Ups and Downs

The last month has felt like an emotional roller coaster—reaching exciting heights but plunging down quickly. After experiencing the high of a remarkable mission trip to Kenya, the low of returning to reality in the U.S., and the high of a belated summer vacation on the white sands of Florida, we returned to Texas for the funeral of a beloved family member who had pulled back from our family the past few years. Right now I am hanging on to a short season of calm on the ground, knowing that it may not last long.


As I ponder the events of these few weeks, I am thankful that my balance is not based on my circumstances or my feelings about them. Although my emotions can move from high to low (and often rather quickly), my foundation rests on faith in a loving and sovereign God. His Word lifts me up at low points and keeps me centered when the highs threaten to distract me. 


Faith doesn’t mean that life is easy or without sorrow and hurt. It does mean, however, that I put life in a bigger context instead of focusing only on the present. As Jesus said, “In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage— I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). 


Yes, I need some good sleep and times of joy or crying as I go up and down, but what I most need is time with God alone, sensing his presence and hearing his words echo in my heart. He reminds me that he is in control of both kinds of life situations, using them for his redemptive purposes through his great wisdom and love. 


Whatever highs and lows you and I are presently experiencing, we can know that they are for a season and a purpose. God is there to take us through to the other side. His Word provides a sure foundation so that our emotions don’t drive us but keep us centered on who he is and what is truly important in life.

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters and a Goldendoodle.