The Ride

Life has a funny way of taking us places we couldn’t have dreamed up ourselves, both good and bad.

We blaze fast down a track we think we know…and sometimes we do know–our tickets marked clearly with our destination. But sometimes the tracks switch on us and our train gets taken into uncharted zones.

Pain rolled in with the full moon this weekend, and with it, all the hopelessness and fear to match. A contrast to the unbearable pain was that of incredible joy as my arms held the delicate being of my nephew for the first time. Within the pain, not apart from it, the newborn I finally held brought with it the reminder of new life.

The presence of joy doesn’t necessarily create an absence of pain, but it does create some hope in the dark.

So it goes with life. It’s usually within the pain that we see the joy even more so than apart from the pain.

There are always small pieces of joy that rear their heads in the midst of our dark.

Our lives are built from a myriad of hills and valleys, storms and seasons, and towns and tunnels. We might not choose which we’d like to pass through when, but we can leave each area a changed person, and most likely will. Sometimes the only thing I can count on right now is the constant moving of the train at all–the passing of time, knowing that it means I’m one day closer to healing.

And for a good portion of the time we may spend our ride screaming at the conductor while the train chugs on. While during another portion it might be easier to spot the sun peeking behind the trees. Eventually we notice the passenger or two sitting in the next car, riding the same train as we are.

I sat and talked with the sweet woman beside me, carrying her cancer diagnosis in the arms of faith. We both know life doesn’t choose fairly or deservingly. It simply gives and we must decide how we ride through even when we don’t get to decide if.

Time passes slowly but eventually we see our fighting against our circumstances is futile. Better to fight through it than fight against it.

Our destinations are never reached because of our control, but because of our trust

We were never meant to conduct the train ourselves. We were always meant to simply make the most out of the ride. To take what we learn during our surviving so we can know how to do our best at thriving later.

I’m still in the dark, and the darkness gets darker still. I cling to the small moments of joy because they carry me right now; holding my nephew, imagining my own children someday, the help I can give reaching others through this, the future for my husband and I…I need these or else the unbearable pain isn’t worth it.

For now, I have no other choice but to trust the train ride wherever the tracks go. For in the good character of Christ, He wouldn’t let me travel through the valleys without a glorious destination in site. I place my trust in that.

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