Upside Down

Imaginary Journal Entry #1

It was a trip down memory lane. I was three years old.  We went across the world for an adventure of my short-lived lifetime. The small facts from the trip are random at best. Apparently I experienced my first attempt with shaving, and was left with bloodied legs.

I remember my teddy bear went missing. He may have decided to backpack Europe and stuffed himself in someone’s luggage when I wasn’t looking.

That is about it.

Well, with the slight detail that my world was upside down. Well, at least in my field of vision.

For years, etched in my mind was a made up version of the modern day movie, ‘Flight’, starring Denzel Washington. In this very R rated movie, the plane turned upside down as it flew through the air with dramatic cinematography of a movie only Hollywood could pull off.

Here we were, mid-flight over the Atlantic on our way to the United Kingdom, when the plane turned upside-down. My three-year old frame was securely belted in this small aircraft as I saw myself peer through the window at the outside world.

Yes, I believed this was a real-life ‘flight’ until one day, I reenacted this moment with my sister, and after what seemed an eternity of uncontrolled laughter, she assured me this was not the case. I should have known as no one mentioned it in all these years.  Surely something as remarkable as that would have been discussed by now.

Sometimes what we see as reality is not real at all.

Maybe it’s real, maybe its make-believe.

Imprinted in my mind as truth, I didn’t recognize it wasn’t, until someone pointed it out to me. How have I lost the ability to distinguish between up and down–reality and imagination?

But, what if what I experienced was figuratively more of a clue to a little girl’s emotional instability?

What if, even though the airspace was still, this little girl’s reality was anything but?  What if the turbulence actually occurred on the ground?  I don’t know. That is the problem.  I do not know. I think I know, but sometimes my memories are scarce and scattered.

I had a vision of another moment–actually it was like a snapshot of a memory from long ago. I would say it was forgotten somewhere along the way, but since I don’t really know if it was really real, how do I know for sure?

With my feet securely tied in place with a rope, I hang upside down by my feet.  I am behind the garage.  I am not sure how old I am.  Maybe eight.

What the heck!?!

A friend is at my house for dinner one night and I decide to share with her my back-to-back moments from childhood of my imagination gone wild, when she stops me mid-sentence, and warns me to not be so sure that this moment is fictitious like the airplane.

Immediately, a sick feeling enters my stomach cavity concluding she may be correct. Okay, time to change the subject. Let’s move on, because, if you know me by now, you realize I suffer from ‘Pollyanna persona’ and this disturbing detail disrupts the cupcakes and ice cream and all things good peace of mind.

But, she apparently does not receive the mental memo and shares a small observation on these moments.  Such a minuscule piece of info it virtually went undetectable by me:

In both occasions, I happen to be upside down.

With an added detail that maybe, because a child does not process information as an adult, me being upside down was actually how I felt.

I felt my world was upside down.

I know.  Deep stuff.

So, the next day I pick up the phone and casually call my sister and mention this moment about being tied up. Now, as I share, the sickness returns, as I instinctively know this is a memory reel of a real memory.

She confirms my guttural groans–yes it is.  She remembers walking up on me as I attempt to simultaneously escape and keep my shirt from falling forward to expose my torso.

I remember.

I was lured out there. I am certain of it. By some neighbor kids. I remember not feeling safe. This was in no way a neighborly game of Cowboy and Indians.

I felt out of control. Captured.

The ropes held me against my will.

Blood rushes to my head as the memory unfolds before me. How long was I there? Did I remain silent, or did I scream out for help?  I change angles in my mind to attempt to expose hidden clues in the memory vault.  Nothing.

Blood rushes straight to my heart as the adrenaline makes me feel weak.

Who exactly were they?

Another memory surfaces of me peering around the corner of my house– wondering if they were waiting to jump out to get me.  I remember begging not to go to school for fear they would hurt me.

My world was literally turned upside down.

The ties that bound me down were only in place for a moment, but the captivity remained for years.

Sometimes the ties that bind us are not visible to the naked eye.  But, we are invisibly held captive all the same.

Struggling to break free from who knows what.

What I have noticed is this:

In order to cut the ties, we need to first recognize we are being held captive.

Father, help us recognize where we are held down by showing us where the Enemy has a tight grip on us.  
Help us to find freedom in You.  Point us to the answers in Your Word so we can break free of his ugly grip.  
You came to turn our world upside down by freeing us from our captivity and releasing us from the prison of darkness.  Cut these ties that bind. 

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