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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: GET Past Life's Ups and Downs!
By Chuck Baker


GET Past Life’s Ups and Downs

(verses from the NIV version of the Bible)

“Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!”

--Joel 3:14

Dear daughter:

If we can both survive the stress of the next few years, we’ll wake up to find that you’re a woman now, not some little girl anymore. I know it’s something you’d like to rush into, but for the time being, we have much to experience—together!

I’ve been on the emotional roller coaster you’re on now, with all its peaks and valleys—soaring to great heights one moment, only to plunge into deep despair the next. And just like that roller coaster, you’re unsettled; you’re in different places at different times.

Sometimes, you’re my little girl, wide-eyed at what the world has to offer. Sometimes, you’re a woman—the make-up and the latest fashions seem to steal your childhood away. You’re caught in the middle of a downwards dive, picking up speed before making the upward climb to adulthood. I’m just trying to catch my breath—it’s all happening far too fast!

I like the roller coaster—when the ride is over! Forgive me for my fear while the wheels are in full motion. It’s the mystery of the unknown—what’s the next curve that life will throw our way? I realize that most enjoy the ride, without any cause for concern, but I’ve seen enough to know that’s not always the case. I want to wrap my arms around you for protection; you want both arms in the air.

Yesterday, you were in the valley again. Fashion magazines open all over your bed—fantasy figures staring back at you, coaxing you to take up the challenge of being someone else, if you dare. You wanted lighter hair, darker hair, a slimmer figure but a bigger bust—airbrushed looks in an all-too-real adolescence. Today HE smiled at you—again!—and all’s right with the world. You’re back on top again.

I struggle to keep up—the ride I’m used to moves at a slower pace. Obligations and the day to day routines—I’m forever tinkering with behind-the-scenes gears, the machine works that make the ride operational. I’m a spectator now, hoping that the work I’ve done will make the trip as safe as it can be for you.

I miss the ride, but I’m excited to see you on it now. Your heartbeats become mine, your eyes my eyes. You haven’t been on this ride before, but I’ve done it a thousand times. I try to warn you about the valleys below, but you’re too caught up in the moment to pay attention.
I want to slow the ride down—tell you I love you—have us walk and talk and really listen to each other. But your life is on fast forward—your school work, your friends, your mp3, the fifty phone numbers on your cell. You’re racing past me day in and day out.

I see now that I can’t get you to slow down to my pace—you haven’t reached that slow hill climb just yet. There’s only one way for me to spend more time with my not-so-little girl before I find her far away. I need to have the courage to go through the peaks and valleys with you. Just one more time for old time’s sake.

Are you busy today? I hear there’s a new coaster at the fair. Care to join me?


“Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low…
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed!”

--Isaiah 40:4-5

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler08/18/06
Love your article! Every mother has been there. It's a tough job raising kids but worth it all in the long run. I would strongly urge every Christian parent to make sure their child becomes involved in the youth group at their church. When I was a teen, that is what saved me from going astray. Since youth are highly impressionable and have a strong need to "fit in",they need the safety of the church more than anyone else. Youth pastors take note: your job is supremely important.