I loved roller coasters as a kid. I couldn't wait to go to Kings Island just to ride the big rides. I remember the anticipation as I would wait in line and the excitement would grow as I went up that first hill. The bigger the hill, the faster it went, the more times it would go upside down were all indicators of a great ride.
Now that I am an adult, I still love the thrill of a good coaster, but I have to admit feeling a bit different now than I did as a kid. I remember one hot, steamy summer evening last year after a rain storm. My sister Kelly was here visiting and a commercial came on the TV for the Diamondback at Kings Island. One of us got the crazy, hair-brained idea to leave all 4 kids at home with Brian and head to Kings Island for the sole purpose of riding the Diamondback. We laughed nervously about this idea, but our pride got the best of us and we grabbed our purses, passes and keys. Secretly, I had hoped that she would come up with a reason that we couldn't go. Or, I hoped that Brian would say that he would rather us not go. Little did I know, Kelly was thinking the same thing. But somehow, we got out of the house and we were on our way to the park. The whole way there we laughed nervously some more as our palms got sweaty. I was so nervous that even my fingers and toes were tingling! We kept saying to each other "Are we really doing this?!" We were both nervous, but neither one of us wanted to be the one to back out.
Once at Kings Island, we made our way through the park. The air was sticky after the rain and the pavement had hot steam rising up from it. The park was not crowded, due to the rain that had just come through. When we arrived at the coaster, we stared, horrified, at the massive hill at the beginning of the ride. What were we thinking? The line was not long at all, and while we waited we were able to count that it took a mere 40 seconds for the coaster's car to get to the top of the hill and only about 5 seconds for it to reach the bottom. Within a short 10 minutes, we found ourselves at the end of the line, facing the reality that we were about to get on.
I felt as if my heart might pop out of my chest as we stepped onto the car and sat in our seats. I was mortified to discover that the only safety device was one small traingular shaped piece of metal that sat over my thighs. No shoulder harness. Not even a small seat belt to hold me in place should this thing fail, and no place to hold onto. As the car started to move, I desperately wanted off! My nervous laughter had turned to straight fear and there was no stopping this thing now. We were headed up the big hill. We went fast, as if the car had a mind of it's own and a determination way greater than mine. As we neared the top of the hill, I looked out over Kings Island, and as I let go of my fear what I saw was beautiful. I know I was only at Kings Island, but as I looked out over the park in one of the tallest places around the sight was amazing! I felt as if I could see forever. And before I knew it, the car was screaming down the massive hill. I, however, was not screaming because the force and the speed of going down was enough to force all of the air out of my lungs so that I was not even able to get out a squeek! The ride was amazing, and the fact that I only had a small metal thing holding me down actually allowed me to feel free...like I was flying through the air. It was quite exhilarating! So much so, that I would do it again (and already have)!
This week, I feel as if I am going up the big hill, but in a much different and much bigger way. The time is flying by so quickly, almost as if it has a mind of it's own and a determination greater than mine. Before I know it, I will be boarding an airplane with Allie and Emily and some other amazing people to fly to Monterrey, Mexico. The Lord has called me on an amazing ride. I have prayed about this for so long, and many others have prayed for us too. And, honestly, at times I have secretly (and not so secretly to some) prayed that God would close the doors for us to go this summer. But God's determination is WAY greater than mine and He has allowed every part of it to fall right into place perfectly. I am so excited for this trip, but I would be lying if I didn't admit the part of me that is nervously laughing about it. The Lord has given me a peace beyond measure about it and I am excited to serve outside of my comfort zone.
As I near the top of the hill and I let go of my fear, I can not wait to see the beauty that the Lord has in store for me and to feel the thrill of simply following where He has called me to go.
Isn't that, after all, what life is really about?
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