My first roller coaster was a wooden gem called The Hurricane. I was twelve and attending an end-of-the-year party for my baseball team at Boardwalk and Baseball. My family had yearly passes, but I’d been terrified of riding the behemoth of a coaster. Being an upstanding twelve-year old, I couldn’t show that fear to my teammates.
So, I got in line with the rest of them.
Now I’m a roller coaster junkie.
Oh, I was terrified in that line. It felt like being in the dentist’s office multiplied by ten. I was sure my parents would never see me again even though the myriads of thrill seekers in front of me returned safely. I heard the cheers and the laughter, but all I could see was my interpretation of the unknown.
Until I got on the ride.
As the cars made their crawl up to the first major drop, the entire park grew miniscule. People turned into tiny dots from my eagle-eye perch. And then, we dropped.
My last moment of fear came during the drop. I could feel myself coming out of the seat and pushing against the bar that held me and my riding partner securely in the car. Once we reached the bottom alive, the rest was pure joy. We rode it again and again and again, and I even worked up the courage to try the Double-O, a very small coaster that went upside down twice then returned backwards.
As I turned out the light of my hotel room at the ACFW Conference last night, I was reminded of this experience because it seemed parallel to my writing career. When I arrived at the conference, I was excited to see friends and fellow writers, but I wasn’t sure I would survive the ups and downs that possibly awaited me.
Suffice it to say, it was worth the ride. The two devotions each morning were powerful stories of those ups and downs in the writing career and what those writers learned through it. They reminded me that I wasn’t alone in my fears, worries, and doubts. They reminded me that the most important thing is pursuing my Jesus. Please forgive the cliché, but it was a breath of fresh air.
In addition to being drawn closer to the Lord, I also had some amazing conversations. My appointments couldn’t have gone better, and I’m excited to see what the Lord will do in the future. As I sit in my hotel room getting ready for the final meeting of the conference, one thought keeps coming to mind.
I’m glad I got in line
A huge thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to stick with my writing and who has cheered me on in this journey. Even though I’m sure there will be more downs as well as ups, the thrill of the ride is worth it. The ride has only just begun, but thanks for sharing it with me!