Holding On

Do you remember your first rollercoaster ride?  Slowly, you inch up and up until only sky surrounds you. You are perched at the top of the world, and the sun shines brightly. Then, all of sudden, your life topples over, and you plummet down fast and hard.  Before you can catch your breath, everything starts spinning sideways. Suddenly, you are moving up and down and around. You have no idea where you started, but you know that the ride is not over. Hanging upside down and holding on tight, you have lost all sense of direction.

Sometimes, marriage reminds me of my first rollercoaster ride, full of unexpected turns that make my heart move into my throat.   Illness, death, job loss—the curves come crashing, and life is spinning in a way that makes me far too dizzy. How do I hold on tight and learn to enjoy the ride?

Last year, I spent a few weeks in a hospital room with my weary husband beside me. Our year was filled with doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and pain. The ride of life kept us hanging upside down for much longer than we wanted.

How do you survive the wild ride and keep your marriage intact?

  • Hold on to your spouse: Remember why you choose to ride with your mate. Pray through the wild ride together.
  • Hold on to your community: Call out to those around you rather than trying to be brave. God has put people in your life to be a life-line that helps you keep going.
  • Hold on to your God: You may have lost your sense of direction, but God knows exactly where you are going.
  • Hold on to hope: The ride will be fun again soon. Hold on to that promise.

The ride may be full of unexpected turns and loops, but I am so glad I chose to jump on board with a great guy who is sitting right beside me. We might be screaming and holding on to the rail with white knuckles, but we are learning to enjoy the ups and downs together. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Keep holding on!


A life-long educator and mentor, Lyli Dunbar serves as Associate Director of Curriculum and Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts at Trinity International University Florida. She married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging singles in God’s waiting room and connecting with other couples through a weekly small group in her home. Lyli enjoys traveling with her husband, laughing with good friends, and reading a well-written novel in her free time. Connect with Lyli through her blog at 3dlessons4life.com or on Twitter.

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