Emotional Roller Coaster

By Chris Baxter

I am all too familiar with the term "emotional roller coaster." But I have to confess, this past week will definitely be one for the personal record books. Mac's trip to Haiti, of course, "locked me in" for a topsy-turvy ride. Since roller coasters are enjoyed (or not!) on an individual basis, I will let you decide where each of these emotions belong on the tracks:

FEAR-- My "ride" started here, with the what ifs coming, just like the clack-clack-clack of the train slowly ascending: What if the six-seater puddle-jumper Mac's on takes a plunge into the ocean-blue?... What if an after shock catches him at the "wrong place" at the "wrong time"? ... What if ...? You name it, and not only did I think it, I lived it.

JOY--Then a phone call from my honey would send me sailing! He's safe; he's good. And he's safely doing God's good work. I felt a surge of joy when I heard that he helped bring a newborn into this world. And then another heart pounding rush came when I read this update:

Mac spoke this morning in a church about his call to come and help the people of Jacmel. He was able to share with them that the reason he was there was because of the great love of Jesus. He shared the gospel with all who were there and then they returned to their operation clinic to resume surgeries again.

With this information, I wanted to do a loop-de-loop with my hands in the air. I absolutely love Mac's love for Jesus!

CONFUSION--Roller coasters "boggle" my mind--am I going up or down, right or left?-- As I was reminded in church this past Sunday, I am "glued" (the Hebrew meaning of the word "cleave") to my husband. So all week, it has seemed odd that he's there in chaos, and I'm here in comfort. While he's fixing broken bones in a make-shift tent, I'm folding loads of laundry in my red-brick house? While he's using a surgical knife on hurting Haitians, I'm spreading peanut butter for my "hungry" kids? While he's sleeping on a cot in an orphanage, I'm snoozing under my electric blanket? The Bible tells me I am one with him, and I believe it. We are knit together in love. For now, however, our "calls" are vastly diverse, and a world apart.

RELIEF-- This emotion is experienced when the roller coaster makes its entrance into the loading/un-loading zone and comes to a complete stop. In other words, Lord willing, it will occur when my babe's big old GMC truck pulls into our garage on Thursday afternoon. Ah... he's home. And when he walks through our door, Maggie, Bink, Davis, Emmy, and I will all embrace the "doctor who went to Haiti" as their very own (until the next time). We will all say with relief, "Thanks for going to them, and thanks for coming back to us."

PEACE THROUGHOUT--I must say these emotions were/are very real--up, down, loop around. BUT, I will also say, no matter the emotion, I have learned that I am never alone. I must choose to take every feeling and ground it in my faith. God is my "steady." So, I may be weeping, laughing, hollering, or sighing on the outside; however, on the inside:

My soul waits in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 61:5

Yes, I will continue to hold on to my God tightly; and He promises to keep His strong hold on me... as He sits right by my side ... on my all too familiar emotional roller coaster.

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Daily Prayer


And Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does not burn up." Exodus 3:3

Dear Lord,

Turn our heads to see your holiness. Pull our hearts towards your glory. Make us curious enough to walk towards you and willing enough to respond to all that you have in mind. Call us, challenge us, change us. Amen.