Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Roller Coaster Rides

I am not a big fan of roller coasters.  For me it has less to do with fear than it does actually getting hurt by getting slammed around by the movement of the coaster.  I don't get a big thrill from riding a roller coaster, I really never have.  I tend to prefer the calm ride with the nice musical number.  At one time I loved the Small World ride at Disneyland.  Today I might consider that song a tad annoying, but when I was a teenager, I loved it.

I try to conduct my life like that as well.  I am less into the highs and lows of the emotional roller coasters than the calm day to day harmony of good feelings and intentions toward others.  I have never been a drama queen, even back in the teenage years.

I have recently been made aware of an emotional issue that I have been carrying around, some baggage if you will.  Some really bad scary mean hurtful stuff happened in my life a while ago.  What I realized was that when I was hurt and crushed, I was humming, "It's a small world after all...."  I was hiding, covering up, not owning or feeling the emotions I was having in the amidst of trials.  I refused to feel the way I felt. I would not allow myself on the roller coaster.

One of the things that brought this emotional issue forward was the disconnect I have had for many years in my expression of emotions.  I was emotionless. Or I expressed emotions only after everyone else.  I was emotionally slow.  I didn't feel things like other people did.  I thought it was just the way I was made.  I prayed about it over the years.

This Lent, it all hit me like a ton of bricks, I found myself angry and depressed.  It just kept getting worse and worse.  Finally I took it to the Lord.  I realized that I needed to own the emotions I had about those past events.  I needed to let myself cry and rage and feel them.  I needed to give the situations to Jesus.  I really wasn't very sure what would happen when I did this. I had to get on the roller coaster with the Lord and take what came.

So, I raged and cried and sorrowed over the past. I discovered that God didn't let those things happen to me alone.  He was there bringing good out of the bad.  I was cared for and deeply loved by God even in the midst of what felt at the time like abandonment.  I left the emotional session with a deep sense of peace and comfort, which was not what I had expected at all. When I got off the roller coaster I found a deep sense of calm.

Lent was quite a while ago.  I have been pondering all of this.  I have been letting the peace sink in to make sure that it is here to stay.  I think it is.  I am sure there will be other roller coasters.  I have learned not to be afraid of my feelings.  I permit myself to feel the way I feel.  Next time, I hope I won't wait so long to ride that roller coaster.

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