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"Hold On; This Could Get Bumpy!!"

Discussion in 'Marriage and Relationships' started by Steve Campbell, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Over the last 58 years of my life, I've been to a number of amusement parks.
    Each and every time I go, (not that I go to them with any regularity mind you; who can afford THAT?!) I notice the Roller Coaster ride.
    Me? I'm a "The Scrambler" type of guy. I can handle THAT much! (lol). But the Roller Coaster is a whole other ballgame.
    I don't know if it was because as a child, my parents didn't go on them and thus neither did I, or if I just thought that particular "ride" to be too much for me.Nonetheless, I didn't go on one UNTIL.................
    It was in about the mid-80's to early 90's that I finally decided to step out and suggest to my wife that perhaps she and I might like to ride one. The particular park we were visiting, had two. One was more for the kids, and one was a whopper of a ride. Both of them were "old school, in that they were made of wood (not one of these tubular versions with seats you hang from), with old bench-seat chairs to sit on.
    Since this would be my first foray into riding roller coasters, I chose (can you guess?) the "kiddy ride" version. Don't get me wrong.......the ride size and speed were still impressive, especially to MY inexperienced eyes; but to those who travel the world to ride the biggest, badest and best roller coasters (I gather that there is even a Club that has formed to do this), I'm sure this little introduction into thrill-riding, would be considered to be blah.
    As I stood in the line for my turn at it, I was looking it over with the mind of an Inspector. I do that for a living; examine things for flaws and imperfections, errors and damage. It came naturally to me to do, and I couldn't stop myself. Were the lag bolts secure; was the wood undamaged? Were the wheels on the carts we would ride in, greased and non-rusty? I had as much information gathered as was possible, in that five minutes it took to wait for my turn to be seated.
    "Slippery seats" I thought to myself, as I sat down. "this means I'll have to hold on even TIGHTER............lol..........I was analyzing this thing to DEATH!!
    "Full," I observed, "not a seat left to be filled," I noticed; my mind trying to calculate the increased maximum speed on the downhill drops, because of the maximum weight capacity.
    When I finally got off; after the 10 minute, multiple cycle ride. I was both thrilled, and in awe. Naturally, like a two year old, I "wanted to go again, Mommy!!" It was truly "fun." Yes, I did spend the entire ride looking with Inspectors eyes at every board, bolt and safety device as I could; however it is much harder to do when you are moving fast (lol)!
    In the last fifty-eight years of my life, I have discovered a truth that I don't necessarily like, but I have come to accept. There are going to be times in life that are rocky, uncertain and scary. There are going to be challenges that I will have to face, and have faced, that I avoided for as long as possible, either to my benefit or my loss.
    To just quote "I can do all things thru Christ, who Strengthens me," is how some would address the issue. But for me, I needed more. As much as there are character flaws in me like the Apostle Peters quick knee-jerk reaction nature, there is also the doubting Apostle Thomas's skepticism. It's a head-butting combination to have inside, let me tell YOU!! (lol).
    For those of you who have been reading my posts, as a new member of this community (and by the way, I cherish being able to be a part of you, and look forward to each day I'm able to read your thoughts, questions, and observations), you know that I have been married for 38 years (coming up) and our marriage has been going thru a roller coaster ride lately that, if not tended to, and nurtured, will fall apart.
    In this case, I cannot just avoid the issue, (the ride) for whatever reason I might try and justify. It's not like "looking the other way" sometimes like we have to do as parents, in order to avoid being too overbearing to our children over small things that have little or no impact or consequence. In THIS case, as in most aspects of a serious relationship, I MUST be devoted to helping "us" survive, through the faultless leadership of God. I can't afford to be negligent in this matter. God brought us together, and intends for us to view ourselves as truly "one" and all that that implies. Would I ignore a broken toe? (I know some farmers who might, but they are the exception and not the rule).
    In my world, the roller coaster ride I'm on will come to an end; at least this part of the ride. Somewhere down the road will come the NEXT "roller coaster" ride to face. But for now, I am in the middle of THIS ride. I'm examining (because it's my nature) all the nuts-n-bolts; checking all the wheels for proper greasing; doing everything I know how to do, in line with Gods Word, to keep the cars on the track, and bring us safely home.
    What I've observed with others, concerning the choice of riding the ride or not, is that some folks, like me when I was a child, will see the dangers, and not venture out anyway. Some will think that the best way to stay safe, is to simply "not go there." Certainly I'm not advocating taking FOOLISH risks; but "life" has dangers that we adults all know about, and decide each and every day where our trust is going to be placed.
    When I examine the evidence; both the analytical and evidential, I see the proof that "trusting God in scary or uncertain situations" works. People are getting off the ride successfully and safely. The structure is sound (God's Hand) and trustworthy. On the other side, I see folks who DON'T have the confidence to trust the Structure (God) and don't want to take the risk.
    God help me, help us, to place our trust in you if we haven't, and continue unwaveringly to trust You, if we have already, and need to remind ourselves to do so. Peter ventured out of the boat in the storm when you called to him, and even HE got scared by the conditions, forgetting to look to you throughout the situation. Help me, help us, to rest in you as we ride the ride that you have allowed in our lives. May I, may we, keep our eyes on you as we go through the tunnels that don't show us the exit right away. Grant us Your Wisdom, and keep us calmly confident in You as the Master Designer.
    Abdicate, Euphemia and Fadingman says Amen and like this.
  2. I'm glad you're here, Soupy. Your posts are edifying for me. I feel for what you are going through. Your roller coaster analogy is a good one to describe marriage (as well as life). I have been on the roller coaster almost as long as you (34th anniversary this Sat), and it not only takes work, it has to be Christ centered. My marriage floundered for years until I came to realize this. My wife did, but I didn't. I can only imagine the struggle that your wife is going through, and her first reaction may have been to turn her back on God and flee. Just be there for her, keep shining God's light and hang on to that slippery seat tight!
  3. I had the extreme joy today, of receiving a phone call from my dear wife, after dinner! Her voice was loving and happy, encouraging and kind. I hold on to every word that shows me promise, encouraged by our time talking together. We spoke of being back together (even about buying a King-Size bed!!) and I choose to believe that her kindness and sweetness was not contrived, but genuine.
    One thing that has proven difficult, as she suffers with her own demons and difficulties, is to know if I am dealing with Jeckle or Hyde. One day she can be very sweet and confirming, and the next she can be cold as ice. I have placed much hope in the "good and gentle" one of the two, trusting that God has all things pure and holy in mind.
    The roller coaster may be damaged, but I am not convinced that it is not able to hold together. Not YET, anyway. I'll focus on the positives, and keep reaching toward heaven with outstretched arms, for all that God has in store; no matter what the end result.
    I'm learning to depend more completely on Him, and give Him the worship that He deserves. I realized that in some ways, I was placing my wife in a loftier place than He, and that wasn't lining up with what He was telling me in His Word. I have grown, as I have learned. Thank you Jesus!! Thank you Holy Spirit! Thank you Father! for teaching me a proper list of priorities and a more proper order of Worship!!
  4. Remember when someone is going through a traumatic health issue, they can have good days and bad. I almost died in February, and there were many days afterward where I was too nervous and anxious to do anything but try not to let the fear paralyze me. Then I would have good days as well. As time passed, the good days surpassed the bad. Your wife may be going through something like that. You also go through a time when you just want your own life back, and when you know that can't happen it can be traumatic.

