Annette Wiley
Sharing the message of hope.

Life is a Roller Coaster

I was an adult before I faced my fear of roller coasters. Fear also tinged my relationship with God. There have been twists and turns, slow, agonizing climbs to the top, harrowing drops, and shots forward with my head plastered to the headrest while my hands squeeze the life out of the safety bar. It’s been exhilarating and sometimes terrifying. So, what do I do? At the end of each ride with the Lord, I yell, “I wanna do that again!” And off we go. Over time, childlike trust has overcome the fear that though living in union with God will have moments of uncertainty, the ride is worth the risk.

But it wasn’t always that way. The awareness that God wanted a deeper relationship with me niggled around the periphery of my mind and heart for some time, but fear held me captive. Sometimes I regarded God as the Big Boss, and I was a measly employee, imagining a pile of expectations and duties thrown into the mix. I wanted to be independent and in the driver’s seat, and that arrangement didn’t work out so well.

Allowing God to lead the way has been a series of trials and errors. False starts and a collision or two. Even though my relationship with God is better, I still lose my way from time to time. I get in the driver’s seat, look at God in the rearview mirror, and wave back at Him as I speed ahead. This mode of transportation always ends with regrets and God picking up the wrecked pieces and gluing them back together with grace and mercy. Slowly, I’m learning there’s a better way, the way God intends for this ride to go.

So, what’s our relationship with God supposed to be like?

I’ll never forget the day my dad said to me, “You know, it takes two to tango.” This comment, given when I was angry with my husband, caused me to grit my teeth. Sometimes, I still hear Dad’s comment when I’m obstinate, and the truth still stands.

In Scripture, God likens our relationship with Him to a bride with her beloved. This reveals the nature of His desire for closeness with us. The analogy of marriage seems appropriate. After a few dates, we don’t jump ahead and ask, “So, what do you expect from me if we get married?” That’s a valid question, but it’s not something you ask in the beginning.

Communication is essential for thriving relationships. It’s no different for our relationship with God, and prayer is our miraculous line of communication with the Lord. It can be like having a cell phone that never needs charging, never loses reception, and God doesn’t have a Do Not Disturb function to screen His calls. You never have to leave a message, and the line is never busy. Yep, the phone is a wonderful tool, but nothing beats spending quality time together with one another.

What is true for a lively and fruitful marriage is also true for a lively and intimate relationship with God. You get to know one another. You spend time together, listening and sharing. Honeymoons don’t last forever, but memories of our treasured time together keep us grounded and committed to one another. Intimate relationships don’t flourish with shorthand conversations. Ask any married couple.

The Lord knows everything about us, kinda scary, right? God doesn’t want to cause fear and trembling, He wants to teach us about our true selves and Himself. The beautiful truth we can cling to is through prayer, God reveals His love for us, and He reveals more about who we are in Him. It’s a twofer, and prayer is the vehicle, the way we fall deeper and deeper into love with God, The One who knows us completely.

Three hundred and sixty-five times, one for every day, God tells us in Scripture, “Do not fear.” It takes courage to hand over our fear to God, and we have to surrender the baffling idea we are in control. When we pray for help, The Holy Spirit gives us the courage to surrender and we experience His fruits of peace and joy. Prayer, talking to and listening to God, fosters our faith that God is Whom He says He is and that He’s trustworthy. Every time we’re on life’s roller coaster and trust He is in the seat with us, we become more fearless, looking up with childlike glee and saying, “I wanna do that again!”

Let’s continue persevering in prayer, coming as little children, and trusting Jesus in every circumstance.

“…but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’” Matthew 19:14. New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18. NRSVCE.


  1. Describe my relationship with God.
  2. How content am I with our relationship?
  3. Does fear that God will ask too much of me influence my prayer-life?
  4. How can I learn to trust Him more?
  5. If I knew God was knocking on my door or calling me, would I answer?
  6. What’s God’s deepest desire for me?