It was dubbed the Sea Dragon Ride and in 1981, it was a new attraction at our local state fair. My friend, Jake, and I were anxious to ride it.
Frankly, I thought the ride looked a bit sedate but once we were on board and it swung back and forth, I began to feel uneasy. Perhaps I didn’t get enough sleep? Oh well, no worries, I was sure I would get over it. After all, this ride was for kids. As soon as it ended, we saw there was no line at the Tilt-a-Whirl, an old favorite.
We both got on and things went downhill, fast. I closed my eyes, attempting to reduce the visual stimulation and sensory overload.
“What a ride!” Jake hooted.
I forced a smile as I fought to hold my breakfast down. The operator of the ride saw my face and snickered. I am sure he prolonged the ride a minute longer than usual. When the ordeal ended, I stumbled off the platform and attempted to hold my composure which was successful for ten more seconds before I heaved into the duck pond next to the ride. This happened three more times and for the next two hours, I was on my back, unable to rid myself of the dizziness. Embarrassingly, my father had to come and rescue us.
Something happened that day and my equilibrium has never been the same. To this day, I cannot ride any carnival rides. I was always prone to seasickness but now, even if someone bobs up and down in front of me, I get queasy.
Reminders of previously uncomfortable or painful episodes in our life are sometimes easily triggered by an experience that mimics it. Though my experience pales in comparison to others who faced death or a violent crime, it still remains with me and I always avoid any activity that may relive this incident.
It is not just motion sicknesses. Painful incidents in my past still haunt me and will trigger painful memories. The divorce of my parents generated years of pain and hurt for me, still reverberating to this day. What hope is there? To whom can I turn?
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)
We can never erase memories but God promises to help us heal. He does not take away the wounds but binds them, literally to wrap them like a turban. God is holding all of us-tenderly to allow us to cry, firmly to keep us from despair.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.