My beloved home state of magnolias is beautiful and ugly, blossoming but burdened. I want to see her wholeness represented in a quilt of humanity, connecting us, reflecting us, empowering us—not just some of us, but all of us.
Nov. 7, 2023, is an important day in the Magnolia State. We get to decide with our vote which candidates care the most about Mississippi’s wholeness, about improving the quality of life for everyone. We have the power to seat the candidates who are most fit, most capable and most committed to seeing, hearing and serving the whole state, not just pieces of it.
Vying for the highest seat is one candidate who vows to protect the interests of conservatives while fighting liberals and another who promises to serve and fight for all Mississippians.
Amid rural hospital closures, a severe health-care crisis, a welfare scandal, neglect of Mississippi’s most vulnerable residents, unbearable grocery prices, and a mounting chain of corruption, as a voter, I am listening carefully to what every candidate reveals about themselves, especially the two who are competing for our top spot of leadership. The issues are massive, severe, and, for some of us, blistering—and too large to categorize as merely “conservative” or “liberal.”
In this election, the reality that I was diagnosed with cancer this past spring has largely shaped my voter lens. I am blessed to be in remission. I celebrate this truth daily. Thank God for grace!
I wish my testimony could be entirely pretty, but reality painted a picture with shadows of darkness. Throughout each doctor’s appointment, hospital visit, lab test, surgery, radiation treatment and oncologist follow-up, I met other people, like me, learning to exist after a scary disease ravaged their lives.
“Nov. 7, 2023, is an important day in the Magnolia State,” LaWanda Dickens writes. “We get to decide with our vote which candidates care the most about Mississippi’s wholeness, about improving the quality of life for everyone.” Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History
One afternoon, while sitting in the lobby of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, waiting to
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