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This is the first in a series about my Spiritual Warfare journey, and the things I have experienced in life.

I remember feeling something watching me. Every little kid goes through this, they just know there is an unknown, scary monster in the closet that is going to eat them! I was no different. I’m pretty sure I was 4 or maybe 5 but one night I was lying in bed and I felt something watching me.  Being the strong-minded little girl I was, I remember getting up out of bed to see what it was. I had half a mind to give it a piece of my mind, and half a mind to go hide under the covers, which I’m sure I had been doing.

I was always afraid of the dark, so the hallway light was always on and I had a lamp within easy reach next to my gorgeous french canopy bed, which I always hated. But that night I just really knew something was there. Looking back, it must have been after I boldly, and I’m sure naively invited Christ in my heart and gave my life to the Lord. Something not entirely unusually, but a pretty rare find for a four year old.

I always talked to God when I was little, like he was just right there, hanging out with me- infact I was positive he could hear every word. I don’t know why, but I was so pulled to God that I dragged my mother to talk to the Priest and we even went to a new members class and introduction on the topic- and I sat and listened to the whole thing.  Seriously looking back on my life, how did I ever wander away from God?

Oh yeah, like I write. So after all this, one night in my room, knowing something is there, and knowing what it was. I got up out of bed and looked at the last door of my closet, which was half way open, and there, sitting on the top shelf was this brown or grey little demon with faint yellow eyes watching me. Not doing anything else, but watching me. He didn’t glare, growl, in fact he looked as shocked as I was that I’d seen him.

Obviously I raced down the hall to my mothers bed and had several nights where I refused to go back into my beautiful french canopy bed by myself. In 2011 I would finally take a Spiritual Gifts assessment and learn I had discernment. It is the spiritual gift that lets you discern truth from falsehood, from what is from God and what is evil. It is in no way some “psychic” gift, it is not something you do, but rather God.

During this time period, this was not the only thing that I was seeing. Over the next five years I would be lying in my mothers bed, and see something with a camera come in and take pictures, and there always seemed to be smaller people around as well. It was like ghostly visions, visitations, and I was never fully sure if they could actually see me. I never told my mother, and I’m not sure why. I think I didn’t know how to describe it, and I could see no logically explanation for the apparitions, other then they just must be ghosts.

I never felt threatened, but I was scared because I didn’t know what to think. The nights I would see it, they were almost amusing, entertaining. Sometimes they would be there for a long time, other times not so long at all. I began to study and ask questions on my own. I was convinced by 9 they were aliens or ghosts and my this time I was reading all about Aliens and different things on ghosts.  But I never found my answer. Until 15. I’ll never forget the day I came home from school to find my mother sitting at the top of the stairs wailing with papers all around her.

Her first husband went missing in Vietnam. No closure, no nothing, until 1992 when the government finally declared him KIA- dead, It was in that moment when I was holding my mom and praying that I knew what had happened as a child.  Her husband had been a photographer. I was certain now that it was him. I wish I’d known at 5 enough to speak up, but maybe it’s just as well.  I still look for ghosts, but I’m not sure thats how it’s done.

These incidents in childhood propelled me to search for answers. The quest for answers would also push me far away from the church by the very people I would seek answers from. Many times my answers would not be answered, or I would be ridiculed by people who should have known better. I learned that even in the church, people don’t believe what they can’t see. To many Christians, even faith has it’s limits.

For years I wandered, seeking for answers outside of Christianity, and found plenty. Yet nothing felt right, and I began to come undone, mentally and emotionally. It would a 24 year journey for answers, one I would have to hit rock bottom for. Drugs, alcohol, suicide, and Wicca would all lead be back to one overwhelming Truth: God is real, He loves me, and Jesus really is who he says he is. Like the poem Footprints, he really was carrying me. More on this in another post. (Part 2: 1992)