Do you ever have those seasons where life is like a roller coaster? Up and down, up and down; almost nauseatingly so. Just when you think it’s settling, maybe slowing, it jolts you around a turn and you find yourself facing a dizzying series of vertical loops. Your stomach drops and your heart stops.
I’ve been caught up in that the past few weeks.
With my brother in the Marines, Thanksgiving was missing a vital presence. Offhand conversations have upended seemingly stable situations. My beloved grandmother took an unexpected ambulance ride, and is now in the hospital until the doctors decide she can come home. My relationships have suffered from the strain of these trials. My health and rest have disappeared. There are times I feel burnt out—nothing but a husk of who I used to be.
Through these difficult moments, there are things I’ve held tightly to. People who care for me deeply enough to drop what they’re doing and sit with me. Friends who offer prayers, hugs, and advice. A God who gives peace even to the stormiest soul.
Thankfully, I’ve also had the pleasure of living some incredible moments of peace, rest, and joy.
Catching up with dear friends who were far from home and missed dreadfully. Encouragement from people I respect. Laughter with my family. Promises of help, no matter how hard things get. Enjoying the beauty of creation. I’ve been liberally given grace. Options. Love. Trust. Honesty.
Those experiences are ones I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. They are my ports in the storms of life. Reminders of how incredibly blessed I am. Reminders of the gracious Savior I serve. Reminders that His plan is perfect, even when my life isn’t.
On a roller coaster, you often only see as far ahead as the next turn. What parts of the ride you can see are convoluted and disconnected. Life is no different! So I will hold tight, knowing that I am being supported by a network of family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. They hold my hands, keep my head above water, and lend an ear whenever I need it.
Even more relieving to know, is this:
I am supported by my father in heaven. Rest and peace are his domain. No trial is so difficult that he cannot sustain me, and no sin is so grave that he will void his love and grace. He lends his strength liberally, and seasons even my worst days with joy.
I trust that when the time is right, the roller coaster will slow to a halt. I will look back on this experience and see the things I learned and the ways I grew. Until then, I will continue to rely on the people around me, and my relationship with my God.
P.S. The photos in the post are from a recent excursion with my dear friend Lauren, one of my invaluable friends. She has supported me selflessly through this, and never fails to encourage and show me God’s love. Thank you, Lauren, for your friendship and your wise words. You are irreplaceable.
Also, go read her blog here! She recently wrote a post about our friendship that made me cry.