Along for the Ride
I was one of those basic Catholic girls who wrote a journal to her future husband. Call it cringe, but let me tell you, I have NO REGRETS. God heard every prayer in almost 10 years of writing and praying.
When I was 17, I wrote something along the lines of "I hope he (my future husband) likes roller coasters... because my life is one wild ride." I know what you're thinking... I've been a poet and a great literary mind since the beginning. But forreal, God quite literally heard this silly prayer of mine, as my future husband is an indeed a roller coaster junkie!
Contrary to what one might think, in observing the events and actions of my life, I am not a fan of roller coasters. I actually am quite terrified by them, and can seldom ride a coaster with my eyes open. Kiddy ride queen over here, and even on the smaller less intense rides, I feel terror in my whole being.
Ironically, my fiancé and I's first real encounter was during a young adult trip to a local amusement park. Under normal circumstances, I would have never gone. However, at the time I was the American girl in a foreign country trying to make friends and establish community, so I said yes to every outing. Call it God's hand or serendipity, I found the guy who will, God willing, accompany me through the various twists and turns life will bring me.
A few weeks ago, we went to another amusement park in town as a sort of farewell Summer activity. I have to admit, I was not thrilled to go, but went as a labor of love. Though my fiancé is all about the big rides and the g-force, he accommodated to my unease and rode all the typical rides for kiddos ages 7+. He did so with such joy. So much so, I knew I had to return the favor and bulk up the courage to ride an adult ride.
With much fear and determination, we waited in line for the largest ride the park had to offer. After two hours, we were all strapped in and ready to go. I may or may not have said a few curse words... I definitely prayed... and I kept my eyes tightly shut the whole ride.
When the ride stopped my head was still spinning and I felt like I was going to puke. I stumbled out of the car, and just as I thought to myself, "I am never riding a roller coaster again" I looked over to see my fiancé grinning from ear to ear. There was a twinkle in his eye, and everything about his presence emitted joy and delight. It was so potent, I immediately forgot all about my nausea, light headedness, and complaints. "Let's do it again" I thought. If it weren't for the cues, impending rain storm, and my hunger, we would have done it too!
In the midst of the ups and downs of life, it's easy for us to become overwhelmed. The twists and turns, inevitably throw off our focus. Yet what gets us back on track is when we can fix our eyes on the One who is sitting beside us, accompanying us through it all.
More than just being with us– The Lord is really happy to be with us. Looking at my fiancé, first as we enjoyed the kid rides and then even more when we rode the real roller coaster, receiving his delight is what changed my narrative, calmed by nerves, and opened my mind to new experiences.
The Lord is not a passive or passive aggressive companion. He does not reluctantly walk with us nor "put up with us." With great honor and joy, does he strap himself in beside us. Whether we have our hands in the air, wavin' em' like we just don't care, or holding on for dear for dear life and screaming our head off, Jesus is with us.
Though the concept is nothing novel and for sure a story you've heard a time or too, receiving the Lord's delight is the way in which we are propelled to surpass the difficulties in life. The certainty of His abiding presence is what gives us the stability through loops and plot twists in our story.
He's here for it all. The ups and downs, everything in between, He's along for the ride and delightfully stays by our side.