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Without the hope of change, we’ll rob ourselves of something to fight for.

I know it’s hard to even fathom that there’s a light at the end, that we’ll escape the hatred of racism and the sneaky oppression of systemic racism. I know it’s hard to see a world that doesn’t cry ourselves to sleep and explain to our kids why we’re hurting because of the ongoing 400 years of fighting for something we can’t change … how God made us.

But dang it! We have got to hold on to the hope of change for something better. If not, what are we fighting for? Why did the fighters who came before us give their lives to fight to desegregate pools and schools and buses and water fountains? For us. And now, we’re doing it for our babies, for our brown boys and girls. For a better world for them. At a VERY high cost: our mental, emotional and physical health.

We shouldn’t have to fight this hard for fairness or love though, that’s the truth friends. So be weary, take breaks, allow your allies to lean in, respond when you can … and want. Lay some things at the feet of Jesus, lock arms with other black men and women to get refueled, use your voice, and please just don’t forget that hope is available.

I will NOT DARE look my daughter in the eyes and tell her there’s not hope. I won’t fail her. I won’t condemn her white friends, teachers and small group leaders, and I won’t make her hate them. Maybe you’re not a parent, maybe you don’t understand the weight of fighting for tomorrow for your baby. But as a mom, I have to CHOOSE hope and love while speaking hard truth about our country for her. And honestly, it’s made me handle things with more grace, and helped me care about all of my relationships, of every color and belief, deeply.

To my white brothers and sisters, my belief is that you would discover, accept, and know your part in making this hope a reality for us.

This was previously posted on Instagram at @ToniJCollier.

Toni Collier is a communicator and host at North Point Ministries (founded by Andy Stanley), peacemaking consultant with Preemptive Love and the creator of Broken Crayons Still Color, a blog and interactive devotional brand helping women find hope in brokenness. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Sam, and daughter, Dylan, as a family fighting for justice and Jesus to fill the hearts of many. Follow her on Instagram at @ToniJCollier.