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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Satisfied (10/11/04)

TITLE: Roller Coaster
By Tammie Smith


You want me to ride that”? Shaking my head, I turn and walk away. “I am not riding that”, I say.

My daughter smiles and says “Mom, you can do it. I will be here with you”.

I don't think my daughter understands, I am terrified of heights. That coaster is a monster. She wants me to ride it. Is she nuts?

“Honey, I get scared walking on the top floor at the mall. I can't ride this”, I tell her.

“Mom, you can do it. You can do anything you put your mind to”, she says, trying to encourage me.

Gritting my teeth, I head to the line. Before I have time to to leave, it is our turn.

“I am glad we didn't have to wait very long, or I might have chickened out”, I say to my daughter with a grin.

Giving my best “I can do this" smile, I climbed into the coaster car next to my daughter.

Creaking, slowly and steadily, the coaster moves forward as it eases its way up to the top. Thoughts of “How did I get here” bombard my mind in the seconds that I tee-totter at the top.

Looking at my daughter, I squeeze my eyes and throw a quick prayer up to God. Please keep me safe father as I ride the coaster. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“You can do it, momma” she encourages with an assuring smile.

“Thank you sweetie” I reply, as I try to remember how to breathe.

Just as I was getting comfortable being at the top, the coaster rushed down the hill, then immediately slingshots back up another hill. Catching my breath, I squeeze my daughter's hand. I am terrified. I knew I would never make it off this ride. I can see the coaster careening right off the track, and landing in the parking lot.

The ride continues to twist and turn, and I feel like we are moving in slow motion. The coaster finally comes to an abrupt stop. The ride is finally over.

“So how do you feel”, my daughter asks.

“I feel”, I reply as I stop to think. I look at my beautiful smiling daughter, and I see the look of pride in her eyes. I look back at the monster coaster, then I look up at God, I smile.

“I feel satisfied” I finish saying. “Come on, let's get to the picnic. I am sure your brother is ready to eat.”

As we head towards the picnic area, I use the time to reflect on my ride. It didn't last very long, but the ending was so rewarding. I couldn't believe that I overcame one of my fears today. I felt so many things during the ride: nervousness, fear, excitement, and finally joy.

Now I feel so satisfied, I have conquered the monster of fear. Smiling to myself I say a prayer of thanks to my father. Father, Thank you for helping me to get on that coaster today. Father, I now know that your word rings true. I can do anything through You who gives me strength.

It is funny how my life is so much like that coaster. Just as the coaster had ups and downs, I have had the same in my life. I have gone from being a lonely orphan to having a huge family of my own. Then my husband passed away, and I felt so alone again. Now I am remarried to a wonderful man who loves my children as his own. Yes, I have had my ups and downs, but God has seen me through them all.

“So, did you ride?” my son yells from the picnic area. Waving to him, I just smile. My daughter runs ahead. She looks so happy and proud while she is telling her brother about our coaster ride.

Smiling at them, I feel satisfied with the way my life has gone. I have a wonderful, supportive family, and a God that has always been there for me.

Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey10/18/04
Tammie, thanks for taking me on that adventure with you. I HATE those rides too. They do offer such a great comparison to this life and how satisfying it is to overcome fears, though. I thought you did a great job relaying those thoughts. :)
darlene hight10/18/04
Tammie this is a great story and good lesson. Interestingly,I have a roller coaster story rolling around in my head that I haven't written yet.
Dori Knight10/18/04
good job, tammie! keep up the good work!

blessings ~

Mary Elder-Criss10/18/04
Your roller coaster ride kinda reminds me of our "life's ride," full of twists and turns, and often hair raising moments..yet God is faithful to bring us through. Thanks for sharing.
Sheila Boyd10/19/04
Good story. I like roller coasters, but I had never made the connection to life, the ups and downs. Thanks for sharing.
Lucian Thompson10/19/04
What a beautiful testimony! So fun to read. Good job!
Verlie Ruhl10/21/04
Your story evoked such an empathic response that I felt my stomach drop. Thanks for your inspiring conclusion on overcoming fear.
Phyllis Inniss10/23/04
It's so great to overcome fear and to recognize our ups and downs are lessons for us to learn from. Blessings.
Marina Rojas10/24/04
Holding my breath and my wrenching stomach, you took me on the ride with you. Great spiritual value at the end. WHEEEEE!