Roller Coasters and Jesus

Smiling Christ: Frances J. Hook

Smiling Christ: Frances J. Hook

For the past few few months, I have been on a roller coaster. No, not an amusement park roller coaster, but a multiple life events type roller coaster. You see, sometimes there are many twists and turns on our road through life, aren’t there. I have been overwhelmed. I have been flat out depressed at times, and carefully optimistic at times. I have gone to some support groups to gain some traction. I lost my hope for quite awhile, but not my faith. A group called Celebrate Recovery has been extremely helpful in the past few weeks. They have a broader focus than AA, Al-Anon and the like. They are faith based and they cover the usual various addictions as well as all kinds of other things, too. They have been a bridge from despondent island. (The photo below is by my friend Terri Shirley-Summerhayes, and is at the Jersey Shore).



Recently there have been glimmers of hope once again. We are learning new ways to deal with things. My husband and I have been there for each other through it all. I know, I am not giving details, which doesn’t help you to “totally get” what my husband and I have been helping someone through. I want you to know something, though. It is worth it. It is worth it to insist that loved ones honor their word, even though initially it may have just been lip service. It is worth it to stay strong and say no to manipulation. It is worth it to commit to the right values, the right ways of living and behaving. It is worth it to find the right programs. It is worth it to seek help from people who have been down the road.


When you have been terrified that bad decisions will end up causing someone you love to die, faith and prayer can provide respite for your exhausted heart. Respite is essential for survival when you are going through heck, don’t you think?

It is hard when you are going through roller coaster times and severe heartache to find hope. It is hard to even know what to pray for, other than endurance. But do you know what? Joy comes in the morning, the psalm tells us. We shall be blessed. God has our back. True friends have our back. Even in our times when we feel desolate, and believe no one will understand, we discover that some people do.

The question becomes, will we believe in our own worth? God never ever abandons us. He loves us through it all. In my mind, the perfect example is Peter. Three times he denied Jesus. As a result, Peter was distraught. Jesus built a bridge right to Peter. Three times he asked Peter if Peter loved Him. Three times Peter said he did. Jesus made him all new again. Jesus makes us all new. It helps us to “mount up with wings like eagles”

We, like the dear hummingbird, need sustenance.

We, like the dear hummingbird, need sustenance.

So yes, I have been on a roller coaster. For today, though, I am at peace. I am seated on a bench on the merry-go-round. Life is still traveling in circles a bit. But for today, it is glorious. I am a grateful believer. I am His daughter. My husband is my delightful partner. We shall endure these tests ~ no matter WHAT the one on the path to recovery decides. Our prayer is that this beloved one continues to decide the Godly path.

We are grateful for the goodness and the support God has recently sent our way. One day at a time.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.


My favorite part of this prayer is : “so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next”.

When I went to a support group meeting and hear that part of the prayer, it warmed my heart. Reasonably happy. Yes, that could help us all, couldn’t it?


About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in faith/courage/miracles/hope, Scripture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Roller Coasters and Jesus

  1. fgassette says:

    Keeping you and your love ones in prayer during your roller coaster ride. All things works out for the good.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Francine~ you are right. All things do work out for good, in one way or another. I get impatient at times (ok many times). But if I hang on, and keep my hand in the Lord’s hand, I find peace, even though there may not be answers. At this point in the week, I am encouraged, for sure.

  2. gwen07 says:

    Oh Kate, I have your back – if not physically – emotionally. I too am familiar with that old pit-in-the-stomach feeling; like one has to throw up but — what? There’s nothing left inside but pain. As parents (especially mothers) we want to jump in and smooth the way, kiss away all the boo-boos. It is hard, so very hard to sit back and watch as ones we love walk in a dark, airless direction.
    But we do not have the right to live someone else’s life. If this were the case we would all be born with an extra set of controls; that set we can willingly turn over to those who love us and count on them to steer us to safety. All we can do is try and put our hands on those errant life-wheels and gently redirect the ones we love more than life itself. Please don’t beat yourself up (like I did) believing others have all the answers and their lives are without such struggle. This is not true.

