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Roller Coaster of Life!

by Colleen Soldate, Director of Caring Ministries

There are times in our lives that parallel a roller coaster ride. Strapped securely into your seat, you start the incline and hear the clicking of the gears as you climb higher and higher. Your blood starts rushing as you reach the top of the structure, at which point gravity suddenly rips the cars down and the wind is slapping you in the face. Your adrenaline is in full throttle as your body is shaking from the twists and turns and loops. All too soon, the ride is over, but you feel as if your body is still in motion as your brain tries to adjust.

Perhaps you feel disappointed that the ride is over. Perhaps you are relieved.

It is 2:35 a.m. and, to my disappointment, I realize I have been asleep for only a couple of hours. After engaging in the alligator roll, otherwise known as tossing and turning, for well over an hour, I decide to get up. I fix myself a nice cup of herbal tea and reach for my favorite soft “Charlie Brown” blanket as I curl up on the couch. Something inside my mind is churning and I have yet to discover the cause.

In hopes of finding the key to unlock the reason for my discomfort, I methodically recall the previous day’s activities and conversations. Before going to bed, I was disturbed upon hearing the news that Sonoma County businesses were ordered to shut down again amid a wave of new COVID-19 cases. I silently questioned how this could be when, the same day, I had witnessed signs of progress being made. Traffic was beginning to get congested again, more stores were opening their doors, and most people were practicing social distancing and wearing masks. I had gone to bed with these thoughts weighing heavily on my mind, feeling I was looking down into the abyss of uncertainty again.

Now, tired but not sleepy, I opted to close my eyes and sit quietly in Jesus’ presence, listening to what He wanted me to hear. The light of His presence brings a peace and calm that is like no other.

Psalm 16:11 came to mind: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” I gave space to my current feelings of disappointment and uncertainty. The possibility of going to worship in person with my church family, of being with friends and family to visit or share a meal, or of routinely going in to work would be postponed yet again. Like a clinking rollercoaster, life switches gears as it climbs upward and plunges downward through its many twists and turns of life. It can be extremely thrilling, suspenseful, and exhilarating or it can leave you with your stomach in your throat, relieved only that it is finally over. I trust that Jesus will hold our hand and ride out whatever difficulty we are facing. In Deuteronomy 31:6, God promises us in His Holy Word to be with us in the ups and downs of life.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

In these unsettling moments, I find comfort in God’s Words of hope, encouragement, and reassurance of His unending love. The journey can be challenging but can also be exhilarating. I find strength and direction to face each day by clinging to His hand. It is now 6:05 a.m. and time to start my day! May this season be one of peaceful ascent, knowing that wherever you are on life’s roller coaster, Jesus is in the seat beside you. You are not alone.

Make it a Great day!

Until we are together again,


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