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.