Setting the Stage
Like most kids, I had an imaginary friend as a child. His name was Friend Jason. He was identical to me in every way, except for the fact that he was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. Growing up in an unstable home, Friend Jason was my confidant, someone who I talked to on a daily basis. When I went to Kindergarten, I took him with me. I was scared and needed someone to talk to, and he seriously – no joke – helped me just by being there in case I needed him. As Kindergarten wore on, however, and I started to make friends, I realized that I was needing Friend Jason less and less. I also vaguely remember comments made about big kids not having imaginary friends any more – possibly made by adults in my life (the memory is pretty foggy). As my need for him grew less and less, and the subtle pressure to “grow up” and stop having an imaginary friend became clear, I made the decision midway through Kindergarten that it was time for me to let him go. I remember it well: I brought him out one last time, my heart heavy and tears in my eyes, and I told him that I couldn’t play with him any more. I remember him being sad, but understanding as always. I gave him one last hug, and with that, said goodbye to the person who had been my best friend for as long as I could remember at that point. I knew he wasn’t real, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. Whether or not he actually existed, I was losing a friend who had meant a lot to me, and the pain I felt as a six-year-old boy was very real. In fact, in recounting this story, I can still feel it today.
I was a kid that wanted to believe. Continue reading God Experiences: A Personal Relationship