The Good and The Bad on the Roller Coaster of Life


I just got home from the mountains and I’m exhausted.  Not physically, although that hike up the mountain a couple of days before we left was a challenge for my out-of-shape self.  I’m talking about being emotionally exhausted.

My husband and I spent a couple of days short of a month in the mountains and in that short period of time experienced great joy and deep sorrow.  Two extremes.  It felt like my heart was being jerked around on a roller coaster.

A Time to Celebrate

Four days after we arrived at my family’s mountain cabin, our son proposed to his girlfriend on a nearby mountaintop.  Her family surprised her by driving over to the mountains to congratulate them in person.  Our two families enjoyed spending time with each other and celebrating together. You can read about it here.

We were still beaming with happiness and diving into wedding planning when one week later, we received some very sad news.  A beloved cousin died after battling cancer for a decade.   Years spent praying for healing and a miracle were met with a different answer.  It was his time to go home.

A Time To Mourn

We drove to Georgia for the memorial service, which was beautiful.  All of the emotions mixed in together; joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, hope and despair.  Family and friends celebrated a life very well lived and comforted each other with stories and kind words.  My cousin, left behind with her husband’s death, gave beautiful welcoming words.  She is so strong.  It didn’t escape me that her little granddaughter toddled over towards the stage where she was speaking.  That small act spoke volumes.  New life, new joy in the face of death and loss and sadness.  Another granddaughter, so new to this world, slept peacefully in her daddy’s arms, oblivious to the gravity of the ceremony.

It made me think, how interesting we humans are.  How interesting the way God knitted us together.  To be able to go from great joy to profound sorrow and sadness.  And even more so, to experience the extreme of emotions at the same time.  We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.  And even better than that, we have a Savior who gets that.  He understands all our emotions because he experienced them himself.

When my son and his girlfriend got engaged, I thanked God for bringing them together.  When my cousin died, I prayed for comfort for his family, for all of us who will miss him.  Sure, I’m disappointed that God didn’t heal him and I don’t even begin to understand why he had to go through all that he did.  But, as a believer, I need to rest in the assurance that God knows what He’s doing and that He loves us deeply — enough to let His own son die to pay the penalty of our sins.

A Time To Contemplate

In the midst of an engagement, engagement party, funeral and houseguests, I savored the peacefulness of my mountain perch — even though I had to tune out the barking dogs in the kennel below and the trucks driving up the next mountain over.  There’s just something about sitting still, taking in the green summer leaves and blue skies, the beautiful flowers and the playful antics of the birds and chipmunks.  It is the perfect place to sit and reflect on the goodness of my Heavenly Father — in the midst of happiness but also in sorrow.

I stepped off of that emotional roller coaster, for now anyway.  After all, isn’t life pretty much one long roller coaster ride?  I stepped onto another one — wedding planning.  Thank you Lord, I’m the mother of the groom! 

5 thoughts on “The Good and The Bad on the Roller Coaster of Life

  1. Life is like that isn’t it? I worked over time yesterday preparing for a big birthday party at my know, food, decorations etc. When our relatives came through the door, our dog somehow fell and next thing you know it was dragging its leg. My husband was so angry, sure one of the kids had done something to cause it. I had to tell him (privately) to get a grip that he was going to ruin the party. He calmed down, but then later one of my elderly guests started getting all passively-aggressively was too loud, then she couldn’t hear, I didn’t have enough toilet paper in the bathroom, she wanted to leave early..ugh. Meanwhile, I’m running around trying to, you know- “run” the show.. I realized last night I will never actually “run the show” cause life isn’t you said, life is more like a roller coaster ride. AT least I know God is in charge.

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