have dark parts of our hearts, but few are brave enough to share them with the world. I pray that this motivates all everyone (including myself) to search our hearts for the parts where prejudice or privilege have harden it. <3

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    1. Thank you sweet friend. Love you and am grateful for your kind words.

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  2. Loved reading this today, Jess. We love you guys and the way that you unashamedly pursue Jesus in all areas of your life. We're grateful to call you and Rory friends and to have stood by you on your wedding day. Hope to see you both soon!
    Also, you guys better have kids because they're going to be beautiful and brave as hell and my son is going to need friends like them. ;)

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    1. We love you too! Thank you for your kind words. And yes our kids HAVE to be friends. There is no choice in the matter. :)

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  3. Oh, Jessica, thank you for sharing this. Thank you for being honest and brave. And yes, Rory is sad ultimately because he is a Christian. I wish it were the same for everyone who claims Christ as their Savior! I weep because we can't protect your future children with anything but the promises of God... but I do believe that those are enough. And I believe that, with people like you and Rory and others willing to speak against darkness, that we can make the world safer for our children.

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you sweet friend. It is hard to hold onto Hope when we see so much JUNK in this world. Love you and am grateful for you. Leah is going to be friends with our kids and we are going to make a difference step by step.

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  4. Sweet Jessica, I so love the way you share your heart with so many. I live in central Mexico as a white American. When I go into the Mexican and Huichol villages I look quite different. My blonde hair and blue eyes stand out. What is so glorious is how the LOVE OF CHRIST makes me feel so welcome to these villagers. The world needs Jesus Christ. That is the only answer to the hate we are seeing. We can make a difference each day. LOVE as Christ does.

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    1. Yes, I love that the love of Christ is what can unite us all and pray that that is what brings us together and we stop dividing ourselves based on color and other silly things. Christ is enough for us! Love you Olivia. :)

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  5. Jessica you and your husband are a very beautiful couple and I hope that you all succeed because as long as you worship God skin color doesn't matter Amen!

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