Ok. Let's talk roller coaster rides. There's the old school wooden ones that jerk you around as you click-clack up, and free-fall down. You really can't know what I mean unless you've ridden one. The SOUND of the clicking as you climb the highest peak does something to your brain. And, your head hitting the back of the car with each click does something to your brain as well!
There's the non-old school ones that offer the additional joy of having your feet dangle in the air as you go up and down, as well as upside down maybe three turns in a row. Free-fall AND corkscrew turns. The only thing better are the people who get sick in front of you (either on the ride or when they get off). Lovely.
I am married to a man who calls this "fun". His dream vacation (for awhile) was to hit all the the greatest roller coasters in the country! I remember him riding one crazy roller coaster at Great America with our youth group seven times in a row!
Why all this talk about roller coasters? Because that's what my life feels like right now. My father died this summer, so this our first holiday season without him. BUT, we got to spend Thanksgiving with part of our family and two of our grandkids - haven't been able to go and see them for a year and a half - that was crazy fun. They live where it's warm so we enjoyed the sun as well as loving the time with them. Meanwhile, my mom is failing and forgetting - and that hurts my heart. Not the thought of her getting to go to heaven...the painful struggle of these last days for her. Roller coaster of emotion. Roller coaster of physical strength to keep up. Even roller coaster of faith that God is good, in the middle of watching pain on so many levels in my mom.
Oh - and add inviting our church family to come over to our house to celebrate Christmas in some small way together as...family. There's prep needed for that. One of the things I'm prepping for is a little gift I'm working on for those who come. I'm working on it while I'm sitting with my mom every day....and watching....and waiting.... Roller coaster.
In the physical, I don't like roller coasters mainly because I am NOT IN CONTROL. I don't like that feeling. In the spiritual, I am learning to just go with the ride because I trust the ONE WHO IS IN CONTROL of every turn and every high and every low and even the times I feel upside down.
Thank you, God, that you are good. Thank you for the freedom that comes when I quit trying to fix everything.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.