For some strange reason, Six Flags brings out the teenager in me. A few weeks ago, we took our kids for the first time to this favorite theme park of mine. Yet it was me obnoxiously fidgeting in my seat and dancing along to the radio on the car ride up there.
It was impossible to contain my excitement!
Once we finally walked through the gate, map in hand, I located my favorite ride: Mr. Freeze. I begged and pleaded with my son to join me on what I considered to be the best ride in the whole park.
As we stood in line to this ride that shoots you backwards at 70 mph, I had my own flashbacks to when I was Caleb’s age. I remember standing in the exact same line with my youth group friends, my stomach doing butterflies at what we were about to experience.
As the line died down and we inched closer to the starting gate, my heart rate quickened. My palms started to sweat and I wondered if I’d made a mistake. I wanted to pass on the memory of this ride to my son, but in that moment I worried he wasn’t ready. This was only our second ride, and I wondered if I should have warmed him up a little more.
As the guy holding the microphone prepared the group before us to take off, I started chattering constantly to a group of 13 year old girls I had befriended during our wait.
Caleb looked at me. “Mom, you’re acting like a 13 year old!”
“I know,” I smiled. “Why don’t you join me?”
As we buckled ourselves in, I was hoping I hadn’t made a mistake. I didn’t want to make Caleb hate theme parks for the rest of his life.
But as the ride took off, I remembered why I insisted we do this ride.
Pure and simple: The adrenaline rush.
The force of physics unfathomable to me plunged us out of the underground cave, up and around two upside down loops before it stopped and switched directions only to go back from where we once began.
When the ride stopped, I brushed my hair back in place, calmed my shaky legs and steadied my hands enough to undo the seat belt.
We exited the ride and I looked at Caleb, “Wasn’t that awesome! Are you ready for the next ride?”
He didn’t dislike the ride; however he didn’t share my level of enthusiasm.
So it’s official: I’m an amusement park junkie. My face lights up as I talk about the twists, turns and sudden plummets of the Texas Giant. Sure, I get nervous boarding the rides, but once I strap myself in, I am more excited than afraid. I trust the engineering behind it all and know that unless something crazy malfunctions, my job is to enjoy the ride!
You know I can’t tell a heart pounding story like this without applying it to my life, right? So here goes –
Oh how I desire the faith to enjoy life’s roller coaster rides. My faith to trust the Engineer comes easier for me at Six Flags than it does on Monday morning at my house. I so often feel like I did that day standing in line for Mr. Freeze. I rush ahead, so eager to ride life’s biggest rides, but when I get to the gate, my legs turn to jelly. Fear starts whispering in my ear…
What if I’m not ready?
What if I get hurt?
What if someone won’t like me anymore?
When God shuts a door and life takes a hard right turn, I get painful whiplash from looking back wondering why He shut that door.
When God asked me to publish a book about my personal struggles, it felt like I plunged deep into a dark cavern. The twists and turns came fast through the darkness, and I haven’t naturally raised my hands in glee like I did on the Runaway Mountain.
I still have so much to learn and many areas to grow in.
This life is a ride and I know that I am perfectly secure when I’m strapped in with His Grace. I just don’t always feel it. Thankfully, God still holds me through all the twists and turns and will never let me fall beyond His reach.
Well today I’m riding the excitement of another downward drop. I have entered a writing contest.
Back in January, my stepdad asked if he could adopt me. It was such a sweet moment and I wrote the whole story on a new blog I started called Thread of Redemption.
The reason I entered this contest is because they asked for a piece exploring the concept of redemption. The hairs on my arm tingled as I read the contest rules because redemption is so fresh on my mind right now. Thread of Redemption captures my heart to tell the stories of how God redeems the broken pieces of our life. I would love my adoption story to be read and shared as an example of God’s beautiful redemption.
The other reason I am entering this contest is because the three winners will have lunch with acquisition editors from Bethany Publishing. And I just happen to have a book I’d love to discuss.
There’s one catch.
Winners are chosen by a panel of judges AND voting. That means I can’t win this competition without you!
So, would you click on over to the story now and if it is meaningful to you, please vote for it? Would you also share my story on social media or to some friends via email and help get the word out? Voting ends May 31st at midnight.
Thank you. I’ve never done anything like this so I’m nervous going into this turn, but trusting God’s plan through it all.