Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go Where I Send Thee

So, God's moving things around in our lives a whole lot this year.  Moving us in great big ways, ways that have made us really uncomfortable.  There were, in fact, many times that I felt downright irritated with the Author of life. I found myself in the uncomfortable position of realizing just how not in control I am. When I was a kid, I felt that God was like a giant chess player, just moving us around at his whim, for his pleasure.  Now, as I am older and more knowledgeable of God's true nature, I know that his movement in our lives is not for his fun but, for His glory.

But, man, it can be confusing sometimes.

Just the facts:

1. Nineteen months ago we moved into the best parsonage house ever.

2. In April, after a couple of months of LOTS of tests, we found out that three of our children and myself have a rare heart arrythmia disorder called Long QT syndrome, and are now all on beta blockers and learning to just keep on living life.

3. Last week we moved AGAIN. We still had boxes to unpack from our previous move! (Fortunately, we moved into an equally wonderful parsonage house!)

Two years ago, if someone had told me all of this would be going down in my life, I would have possibly gone to live in a tent, and I would have definitely not believed that I could deal with any of it. It would have been like going up the first of hill of a roller coaster, waiting, waiting, waiting for the first car to go over, dragging the rest over the hill and into the loops. Yuck. I used to like that kind of thing, but now I just like the baby coasters. That's why I keep having kids; I can stay in the kiddie area of the amusement park for life if I time it just right. By the time my youngest has moved on to big coasters I'll probably have grandchildren and can still get away with the baby stuff.

I think it may be a bit overdone, this equating life to a roller coaster, but it's too true to ignore. Life really is like a roller coaster. There are times when you are in some crazy loops, and maybe you're the kind of person that enjoys being upside down, so good on you. Guaranteed, though, if you like the loops you don't like the dark tunnels where you can't see anything. Life is so like that - the parts that loop you upside down, the parts where you are in the dark and feel alone except for the people screaming all around you, the parts where you are coasting and enjoying the lovely feeling of g-force lifting you out of your seat.  Sometimes you feel banged up, sometimes you feel exhilarated.

I am a fan of life, for sure.

I have learned, though, that it really is all about who you have in the cars with you. I've been on roller coasters with some lemons, and that is no way to ride a coaster. In high school, a coaster fanatic friend of mine talked me into to riding The Beast at King's Island.  
from wikipedia - The Beast

I don't remember how many of us there were, but we picked cars in the middle.  Everything was going fine - or as fine as you expect on a wooden roller coaster that is jerking your body around like a rag doll.  I was screaming my brains out, my friend was laughing hysterically (at me, not just because he was having fun), when I saw that we were about to enter a tunnel. For reasons not clear to me, the joker in front of me decided this would be the perfect moment to rip the head off of a stuffed animal he had won. As the stuffed animal's head was removed, paper and fabric stuffing came flying out at light speed directly into my gaping, screaming mouth.  So, now not only was I on a roller coaster, but I was choking on cheap stuffing.  My friend had to literally stick his hands in my mouth and pull it out of my throat. Fortunately, my mouth was open really wide from the all the screaming.

That really happened to me, for real. People think I make this stuff up, but it really does happen to me.

My point is this: ride the roller coaster of life with people who make it fun, with people who will laugh in the loops, scream in the tunnels, and pull the stuffing out of your throat when you're choking (metaphorically and literally speaking). It just makes the ride that much better, especially if you get the bad luck to get someone on who likes to rip the heads off of stuffed animals.  I think that only happens to me, though.

The thing I have found out during this part of our ride, is that I really like my people. They're good people, they're fun people. They are okay with me being weird, melodramatic (at times), and a little of kilter with my sense of humor. When Lee and I told the kids that the genetic tests came back positive for Long QT type 1, there was not shock and horror, there was joking, hugs, and the only important question, "Does this mean we can get ice cream?"

A few months later, when we had to tell them we were moving (again), there were tears, there was 24 hours of anger, and then it was, "What needs to be done?"  I'm so proud of my people and how they handle the stuff that gets thrown at them.  My husband, my kids, are the kind of people who see hills coming and throw their hands up and scream, "Wheeeeeee!", and you just cannot ask for more than that in this life. It's not fun all of the time, it's certainly not easy all of the time, but it is definitely worth the ups and downs to get to ride with these guys. 

So, bring on the day. Keep your hands in the car at all times, and enjoy the ride. 




  1. Absolutely love your writing and it is so true. I have been looking at life rather grimly lately and after reading this I realized that I need to be like your kids and see that hill coming and throw my hands up in the air and go WHEEEEE!!! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Glad you're back!! Love you and miss you.

  3. Gosh I hate roller coasters. Maybe if I could enjoy roller coasters, I could enjoy life? Brilliant!
    I hate that you are even farther away (though the west side felt plenty far) but I'm glad your people are happy and you are doing so well. Just keep swimming!

  4. I love your roller coaster analogy! My extended family has been on one of those this past year and the dark tunnel is my least favorite...Thanks for the reminder to let go (and let God have control), throw my hands up and scream loudly (in joy of course...)!