0 In Friends + Family/ Friendship

Roller Coasters are Awesome but Sometimes they Make You Throw Up

Like so many of you experiencing both the ups and downs of life lived on this planet, I found myself smack in the middle of the coaster recently. It was a full-throttle high/low week for the Monsfam and we are still a little dizzy from it. 

The week began with our PaPa Monsivaiz (who is Father to my hubs and Eric Estrada’s doppleganger) in ICU with a serious and mysterious lung issue. We sent in Big G (my hubs) and Monica (my SIL) for ground reinforcements. Days later we celebrated the high of our PaPa making monumental strides out of critical ICU status and on recovery road with his family by his side.

Soon to follow, Middle Monsivaiz experienced the exciting high of his first Prom ask, and the low of gaining a new pair of crutches the very next morning. I mean, who knew you could injure your foot throwing the discus?

All the while, Baby Monsivaiz encountered the exhilarating high of trying out for cheer for the first time and then the disappointing low of not making the squad.

Within these fast and furious five days, we grappled with the devastating low of our precious friend (and fellow house mate), losing her father AND the joyful high of celebrating First Born Monsivaiz, our bride to be, at a beautiful bridal shower . 

Celebration amidst the sorrow of loss is always a strange place, isn’t it? We are sometimes caught in between joy and a hard place.  Like a roller coaster. As the ground below us was spinning fast on the coaster, we paused to soak in God’s grace. His grace appeared in the backdrop of a gorgeous Bridal shower, surrounded by a gathering of the women in my life, as they loved on and supported my daughter and scribed the most precious words to her in all of their darling matrimonial cards.  It was a breath of life into all of our souls.

Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

Psalm 9:10

Sisters, I understand the crazy coaster. Sometimes it’s the best thing ever. Sometimes it’s the worst… leaving us losing our cool, or maybe our lunch all over the pavement. This girl once foolishly felt that she had some control over the coaster. However, I have found that in order to experience God’s abundant grace, I do better to settle into my seat, sit back and praise God for the way in which He LOVES US!

Needs may not disappear. Disappointment may not cease. People may not become less difficult. Fatigue may not vanish. Loss may not return. BUT GOD. As we reach out to Him, He provides. In sovereign unexpected ways. At times, in a text from a friend asking if she can lend a helping hand. Now and then, God unexpectedly drops… out of the clear blue sky that HE spoke into existence, someone to lean on. And other times… in the wee hours of the morning, in the midst of the coaster, you open your Bible, because it’s necessary for your survival, and in that moment God’s words become SO intimate and personal to your very soul that all you can do is sit, in silence, soaking it in. God is in the mundane and the mess y’all. We just have to pause long enough to allow Him to minister to us.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

II Peter 1:3

As we make our way through the ups and downs, twists and turns of: ICU phone calls, prom signage crafting, ER visits, crutches, late night cheers, jumps, chants and all the spirit we can muster, rejection, tears, embraces, disappointment, loss, laughs, gathering of girlfriends, tender feelings, gifts, new marriage, and all of the other aspects of life on the coaster… we do have control over one thing, our response. God promises us “EVERYTHING WE NEED for life and godliness.” We can discover what our soul and sanity needs, “THROUGH our knowledge of Him”… which happens when we make space in the vortex for Him. When we humbly place ourselves in a position to receive His love and guidance by reading the words God has written to us and praying for them to take deep root in our hearts.

Whether you are a “grit my teeth and attempt to muster up more moxie to make it through” or a “lay down and die” coaster passenger, may we remember one thing. We are finite and limited BUT our God is infinite and completely unlimited. AND He loves us. Sisters, let us urge God for more grace than we could possibly round up ourselves. Let’s ask Him for eyes to see the beauty above the burdensome. And let’s pause the ride long enough to experience His presence.

Fellow mayhem survivor, you are not alone. Not just because another sister is riding the coaster next to you, but more importantly because God sees you. He hears you. AND He loves you without ANY conditions. Whether you ride that coaster fearfully gripping the bar and eyes glued shut, or hands outstretched fully embracing the air above. May we not be defined by the highs or the lows in our lives but by the tight grip of trust we keep on God’s abundant grace.


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