So when I was 4 I got saved for the first time.
I say first, because this would happen dozens of times down the years. Praying this same prayer, reciting the same words in my head and wondering how they worked, doing it again just in case it hadn’t worked the other times, or because everyone else in Sunday School was, or because suddenly I was afraid I'd undone it somehow, unraveled my salvation on accident and needed a new one.
I don’t really remember what I thought of God then, beyond those little prayers. I remember vividly wondering why I was so much better (behaved: happier, nicer) at Sunday School then at home, but other than that I don’t know.
But I do remember crying.
It was later, I think, maybe from 4th grade through middle school, but late at night, in the dark, in the blackness suddenly everything would feel empty and hollow and bleak, and a void would open up inside me and ahead of me, and everything would seem hopeless. It used to make me sob, on the top level of the bunkbed, Aj sleeping on the lower level. I remember praying then, asking God what was happening to me why I couldn’t just go to bed. Asking why I had to feel like this. Why I had to be sad.
That stopped in highschool.
That was the same time I stopped reciting the sinner’s prayer “just in case”. That was how I knew my salvation was assured. The hollowness had been filled, the void had been plugged. I was saved because the night held no terrors.
It happened again recently. A night about a month ago, I felt that same horror and fear while I lay in bed. I felt that same crushing emptiness and God didn’t take it away. And this time it made me angry. I wanted to get on Grindr, to spite Him, but I knew that wouldn’t help me at all.
So I just lay there and cried. And eventually I fell asleep.