The Roller Coaster Moments Of Life
Posted by Pat Elsberry, August 23
When I was a teenager, I remember how exciting it was to visit Whalom Park, the 13th oldest amusement park in the U.S. When we arrived, my best friend Patty and I would race over to the Flying Comet and stand in the long line waiting our turn. Once we got strapped in the seat, we began the slow ascent … Up, up, up, listening to the clickety-clack of the wooden tracks cracking and popping as we made our way toward the sky. Our hearts would begin racing in anticipation of what lay ahead.
Finally, we would reach the top, and for a split second, we would glimpse the beautiful lake before we plunged down the track headfirst, hands in the air, screaming at the top of our lungs! It was so exhilarating and scary all at the same time! When we reached the bottom, we would turn right around and head back to the line to do it again. Oh, the joy of childhood!
As an adult, there have been times when I often felt like the younger me on the Flying Comet. But not quite in the fun way that I remember. As we get older, life happens. One day, we may be cruising with the sun shining brightly overhead, a gentle breeze blowing in the wind, and a peaceful spirit within. Then, in the next moment, out of nowhere, we might feel like we're being frantically whipped around the corner, hanging off the edge of our seat as we take a curve, being thrown from side to side.
These rollercoaster moments happen as we go through challenging times in life. Maybe you're struggling in your marriage and facing divorce. Or perhaps you're experiencing a health crisis. Then, possibly, you're like me, walking through the grief journey after losing a loved one. Whatever the cause of your angst, there may be moments when your heart is pounding in your chest as fear seeps in. Instead of the clickety-clack of the wooden tracks, all you can hear is your heart beating wildly within.
Although the rollercoaster moments in life can be fun, as an adult, they can also be very disarming. Discovering what's most important for our health and well-being during these moments is what matters most. Reaching out for the one thing that never leaves us helps put us back on the right track and returns us to the peace we so desperately yearn for. As David said in Psalm 62:2, "He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken."
Some things that have helped me walk in peace during challenging times begin with journaling daily. It allows me to capture all those thoughts and feelings that the enemy may be trying to use to bombard my mind. As I pour it all onto the pages, God meets me there every time.
Another thing that gets me down off the whirls and twirls of the rollercoaster life is music. Oh, worship music is so very anointed! Put on your favorite worship song when having a rough day, and dance around your kitchen. Turn it up loud and sing at the top of your lungs! Don't let that stop you, even if you think you can't carry a tune. By the time it reaches God's ears, it sounds heavenly.
Pat Elsberry is an author, speaker, blogger, and a passionate advocate for parents dealing with grief after the loss of a child. Pat created multiple social media groups focused on providing hope to others who are walking the same path, including her blog, Hope During Loss. Pat facilitates an in-person grief share for women who have experienced child loss, and is also a moderator for Team Sharing, a nationwide peer-led support group for parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. Pat is the author of Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss, and will soon release her first devotional, Comforted by God. Pat and her husband, Fred live outside Atlanta and have a blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite things include traveling, cooking, gardening, dark chocolate, and worship music. You can find Pat on her blog, www.hopeduringloss.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @HopeDuringLoss.