    Humorous (?) anecdote – A husband/father and wife/mother entered a nice restaurant in New England it was the end of summer and the couple wanted a table overlooking the water – both overwhelmed by the beauty of the season and their personal circumstance. A beautiful, well-heeled couple joined them in the wait for a table with a view. The beautiful couple, unable to contain their happiness lightly complained about the wait – a complaint that turned into their sadness/happiness at just dropping their child off at a prestigious local college. There was silence. “We just dropped our son off too”, the husband/father said. “Oh really? Where is your son attending school?” The husband/father tilted his head, chin lightly uplifted and said, “Exaltation,” the name of the rehab facility in which their son was enrolled. “Why, I hadn’t heard of that university…” the beautiful couple looked at each other perplexed.
    “Before last week, we hadn’t heard of it either,” the wife/mother said as they moved to their table with a view. —

    That was 2008 — in 2006 it was we who were dropping our child off at his small New England college. Kate, your metaphor is perfect — life is such a roller coaster and all we can do is try to hold steady (via whatever means available) and recognize “reasonable happiness” when it comes knocking. Peace to you my friend

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Oh Gwen, thank you so very much for reaching out, having my back, and sharing your anecdote. You are right, we try our best to hold steady and not get whiplash. ON good days we tend to believe every day will be perfect, with no downturns or detours. On bad days, it is easy to believe that it will always be AT LEAST that bad. But if we step back a bit we realize neither is true. Each day is what it is. We pray for strength to distinguish truth from lies. We pray for endurance. We pray to have the strength to love and believe. We try to model right decisions. The recovery (or non-recovery) is up to what the loved one decides. Once again, my dear, our walks overlap. I pray that today finds you with a cup of hot coffee, or a glass of iced coffee, with sunshine dappled trees and flowers around you to bring you joy. hugs to you

  3. You are back. I am so happy to have seen this post in my inbox. ❤ U

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Love you my cousin-twin-friend. Thanks so much. We are marching forward. the past few days have been encouraging ~ which is really one of the developments my husband and I needed. We continue to pray ~ and are remembering how to hope. God is good; He is good ALL the time. Your prayers are helping me to keep believing, even on the dark days.

  4. dogear6 says:

    So nice to see you on a day when you’re feeling better. I’m sorry to hear about the problems, but this has been going on for a while (or at least I don’t think this is the first time for it). Family politics simply do not resolve easily. We’ve had some stuff going on this year that we thought was behind us for a long time and it’s just been frustrating to me and very upsetting to my husband (it involves his family).

    I’m glad you sent an update. I hope to remember you in my prayers tonight, but my brain is full with a decision we need to make as to whether or not I take a job opportunity in Georgia. It pays no relocation, but it’s by our daughter. So we’re crunching numbers and considering alternatives. God has not given much guidance or clarity around this, which isn’t helping either.

    Stay strong. Hope to hear more from you, whenever. . .


    • Kate Kresse says:

      I will pray about your Georgia decision. Not paying for relocation may or may not be a deal breaker. When we have been in that situation, we have sold off many of our heavy/costly-to-move possessions, so that we could afford to do it. We moved from NJ years ago to OH in order to be near family. At the time it was a good thing to do, but we did have to foot the bill ourselves. We spent a few years living renting a very small but affordable duplex. Being close to your daughter (and grandchild) may be a wonderful time in your lives. As an accountant, you know the numbers to crunch and the financial alternatives. If you are down there, then you won’t have the expenses of the trips to see her.

      There is so much to consider when relocating. There is gain and loss each time. (Think of the Georgian photo ops! 😉 )

      • dogear6 says:

        I turned it down. I could have made the numbers work, but then I give up five years of time to myself (by retiring early) and for what? 60 hour work weeks, can’t travel, keeping up on the increasingly complex tax laws? Since we have to pay it anyhow, we can do it anytime we want. I still have one more job offer to go in Richmond, and if they don’t come through, I’m moving on with my life.

  5. Oh Kate, I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. Life on that roller coaster, yes, I’m sorry to say my family is on it too, not in the same way as yours but in something just as devastating and destructive. We hold on to hope, we hold on to faith as the ride gets wild and seems out of control, but we know who holds the track in His capable hands. Be strong in the Lord, my friend, and may the prayers offered up in your behalf uplift you and hold you and yours steadfast.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      KEEP holding on. KEEP the faith. Our dear Lord will see us through every single storm. I am sorry you are going through rough waters as well. I pray that your, and our storms subside soon. Hang in there, and thank you for reaching out. I wish you love, peace, and even joy.

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