    In any regard, I am SO happy you had a good day today. I pray for many more!
  5. It's pretty amazing when you reflect on your own marriage isn't it.... How God teaches us some of the REALLY hard, sticky lessons through marriage.... It's when you wrestle with some of the "Downs" that happen when you look at the books of Amos and Hosea and Isaiah.... You realize that God compares caring for us to being in a marriage... When "Faith" means holding on with your fingernails....

    And like our real life - our "Marriage" with God isn't one of the sweet, saccharine valentines/mother's day card marriages that don't exist in real life... It's a real marriage - one that sometimes leaves you thinking "My gosh... You are NUTS!"... or simply "**#$%^&!!!!"

    But - that's the real life nature of how we are... That's the truth.... The truth isn't about living a fake valentines day card life.. Sometimes, it's love when love is hard...

    and sometimes, the only comfort we get is from "The Comforter"... The one who encourages and comforts us... When everything is nuts... When there are no ribbons and bows....

    Hang in there man.
    JohnP likes this.
  6. Well said, brother. Well said.
  7. #7 Steve Campbell, Jun 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
    Some great contributions there folks. I totally agree, (and I'm sure anyone who has been thru the crucible of life for awhile agrees and understands; even if they haven't yet put their agreeing thoughts in here).

    Mountains and valleys; thus the reason for the roller coaster metaphor. "How" we ride it out, is really the issue. Especially as "believers."

    The hardest part is not my OWN suffering, (I tend to make it secondary) in a marriage. I am very much more keyed in on HER suffering, (even if I can't fully identify with the magnitude of her suffering, but can only witness it from outside of her) and focus my energies on doing what I can (if she lets me) to help her thru it.

