I got real interested in learning more about God. After all, he had spoken to me and gave me a job to do. I had a set of those blue books called Bible Story’s . I would look at them for hours and read the stories over and over. My grandmother ” Mamaw” gave me a little white Bible with a zipper on it to close it up. She started taking me to church on Sunday and had a Sunday School class I attended before the service. I got gold stars for learning the lessons and pasted each one in my Bible. I carefully place them side by side til I reached the end and I’s start another row. I outline them with a red marker and can still remember ever detail of those stars. They had a raised line in every point of the star. I would run my finger over them remembering how I got each one. It wasn’t long before I was Baptized . The preacher stood there waiting for me to enter the pool. He dunked me under, lost his grip and almost drowned me. Used his reserve of handkerchiefs on me when I came up gasping for air. Mamaw was so proud of me and I felt like I was walking on air. She took me home and I walked in expecting a party and a cake.. I love cake.. ! There everyone set, as usual. Mom and Dad, and Moms boyfriend … (yes you heard me right. ) . No party, not even a cake. No hugs , no words of congratulations, nothing. Still high from the whole experience I said to them ” hey y’all, I just got Baptized ” I walked up to kiss my dad on the cheek, and he just turned away from me. My moms boyfriend screamed out ” Whats the G.D. Hell is the big deal about that ?” and mom just said go to bed now, its bedtime. I was hurt beyond words. I cried myself to sleep that night and didn’t bring it up again. I couldn’t wait for Sunday to come though so I could go to church. They would have a celebration for me for sure. I knew they would have cake there too. Mamaw walked with me up the walkway inside the big doors.. I was quivering with excitement as we waited our turn to shake the preachers hand.. he reached over me and shook Mamaws hand and acted like he didn’t see me. I suppose a cake was out of the question. The thrill was gone.
Not long after I’d been saved, my Papaw died and I started to feel things. Like he was with me. I didn’t understand how that could be but I knew it in my heart, he was there. My favorite thing in the world was art. I was learning how to sculpt pottery, how to glaze and fire it in the big kiln. I made a sculpture of myself .. my hair painted brown and pulled back into a braid. I was leaning against a tree to make it more stable . It meant so much to me, it was just perfect. I brought it home and put it on my dresser . I placed it so it would be sure and not fall. I would keep it forever.
I had an Old English Sheepdog, Alfie, that slept with me every night and never left my side. Early one morning, I felt her jump off the bed and she ran to the corner of my room. She was shaking and crying.. I tried to get her to come back to bed, but she wouldn’t come to me. Then I saw why.. it looked like a black cloud coming through my door. It was the size of a basketball and I could see movement inside of it like it was alive. It stayed at the foot of my bed at first , then floated over the top of me. He hovered there like a bad thunderstorm, and I was scared beyond words. I couldn’t scream as bad as I tried. My body was paralyzed and I was trapped there , struggling to break free of its hold.. it dropped down on my chest. I felt its crushing heaviness lay on me for what seemed like forever. I felt like my heart would explode and couldn’t even breath. Finally it moved off of me and floated to the corner of my bed. Then it dropped down into the form of a man. It glared at me with all the hate and evil I’d ever seen. It turned back into the dark cloud and floated toward Alfie. It didn’t paralyze her any, she got up and ran over to me and jumped back in the bed. We shook so hard the whole bed was shaking. As it hovered by my dresser, my clay figurine flew across the room , landed on the floor and the head fell off. A clean cut across the neck . It then flew out of my room like a tornado and went down the hall out of site. Now I knew what true evil was . I had witnessed good and evil at a very early age. Every night after that when I got in bed, I leaped from as far away as I could , and quickly covered up head to toe making sure nothing got uncovered. I would be so hot and was suffocating, but wouldn’t come out until the sun was up . I’ll never forget how good that first breath of fresh air felt when I took the covers down. I don’t think I slept at night for many years.
When I turned 13, my sister got married and left home. I couldn’t wait to move into her room in the basement. Little did I know, but that’s where the darkness stayed. In the basement. Night after night I felt its presence and it started invading my dreams. I would hear a buzzing sound in my head and couldn’t stay awake. It felt like I was being put into a deep sleep that I’d never wake up from. I got where I could go up the basement stairs in 2 leaps and quickly lock the door behind be thinking it would keep it out. Boy was I wrong…