Today as I was driving in my car, I was reflecting back on the purpose for why the Lord called me to run for United States Senate. It would be easy to doubt if I let my mind go down that path. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life…and I’ve given birth to three children! I knew it would be difficult, but I was surprised at just how hard. It was emotionally, mentally, spiritually an d physically fatiguing. You expect one or two of those things, but you don’t realize the toll on your life when you give 150% in all those areas at the same time. I would literally wake up everyday and will myself through God’s grace to accomplish the day. I loved campaigning, the people, speaking the truth, but it drained everything out of me and took God’s strength to accomplish each day.
While I may never understand God’s purpose for my running for U.S. Senate, I was struck by a few things that it did accomplish:
1) It has made me a better wife and mother. I thoroughly appreciate all the little things. I enjoy doing the laundry, eating three meals a day around the table with my family, reading books to my kids, sitting on the screened deck and having longs talks with my husband, morning devotions with the family over breakfast, homeschooling, and even cleaning the house. My family can tell I’m different and I can tell the same thing.
2) It has made me hungry to know the Lord in a more real and authentic way. You see so much pretending in politics. I want to be raw and exposed to the Lord’s will in my life and to those around me. I don’t want to run through the motions and be a typical “suburb” Christian. I don’t want to pretend to be something I am not, regardless of the consequences or backlash. I want it to exude through my pores through my speech, actions, service, attitude and thoughts.
3) It has put an even greater fire in my belly to speak the truth, unvarnished, and not be worried about how people, even on my “own side,” might receive it. I find myself wanting to break from the mold. I don’t want to conform and be a part of groups that espouse one thing and do another, whether it is in church, political parties, etc. I think we need more people who will speak with boldness and compassion, and without being preoccupied by the opinions of the power brokers, bloggers, and mainstream public. People want authentic leaders. We need leaders who will LEAD and blaze a new path and set a higher standard. We need leaders who make us want to strive for more out of ourselves, our communities and our country.
4) I met some of the most amazing people who touched my life and inspired me. They gave me hope and taught me so much. When I think about all the friends I made through the journey, I would do it again in a heart beat! I cherish you all in my heart and I think about you all the time. What I miss most about campaigning is being with all of you. I think about the mom with stage 4 cancer volunteering in my office every week, the home school mom with preschoolers going door knocking with her kids, the thousands who sacrificially gave money they didn’t have to give, the Ron Paul supporters who took the time to have long discussions with me on policy and helped me evolve in my thinking, the teenager who made shirts for my children, families who let me sleep at their houses when I was on the road, the countless army who prayed for me daily and encouraged me and the list goes on and on and on…
God is so good. I ran to win, and although I didn’t win the election, I still feel like I won. You all made me a better person, a better mom, and hopefully a better leader.
I’m not done fighting. God has put it on my heart to proclaim truth with boldness. The only prayerful question I have at this point is: how would God have me do that?
So this is Radtke Raw! I’m just trying to be vulnerable, honest and authentic with you all. Now you know my thoughts!
By: Guest contributor Jamie Radtke
Jamie Radtke was a candidate for US Senate in the 2012 GOP primary. Jamie’s political experience includes serving as Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation 2009 – 2011, Richmond Tea Party – President, 2009 – 2011, Restore the Founders’ Vision – Secretary/Treasurer, 2009, Sovereign Consulting – Founder & Consultant, 2007- 2008, Virginia Conservative Action PAC – Political Director & Grassroots Director, 2004-2007, Virginia Department of Planning and Budget – James B. Cook Scholar, Richmond, VA, 1997, Office of the Governor – Special Assistant to the Governor, Richmond, VA, 1995- 1996, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Staff Assistant Washington D.C., 1995. Jamie was featured in the films “Fire from the Heartland” - a documentary on emerging conservative women leaders produced by Citizens United, and “The Undefeated” – a documentary on the career of Sarah Palin written and directed by Stephen Bannon.
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