My sister wrote this months ago, but I didn't find it until this summer. You can tell that we're related by her use of analogy to describe her Christian walk! Published with permission of the author; minor capitalization changes and editing by me.
"Alright, so as I was writing my application for WSS [White Sulfur Springs] this summer, I thought I would tweak one of the questions I answered and post it for you guys....so here it goes.
The beginning of this past year felt kind of like the Griffon Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens. As you get on, you deny that you’re actually going to go through with it, although once you are hooked in, there’s no going back. The Griffon carries its riders up 205 feet, holds them at the top of a drop, looking straight down, for the longest 3 seconds of their lives, and then hurtles them 90 degrees straight down at 70 mph. Then it goes on to do loop-de-loops, although none of them compare to the sheer fright experienced at the top of the first drop. But in my life this drop happened to be my parents separating. At that point I couldn’t understand how a Christian household could be separated and I questioned the power of God, thinking that he would’ve kept us together if he truly loved us. I turned my back on God, and went looking for love in the wrong places which led to more pain, but as always, God had a plan. He led me through the healing process, bringing me back into his ever-loving arms, and just like a roller coaster shaking the coins from your pocket, I lost belief God would make life easy for you. Instead, He taught me, as said in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” He is always with you, you just have to look. I look back on this year with a new gained respect and devotion to Christ, kind of like how you would look back at your souvenir roller coaster picture. You can see that you were in denial and scared to death, but guess what? You’re still alive and got another experience under your belt."
By Lauren "Duckie" Armstrong
Duckie- Keep on running the greatest race of all time and love Him with all of your heart... it's a witness to everyone who meets you, and especially me, who's honored that I was chosen to be your big brother and close friend when God laid out our lives. I love you!