Glorious Sunday morning, friends! This past month has been a rollercoaster ride. The slow ascents have been invigorating. The free falling has been life-changing, and the curvy places have been so much fun that I can’t stop replaying these experiences in my head. Even walking off the ride with shaky legs was amazing because each step I took was on a firm foundation. When we talk about roller coaster rides as adults, very rarely do we view them as fun like a child might. Maybe that’s what James meant when he spoke to the early Jewish Christians.
On July 31st, I reluctantly boarded my personal roller coaster. I didn’t even ride those things as a kid when the carnies would come to town for our annual Frog Festival. It just wasn’t something that interested me, but my Aunt Freida loved them. Every year, she’d buy a book of tickets — a package equivalent to an all-inclusive wristband or VIP Access. You could hear her screams and giggles from high atop that coaster, and each time she’d leave on shaky legs, she’d get in line to do it all over again. Perhaps her childlike enthusiasm is akin to the posture James spoke about when we face trials of many kinds.
At 50 (Yes, I said 50.), I get it. I mean, I finally get it. As my personal roller coaster seemed like it would leave the tracks at times, God reminded me that he listens. In fact, his word says that when we pray, he will listen. If we seek him wholeheartedly, we’ll find him. What I have found atop my personal roller coaster is that he did indeed listen to my little girl prayers. When I was learning to pray as a wee one, I’d always ask God for sisters. My mother was well into her 40’s by then, but I’d still slide that prayer in when she wasn’t listening. I figured if she wouldn’t give me a sister, God would. Smart kiddo, huh? I get that a lot.
What I know now is that none of those little one’s prayers fell to the ground, and neither have yours. They found their way to God on a roller coaster of their own. Through every slow ascent, free fall, and curvy place, he sent a circle of sisters to surround me as I stepped down off the ride on shaky legs each time. He sent me an Aaron and Hur to offer me a seat, to sit with me, and to hold me up when I would surely fall apart.
Today, oh God, I thank you for my Trailblazers Community — the gift you gave me on my 48th birthday. Who knew that we would grow to over 500 strong. You did, my God. You alone can provide the increase. I thank you Sovereign Lord for My GUHs. They’ve been with me since high school, and that’s 30+ years. Father, I thank you for my Ladies Who Lunch who showed up in what seemed like a fiery furnace, but we all emerged unsinged. Jehovah Jireh, I thank you for my sisters PYTee and Moe. Tee showed up two years ago, and Moe was my first sister. Dad, I thank you for my VWISE Sisters. They met me in Buffalo, NY, but you planned this long ago and answered that prayer the day I was sworn into the United States Air Force. Finally God, I thank you for pushing me to get on the roller coaster like my Auntie Freida — again and again. It’s been one heck of a ride each time, and even if it takes me to the moon, I know you’ll place my feet on solid ground soon and very soon. Blessings, y’all!
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