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Water Slide

Grasping onto futility is painful. Letting go affords less pain, but frequently more fear. So we decide in that “rock-and-hard-place” place to hold on…or to let go.

I never considered myself a control freak and most people who know me would hopefully say the same. But when the heat is on, the spirit of control can simmer to the top, boil over, and singe others and self.  This became quite noticeable in me something like 13 years ago.

The decision had been made to move to North Carolina from New Jersey due to a drastic layoff my husband had to endure. It was a year after “911” had occurred. He worked for the City of New York as tractor operator and the year following that horrific day filled my husband’s schedule with overtime galore and grave images stored away in his head. After the cleanup was completed, his 14 ½ year employment there, also, came to an end

So, we packed up and moved to the region his family had settled 8 years prior. I’d like to say that as a submissive Christian wife I came along happily, but that is not the case. I’m sure there are heel marks all the way down I-95 from NJ to NC complete with burn marks on my soles (soul?)!  I wanted my old life back. I wanted the status quo, the expected. The glorious unknown is not my idea of fun. Here I was filled with a forlorn I had never before experienced.  Then we took a vacation.

Emerald Isle, NC has a lovely, serene setting to quiet down the most anxious of hearts. The ocean is my go-to place where I can find God and myself more easily.  But after a day of soaking up the sun and internalizing His peace, I took a ride to the water park. My intention was to watch the kids have fun, but my daring bro-in-law egged me on otherwise.

C’mon, it’ll be fun!!!

No way…I’m not killing myself on those over-used, kid-soaked mats!

Just try it once! You’ll love it! The trick is to let go!

Okaaay….*sigh*

 So placating my relentless relative, I grabbed a mat, walked up the L –O- N- G steps that led to the tippy top of the slide, and sat with trembling legs.

C’mon lady…you’re holding up the line!

GULP.

The split second dynamics flying through my brain at that moment are not suitable for a “G” rated audience. I can only tell you I was terrified, and not so much due to the speed and the frigid water but of the lack of control. My hands held firmly onto glassy slide-sides, my feet planted onto slippery smoothness, and it’s a wonder I didn’t fly head over heels to the waiting water! Yet, somewhere around three quarters of the way down mark, I let go and plopped into the water.

Yes, this is fun…I want to do it again…

So up the ladder I ascended. Sitting on my rubber mat I held on once again, but let go at approximately the first quarter. Progress! Like a shot I plunged into the waiting pool.

This is exciting! I wanna do it again!

Yes, this time I nearly ran up the ladder, perched on that mat, and let go from the top down! Squealing all the way down, letting go of the sides, feeling the sheer joy of cool air accompanied by sensations this way-too-cautious lady never feels, I plummeted feet first into the crisp, clear, invigorating water.

Letting go can bring you to places that holding on will never tell you of. I could give a litany of bible verses to support this idea of letting go and letting God, but you probably know them already. The overarching picture is this: we are human and He is God. He takes care of His own and He has our future in His hands. He is all-seeing, all-knowing, and present everywhere. Summarizing Psalm 139…He’s got us covered, He knows us from eternity past, and He will never leave us (read it yourself!). I’m not responsible for the turnout of events, only how I act or react to them.

My journey from the north to the south has been treacherous at times. But I’ve learned to settle into my sweet spot. The uphill climb doesn’t seem quite as steep as it did early on and I’m learning to feel the pleasure of letting go. So grab your mat with me, throw our controlling hands up in the air, and slide along this glorious thing called life. It truly is a lovely ride. 

Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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