The Still, Small Voice Survived

Noise can be a noose.

“Stop” was a shriek,

And not a word. 

My deaf mother could only use noise.


directed to deafen 

a father that used words

as weapons

for a fight that did not exist

Anywhere but his barricaded brain.

The last few years at my parents’ house, I slept on the floor. I lost my bed because it was infested with bed bugs and a terrible scent of cat piss. It’s easier to throw away ruined things, rather than to replace them. (Wooden beds, or promises to never raise his voice again). 

Some nights I’d stare at the ceiling so intently that I would start to see above it. I’d go beyond the clouds on earth, and into a place far away from where I actually was.

I was numb.

Questions by a counselor constructing a diagnosis for depression isn’t always damning.

It could be helpful. I added more words to my vocabulary that way.

I suffocated the sounds from downstairs

by crying like a child certainly would.

Waves and waves of sobs,

Sometimes stifled,

Mostly muffled,

And always deep enough to drown my thoughts.

Even with all of the numbing and crying,

I could feel one thing: The Holy Spirit.


Christians call The Holy Spirit a still, small voice.

I met this with confusion at first.

Communication with only nudges? How would that help?

Why still,

when everything is constantly chaotic?

Why small,

when every other bad thing is too big?

Why is it with me

and still not doing a damn thing?

I heard the still, small voice because it was described in sermons. The Holy Spirit, I mean. The wisdom of the Holy Spirit may have sounded differently, though. It depended on the day of the week. On Sundays, it sounded like “Get out of bed and go to church,” and on a Monday it may have whispered “Just stay upstairs and out of sight.” Sometimes on Saturday it was “Go play with your little brother outside so he doesn’t get lonely.” 

Sometimes I wondered what the whispers for other worshipers may have sounded like.

I didn’t need to be advised to pray, because I tried to talk to God every moment I was alone. I didn’t need to be reminded to reach the sinners, because I loved people so much, and I wouldn’t forgive myself if anybody I cared about went to Hell.

The voice, whether persistent in prayer,

Or a gentle graze on a good day,

Always seemed to repeat two things:

 “Stay alive. This is temporary.”

It became natural.

It did follow me.

It stayed in the stormy weather, and did not stray too far while I was in the sunlight.

This voice kept me alive, and I don’t mean only from the noose that the noise gave me.

It kept me emotionally alive, even though it was external. It was eternal. 

This voice contributed to the calling I conjured up for my Creator.

I believe now that is why I became so passionate.

I promised I would follow this voice because it gave me life.

As a bible quizzer, I was able to confirm this as I read that Jesus offered eternal, everlasting life. 


I left home, and

I was relieved to feel it follow. 

When I moved out,

it sounded different.

“You are safe now. You have control. You are free.”

I found myself no longer kneeling. I mean, I didn’t need to. This voice was everywhere, tucked into my chest next to my alive, beating heart. It wasn’t long before I noticed the Holy Spirit started to really sound different. It started to nudge me when I had conversations with people. Kind nudges when I thought about how it may be alright if I hadn’t prayed in weeks. The Holy Spirit, or whoever this was, became even louder. I thought it had to be still and small. And why was it questioning bible verses? Was this even who I thought it was?

I was too terrified at the time to label this inner wisdom as anything other than the Holy Spirit. I knew I risked an eternity being tortured in Hell. Even worse than that, I would be left with heaps of confusion and no comfortable reasoning for my existence. I did not willingly risk that, but I knew by now that my mind rarely ever slowed down to ask for consent.

My initial beliefs started as a slow stewing,

then escalated into a slippery slope

landing me into mental liberation.

Hmm, maybe God isn’t *exactly* as my church made Him out to be.

Maybe God is not legalistic. Maybe He’s actually a bit more liberal.

Maybe He is more accepting of homosexuality.

Maybe Jesus would flip the tables in some of these churches.

Maybe God doesn’t give a shit about where I am on Sunday.

Maybe God… doesn’t exist. Maybe this was all made up.

I did not mute these musings. They only multiplied with time. I couldn’t help but witness these wanderings whisk away prayer. I recognized how much better I felt when I skipped church services. I did not only walk out of the Baptist church, but also the non-denominational churches with free coffee. None of them were inviting, no matter how many “You Are Welcome!” signs were staked into the ground. My faith was not staked.

The longer I was away from the Christian noise, the safer I felt. It felt a lot like packing up my three boxes and chihuahua without looking back. It felt just like that. My body felt less stiff. My mind wasn’t only operating on overdrive. My eyes saw more than what appeared only on the surface. Fear faded.

A Covid-19 quarantine became my saving grace (no pun intended).

Unemployment for a month

along with a healthy realization

that our world can be uprooted

allowed me to uproot my beliefs from sacred ground.

Why not listen to curiosity? It did not have to do as much convincing as the church did. I felt rays of warmth with new information. I researched. I sat in awe. I started to critically think. I read. I cried. I said “WTF” plenty of times. I re-evaluated.

Agnostic. Humanist. Atheist.

Is this backsliding? No, because there was never a mountain, let alone worries of an avalanche. Lost? I’d agree I was pretty lost at first, but not the curse word in Christianese type of lost. I never needed to be found. I only wanted to do the finding. Was leaving Christianity a coincidence? No. 

Christianity was an escape from my home.

God was the father-figure I never had.

Jesus was the safe friend I could share my secrets with.

The Holy Spirit was the consciousness I developed.

I left Christianity, because I no longer needed it to survive.

I understand that is the fear that keeps church buildings open. I know this is the fear that keeps preachers passionately preaching on pulpits. I know this is the fear for them that became my fervent freedom. There is a fear of surviving and thriving humans no longer in desperate need of saving.

Although I still recover from the debris of Christian destruction, I am rightfully mine and that is all that matters. I am recovering as long as Sundays go by, cuss words convey my emotion, and my body feels like a friend. Deconstruction was natural, but having a platform is a choice. Standing on my piece of a pulpit is a purpose of mine now.

With every day that I choose to stay away from Christianity, I am choosing myself. Freedom, too. With every day I speak up about Christianity’s harm, I am choosing others.

I left Christianity, and I took the voice with me. It was always with me, because it is me. The voice that followed footstep for footstep is my intuition. My voice has become much more vibrant, and my ears much more elastic. I promised long ago I would commit myself to that voice, because it gives me life.

I kept my promise. I followed my voice right out of Christianity. 

7 responses to “The Still, Small Voice Survived”

  1. That voice inside of you has always been yours. You just fully control it now. Let that voice sing, as it is has the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.

    I love you, queen. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My voice will remain loud and proud. Thank you, my lover. ❤️


  2. very nice post. “With every day that I choose to stay away from Christianity, I am choosing myself. Freedom, too. With every day I speak up about Christianity’s harm, I am choosing others.”

    I very much agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That part of this piece rings close to my heart too. Thank you for reading and interacting with my work!


  3. Another powerful piece of writing. You took me right along with you on that journey and I can completely see how the church and religion filled all those roles in your life you so desperately needed. I’m glad you are able to listen to your own voice and are using it here to help others find theirs. Well done brave friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for following along as I put my voice in written word. I appreciate the encouragement! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a heartfelt journey you’ve made so far – loved your positive take on the global shakeup helping you find your own path and better your mental health on your own terms. Sometimes the golden opportunities we seek are hidden blessings in disguise. ❤


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