“Sweat your prayers,” I thought to myself. “It’s the only way people will know you mean what you pray.”
My grandmother had been drilling prayer into me since I moved in when I was five. The two of us went to church every Sunday for as long as I can remember, but the older I got, I began to question whether or not my prayers were being heard. Every night I prayed to see my parents again and every day I was disappointed. One day they were here and the next day I was living with my grandparents. My grandfather refused to join our weekly trips to church. There was an excuse about going to church too often growing up, but I had suspicions.
When I was fifteen, I finally gathered enough courage to again ask my grandmother about what had happened with my parents. In the past, my grandparents both would respond about how I was in a better place. To me, I thought it sounded like I was in heaven already, but obviously that wasn’t the case.
“There are things you need to know and things you don’t. Your parents loved you enough to leave you in a safe place and that safe place is with us.”
After her unsatisfying answer, I took myself down to the public library to do some research. Several hours later, I came home confused and a little awestruck. My parents had left me to join a cult and live off the land.