Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Wait! Let's Discuss This!"

last year's six flags trip--we weren't as brave last year!
I'm not sure if we are brave or just plain crazy...maybe we're a little bit of both? Either way, my friend and fellow mother of four and I loaded up our entourages and headed to Six Flags recently.

Yes, you read that right. The two of us took EIGHT children (4 of them 4 and under!) to Six Flags. They always go through your bags after the security lines, but the security officer just kind of glanced at my bag and looked at all of the kids in towe and gave me a look that seemed to say, "your large assortment of bags and pouches are obviously well-warranted." As he nodded at me that I was okay to go, he told me to "have a good day" in a tone that seemed to be sprinkled with a bit of doubt. I don't blame his half-empty attitude though, because even I was questioning what we were attempting to do!
However, I can happily report that the day was a success...I just needed the next day to recover from it! 😜
GP was NOT happy last year on the Yosemite Sam ride

One of the main reasons I was hesitant going into our outing is because Gabriel was absolutely terrified of Six Flags last year. He would scream and cry just at the mention of us going, and he refused to ride anything.
Having suffered from so many ear infections for so long, he doesn't like to be around anything very loud, and an amusement park is certainly full of loud music and noisy rides. However, after a successful trip to the mall carousel a few weeks ago, I was cautiously optimistic that we'd turned a corner, and sure enough, we have! 

When we first entered the park, the music was BLARING, and Gabriel quickly covered his ears and screamed to go back out. We kept walking though and made it past the music area, and he immediately calmed down and willingly jumped in line to ride a ride. I was SHOCKED! He was so excited about riding that he almost got us thrown off the ride because he ran over the track to get inside the car the wrong way!
It may sound silly, but I was so proud of him for overcoming this fear. It brought me so much joy seeing him laughing and screaming in excitement over the fun he was having. There were still some things he was afraid of and wouldn't do, but he didn't let that keep him from enjoying other things, whereas before, he would have shut down. I know this is all just a sign of him growing up and outgrowing some of those tendencies, but no matter the reason, I was really proud of him today. 

It all made me stop and wonder what areas of life I've been cautious of, causing me to resort to running away in fear. How many blessings do I rob myself of because I'm too afraid to step out of my comfort zone? Just like I want my son to trust me and know that I would never put him in a harmful situation, my Jesus wants me to trust in Him fully, too. 

One of my very favorite roller coasters growing up was the Texas Giant. I recently got to take Lucy on it for the first time. They've re-done the track since I was a child where it now is steel (which makes for a much smoother ride--I definitely prefer this change!), but the ride itself is very much the same, including Wile E. Coyote's sign at the top of the largest hill you come to at the very beginning of the ride. It reads, "Wait! Let's discuss this!"
I think this is the approach I often take with my Lord. In life, we face tall mountains of difficulty, low valleys of grief, and sharp turns of disappointment, and our life can get turned upside down by the hurts of this world.
My heart doesn't feel prepared for the sudden onset of these things, so I throw a stop sign up over my heart and tell the Lord, "Wait! Let's discuss this!" But God knows that all of those things in my life work together to bring me to exactly where He wants me to be, and He asks that I would just trust Him, knowing it's for my good and His glory. 
July is a month full of things that remind me how crazy and unexpected and HARD this life can be. My father passed away 9 years ago this month, and it's been almost one year since our lives were turned upside down when we left our previous church with hearts full of hurt. And while I still can't quite make sense of it all, I'm reminded that I'm not meant to. Because while I don't understand how good can possibly come from any of it, my Jesus does, and He WILL! What I have to do is decide if I will dig my heels in the ground, or let go and trust. 

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