You know that feeling you experience when you’re on a roller coaster - the feeling of anticipation and trepidation?
There’s the slow build up after you are buckled in and given the clearance to go. The higher the peak the slower the ride and the longer it takes. And then you are cresting the top of the ride. All of a sudden you are traveling at breakneck speed twisting and turning until the ride is over. It’s the longest 180 seconds of your life.
Life has felt like a 180-second ride for the past two weeks. As I mentioned in a prior post, we attended two funerals in two days. Then we had the most epic family reunion ever! My future son in law was welcomed and accepted. I met new cousins while laughing loving and having a good time together. The food was great – this year we used local caterers and every day for breakfast and dinner we were treated to Jamaican food. Lunch was on our own but even then that became communal. Older cousins took younger cousins on day trips – one to the Blue Hole and one to Prospect Plantation. It goes without saying that we were watching the Olympics Track and Field. Someone simply mentioned that Usain Bolt was running and everyone ran to see him. The non-athletic all of a sudden could move and even the caterers stopped serving. It’s expected and was all in good fun.
I cannot put into words the excitement of watching the Olympics in Jamaica – it’s so different than watching in the States. The coverage is live throughout the day; places of work have a slower pace and if there is green, yellow, black and gold in the field, you can be sure the nation is cheering the athlete on. In that epic 400m women’s final where the front runners were so close, in the din you could hear my husband loudly yelling “Go Sharicka, Go Sharicka, Come through Sharicka!!!” Sharicka Jackson made the podium with her 3rd place finish. It should be noted that while I’m an Allyson Felix fan, I was cheering for my Bahamian girl – Shaunae Miller; she had the fastest time coming in and was favored to win. So I’m screaming for the Bahamas and my husband was, of course, cheering for Jamaica.
The next night we were in Port Royal eating fish, and Omar Mcleod ran the 100M hurdles. The whole place was initially quiet and then crescendoed into a shout as he won historic gold. NICE!
In the midst of all of this, I found out that my mom was very ill and was hospitalized. With spotty Wi-Fi, I was grateful for any updates I received and when the seriousness of her illness hit me I went into the bathroom and let out a guttural moan. I then spent the remainder of the day at the beach attempting to regroup.
O God, how I love my children. We were all together for the past two weeks and it felt joyous. It makes my heart smile to see them talking and offering each other advice and also being genuinely welcoming and open to their future brother in law. They’re all transitioning into the next stages of their lives; my husband and I are their biggest cheerleaders and we only want the best for them coupled with a life of faith. We have imparted “seek ye first the kingdom of God…“to them and it is pleasurable yet unpredictable to see how this unfolds in each child.
So I’ve been agitated yet happy, despondent then cheerful, struggling with fear yet choosing to exercise faith within this slice of time. It seems like a lot but in the grand scheme of things, it’s 180 seconds. A roller coaster of emotions that ultimately makes me realize the frailty and beauty of life are all engineered by a loving powerful God. God has given me the strength, wisdom and the right people in my life to get through this and because I lean on Him, I will get through.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalms 16:8[NLT]