    Yes, her phone call to me yesterday, was a shot in the arm. I had the benefit of hearing the tone in her voice, revealing her heart. I still however, (being the "Thomas" again) realize that when suffering as she is, she CAN have calm and rational approaches to things one day, and be totally IRRATIONAL the next. I find myself (somewhat normal for we humans) hanging on to the safety rope, as I lean over to help her up, just because I've learned to be cautious. (read between the lines please).

    We serve (I remind myself too, at this moment) an "awesome" (THAT word gets overused, eh?! But it's still true) God! When I talk of learning to "trust" .......well it's not only learning to trust her, but also Him.

    Yesterday, I received a phone call, very uncharacteristically, from a guy whom I've known since 1975. He lives fairly close by, with his wife (a gal I've known equally as long).

    This "guy" is very smart. Did well in College. Could tell you anything about everything, and really DID know what he was talking about, because he would research stuff in great detail. He was, in those days, a self-proclaimed agnostic.

    Being around him was at times in the past, fun but difficult at the same time. He was eternally optimistic, and would bend your ear backwards with details you probably didn't want to know, about his latest hobby. Toy trains, fish, motorcycles, off-roading, camper trailers, (and in the 60's the various drugs of choice; yes, I was a hippie).

    Fast forward to about a year ago. His wife started bedding down with her boss (something that blew us all away, because she was one of those folks who had what we believed was a strong Christian constitution and VERY "family" oriented).

    Then, her husband (the friend who called me) after having given twenty-five years to his company, working his way up to Management, got permanently laid off.

    "Frank" doesn't call anyone," I thought to myself. It was VERY uncharacteristic for this very self-absorbed person to call to talk. If you wanted to see him or hear from him, YOU had to initiate it.

    He talked of his wife and her coming home; about her desire to reconcile. He talked about his mis-trust of her (something I know something about personally, now that my OWN wife had made some similar and bad choices), and how he figured his last thought at the time of his death, would be her infidelity.

    He talked of attempting suicide at a park with a very high cliff face; the only thing keeping him from going over was that he tripped and fell first, at the precipice.

    How strange it was, to be consoling and sharing with him in HIS struggles, when I was going thru much of that myself. I wasn't and am not suicidal I grant you, but I remember THINKING about it once for a brief moment. Never the act itself, or a desire for it, but what I am convinced was a thought planted in my head by the prince of all lies, like he does with all of us. I was able to dismiss it quickly, my full confidence placed on my Savior.

    We spent most of our time on the phone, talking about "trust." There's that word again!! Keeps coming back!!! God, you sure are drumming that home. Must be important, eh?!

    I realized today, (truth be told, I had thought of this one other time, but it came back again) that my wife might be indeed re-gathering herself while away. She might indeed BE finding her way back to her Savior. That's wonderful if so!! From MY vantage point, it can also mean wonderful things for "us."

    What if, after all the mountain-topping she's doing, it was God's way of preparing to take her home? After all.........look what she has had to suffer in her body and mind. What if, in God's tender Mercy, she (for example) was part of a plane crash as she flew home from there in about a week?

    I had to ask myself in all seriousness.......you don't suppose that God is hammering home (in a sense) the need for me to "trust" Him, because He knows how delicate my heart is right now.

    I had the impression that perhaps God is telling me to "man up" and be ready.

    Whatever the outcome............anticipating many more years with my wife if God tarries, talking to my friend after supper last night, showed me that my own situation, as similar as it may be, is not as bad as my friends situation. He is on the verge of losing so much more.

    In my conversation with him, I was able to bring in the spiritual aspect, but I have to tread lightly with him on that score, and am sensitive to that. Little by little; bit by bit, we feed those around us the Word of God, by example, by introduction, with love and patience. Some you can win by preaching "fire and brimstone," and others need careful and tender care. If they ultimately make the decision to trust Christ; that's the goal.

    I choose to be loving, caring, hopeful, optimistic, loyal, forgiving, kind, patient and yes..........trusting, of my wife. I do so in the name of Christ. I can only hope that it is enough to help "us" (my wife and I) stay an "us." I've invested in "us" because I made a vow to do so, and because I WANT to do that.

    Next lesson for me? Learning to place my love of God, OVER the love I have for my wife. Truly setting my affections on things above, more than on earth. I can slip on that slippery rock very easily. You too? Sure, I can get defensive and say "not me man!!! I love God above all else!!!!" But let's get real here. We know how much we tend to try and preserve ourselves first. We know how much we try to hide from pain. We are, by nature, "human" after all.

    Thanks be to God that He understands that. That He works in us, according to our willingness to allow Him in, and creates a new mindset; a new direction to our sense of purpose, that drives us away from focusing on ourselves, and moves us towards focusing on Him, and the Eternal.


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