How are You Doing?

OR The Roller Coaster of Transition

By Jamie Wiechman

“How are you doing?” is the innocent question that leaves me fumbling for words. Some people are blessedly able to offer some sort of acceptable response of “good” or “fine” or “amazing” or “better than I deserve.”

But not me.

I have this strong moral conviction to answer questions honestly, which puts me in a quandary any time this question gets asked. I search for a true and accurate response. Yes, I know that’s not what the question means; people are just saying hello. Yet I haven’t found a way to convince my conscience of that, so the soul searching commences.

How am I doing?

The most honest answer I can give (that is short and doesn’t give entirely too much information) is: “We’re in transition again.” My conscience accepts this as shorthand for “and all the crazy that goes along with that.”

Transition is a roller coaster ride. For me, it’s the kind of roller coaster that demands a seatbelt as well as a shoulder harness. Because this sucker is not just going up and down: it does loop-de-loops, too.

Sometimes backwards.

At breakneck speed.

To be honest with you, I’m kind of a fan of roller coasters. As a pre-teen, my mom would drop me and a friend off at our local theme park (Astroworld for you Houstonians) at 10 minutes to 11:00. When the gates opened at 11:00, we would beeline for the back of the park to beat the rush and ride the loop-de-loop roller coaster repeatedly before anyone else made their way to the back and started forming a line. I always loved the wind in my face and the thrill of the ride with its gravity defying track.

Maybe I’m a bit of a thrill seeker.

Or maybe I was.

After enough loop-de-loops, a stomach eventually protests, demanding some flat land so it can regain its equilibrium.

How am I doing?

Transition. Again.

Everything within me longs for a sense of equilibrium.

Get me off this stinkin’ roller coaster.

So I remember the God who knows me and loves me and cares about me a lot. And I say, “Please, God. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. Something needs to stick … to last … to settle. Please.”

And I feel the Spirit enter in with a quiet hush, “I know, Beloved. I’m taking you somewhere. Not just in circles. Somewhere real. I promise it will be worth the wait. But in the meantime, just sit and be with me a bit. I’m right here. There’s peace and quiet right here. Breathe, Beloved … That’s good. I’ve got you. We’re in this together.”

The truth is that I still love the ride. I’m just tired.

I don’t want to quit; I just need a break.

I love that my heavenly Father offers one: not just a future rest, but also a rest right now, in this moment, a breath that delivers life and peace and a connection to goodness.

Ask me how I’m doing now.



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