I've always known God was there. Not some mystical, magical, undefined being. A person who cared for me. A person who protected me. A person who loved and valued me.
For as long as I can remember. He was there. Not in some abstract way, a sense without definition. In a way that just felt natural. That felt secure.
I had my first intensely personal experience with God when I was very young. I was aware of a relationship with God at an early age. Before I knew who or what God was, before I understood what it meant.
But I don't share that with people.
Because once I started to learn how the world worked I understood that it wasn't safe for me to do so.
I grew up going to church. We asked a blessing at meal time. That was about the extent of religion in my house. An occasional attempt at a religious lesson. Choose the right. Do unto others.
But no God. We go to church, but we aren't those people. Don't take the religion thing too far. Don't get all self-righteous.
I learned early that discussing spirituality was not acceptable. To even discuss God or ask a question about Christ or scriptures was inviting ridicule. Any attempt I made to be righteous was seen as self-righteous judgment of those around me. Was seen as holier than thou.
When you feel something so deeply, and have it mocked regularly, it hurts. It is damaging. It shuts you down and you learn to keep those thoughts and experiences to yourself.
But I have those experiences for a reason. The back and forth communication I have with God is not for me alone. The miracles in my life are not just to convince me.
It took me so long to understand this. To find my way past the blocks that were placed in my life by judgmentality. To see that the real power in my spiritual experiences comes when I share them. When I listen to my heart, see that a person's desire is sincere, and share what I know.
The adversary loved it when I was too scared to share. He wanted me silent because my words could bring others to God.
I am done being silent. I am ready to sing praises. I am ready to proclaim truth.
God lives. He knows me and loves me. He is mindful of me. And of you. He cares what happens in my life. He guides my life. God still works miracles today.
And I refuse to be silent about Him ever again.