Dear America,

I grew up reading about you. Even more, actually, I grew up walking your roads, climbing your mountains, embracing your beauty, and engaging your culture.

And I owe you an apology.

I take you for granted far too often.

I have been to other countries, and there is one thing I am certain of: there is no place like you.

I know you’re not perfect, and you have let me down before, but it is no wonder that God brought the both of us together to experience life and freedom.

I know it hasn’t been easy lately.

I see your struggle and your fight to please everyone. Yet your children fight and toil over you and turn against one another.

I still see it though. The beauty in this great land. I still breathe in your freedom and exhale gratitude for being raised in a country founded upon values—whether they remain or not. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this search for a new leader happens during this season of gratitude. I am reminded as we approach our national celebration of Thanksgiving, that no matter what, I am grateful to call you home.

I don’t know what you’ll look like four years from now. There are many rumors, tales and stories-attempting to predict what values will appear and disappear. So many fear losing you, but I know that I have nothing to worry about.

See my hope is not in you, though you are beautiful and have been loyal. In fact, I know you will agree with me because the values you are instilled upon, have taught you to trust in a higher being as well.

Therefore, if I say I love you, I am obligated to remain true to you. I will raise your flag high, not in worship to you, my country, but to praise the One who created you- the one to whom you belong. I will reach out for the ever present potential that resides in you. I will not forget that my loyalty is in the God that we both serve, and not you. I will not abandon you in your time of need, since God has placed me here to serve the people of this land. And I will remember your history and your stories. I will not forget the great nation you are intended to be.

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America.

And to the republic for which it stands.

One nation, under God. Indivisible. With liberty and justice for all.

You have my prayers. May God not abandon you, or our leaders, in this time of change.