My next spiritual jump takes me a few years into the future, as a 9 years old. I was walking down the street, near my elementary school, when I noticed a very large tent being erected.  I was so curious, I walked right over and read a sign that said a man was going to help people get in touch with Jesus and God.  There would also be a Holy Spirit there.  What was a Holy Spirit? I had never seen a Holy Spirit or any spirit for that matter.  So, I decided to come back to discover for myself what this all meant. When I arrived the tent was packed and voices filled the huge space. I slipped inside and stood near the back by the door. My eyes adjusted and were drawn to the front of the tent where a preacher stood on a podium raising his hands and saying that his brand of religion was the way. He seemed very convincing and the voices around me shouted “Yes Lord” and other things.  All I needed to do was declare my faith and I would be resurrected, (whatever that was), so when they asked for folks to step forward, I did. I walked right up to the big podium, stood in-line with other sinners, and I bowed my head. The nice man waved his hands and declared that we were all saved and that we would be with God. As I left the tent it hit me that this could perhaps cause trouble with my parents, after all, did this mean that I now had two Gods?  Chills ran down my spine and I thought of my Mother.  What would my Mother say when she found out that I had a new God? Would she ever find out? Would I be cast out of the family completely for being different? What had I done? I felt like I was in worse trouble now than I was at the beginning of the day, because now I had two Gods to answer to and I was overwhelmed. I was just a kid, and I felt quite confused and alone. I took a shortcut home to avoid everyone and I crept into my room.  When my Mother came to the door, I pretended to be sick, coughing, and lay my head on my pillow. Thankfully she felt sorry for me, and told my siblings to leave me alone to rest.  I was given dinner in bed, but I feared that when she came back in the room that my lie would be discovered! I stayed in my room for weeks after that, peeking out the windows from behind closed curtains, watching for someone to come to my home to speak with my parents. I just knew someone would come and tell them what I had done. Everyday I checked the mail, half expecting a big notice to arrive stating “Your daughter has a new God!”  After a few weeks of hiding out, I decided to avoid church in the entirety for the time being. I needed to figure this whole God thing out quickly, but for now, I would stay home and hide. . .  

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