"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
So, on Monday, we went to Six Flags! I have to admit, it was one of the BEST days ever!! But I’ll be frank with you- before I went, I disliked roller coasters. I was scared that it’d break on me, and I didn’t like it when my stomach flew out of my mouth on the big drops.
There are eight high thrill roller coasters at Six Flags and around twenty-one coasters total. And out of all the ones we could’ve done, my dad and older sister decided to go on the one with the highest drop (255ft), Goliath, first. The one that was super-fast, had a super big drop, and was nicknamed the "hypercoaster." It was also a high-thrill ride. Yipes. And I, not wanting to be left by myself, went too. (And besides, how many times do you get to go to Six Flags?!)
As we got in line, my heart started to beat faster. I don’t know what I was most afraid of: the coaster breaking on me or the feeling of a flying stomach. But anywho, I was reaaaaally nervous. Thank goodness we didn't sit in the front! I kept telling myself, "It's okay. We're gonna be okay. God's got us. I am in His hands. They wouldn't let people ride it if it was unsafe. God is with me. I'll be okay. It'll be over soon. God's will be done."
My heart started beating double-time as we got into our seats. I checked and double checked that I was securely in and that everything was tight (which is kind of a hassle considering how skinny I am). The coaster started climbing...I was trying so hard not to be nervous.
This is what it was like inside my brain: Okay Emma, deep breath. It's okay. Help me Jesus! Oh help! It's okay. It's okay. We're almost there. Tighten your stomach. Deep breath. Jesus, help me! Ahhhhhh...quick, catch my stomach! 😂
Palms sweaty, gripping hard. Stomach tightened, eyes barely open. Then I heard a strong WHOOOOOOOOOSH and we'd made it to the bottom. I had completely forgotten to tighten my stomach! Oh, well. I got caught up in the rest of the ride, which was actually pretty fun. I nearly blacked out during the spinny-thing where there are lots of G’s, though! However, I was still alive! I nearly tripped as I got off; I was so off balance- but I had felt peace during the drop; and I was breathing and in one piece. I call that a miracle.
Next, we went on Batman. I was like, alright, I can do this! I’ve been on Goliath, this’ll be easy! C’mon, let’s go! Hurry up!
Just kidding. I was still terrified. I’d just gotten off a roller coaster that had a 255ft drop, and now I was expected to go on one where I had to hang?! Nonetheless, I went. I kept praying throughout the waiting time and when I was getting on. My legs still felt like jelly and my heart was still beating fast. But I knew God was with me and that the roller coaster was (pretty) safe. So I went…and it was SO FUNNNNN. I loved it! After those first two, the rest seemed less daunting. I had hoped to go on the easier ones first and work my way up, but I guess the way we did it was probably better. That didn’t mean I liked Goliath, though! But after all that, I am happy to say that my sister and I went on ALL the highest thrill roller coasters and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! (Except Green Lantern, which was closed, and the virtual reality one, which a friend told us wasn’t worth it.) I’d say my favorite coasters were Twisted Colossus and X2. If you ever get the chance to go to Six Flags, go! It is so worth it. The feeling of flying…aah…
Now, you’re probably wondering where the part about faith comes in. Well, going on a roller coaster is like stretching your faith when the Holy Spirit tells you to do something. But first, what is faith? Here are two quick points I want to share with you before we move on:
Think of the lap bar/shoulder harness as God. He’s holding onto you throughout the ups and downs of life (the roller coaster’s track) and He will never let you go. When I went on that first roller coaster, I had to have faith that it wouldn’t break down and let go of me. Even though the faith I had was really, really tiny, what I had faith in was strong and pretty reliable. This is like in life. For many of us, our faith is small, but we have faith in a GREAT GOD who is stronger and much more reliable than that roller coaster! He’s still holding onto you even when your life feels upside down.
When the coaster went down the 255ft drop, it almost felt like I had no harness, but if I’d looked down, I would’ve seen that it was still there. Sometimes it feels like God isn’t holding onto us- that He isn’t there with us. But we need to have faith and trust that He’ll keep His promise: He will never leave you nor forsake you.
And I won’t lie- it’s gonna be scary at first. But, just like after the first couple roller coasters I went on, you’ll adjust. You’ll learn. You’ll grow. You’ll realize how much better it is to have faith that God knows where He’s leading you and to obey His calling. And your faith will definitely grow. You can’t build your faith by sitting around waiting for it to come to you. You need to go out there and listen to His voice and stretch your faith. I promise you, it will be worth it. Stop worrying about whether you’re going to fall and just trust Him. Have faith. God has a perfect plan for you and He won’t let you go. Let me just say, the roller coasters were much more fun when I let go of the bar and raised my hands in the air.
Now the question is: do you have the faith to climb into the coaster and let God lead you on a lifelong journey? Are you ready to take your feet off the ground and get out of your comfort zone? You might be surprised as to what He has in store for you. Like I said earlier, I always dreaded roller coasters. But after having the courage to get into that first coaster, I don’t want to go back to that fear. I’m ready to go wherever He leads me because I have faith that He will never let me go and that He will be with me every step of the way.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll give Goliath one more try.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."