Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

Breaking up with God: The Aftermath

It’s an odd thing, being in a relationship with someone, loving and caring for them, and then separating. One becomes two again. You avoid them as best you can, inwardly cringing and outwardly hiding if your paths happen to cross. The awkward conversations you have when you’re not yet in the “we’re still friends” stage. Every love song reminds you of what you had, the beautiful moments. After some time has passed, you grow comfortable with their absence. Yet, in the still of the night, you find yourself thinking about them. You would never admit this, but sometimes, you miss your ex.

That’s where I am right now. Sometimes, I miss God. I miss the closeness we had, the soft quiet I felt when in His presence. I miss losing myself in worship and giving myself up completely to this entity and being part of something bigger than myself. I wonder, often, if I made a mistake in leaving. I question if I am wrong or not. Others, Christians, who I talk to, who know where I am and give me grace in my confusion and struggle, point me in the direction of God and the Bible- everything I’m familiar with. I wrestle with coming back or staying away because my biggest fear is that I’ll return only because it’s familiar, not because of any conscious decision on my part. I don’t want to be a nominal believer, and that goes for any religion, not just Christianity. I don’t want to be one who just plays the role so perfectly but never allows a belief to have any real, substantial meaning in my life. That kinda defeats the purpose of having personal religious, or nonreligious, beliefs and is what contributed to my exodus of the faith primarily.

Nonetheless, this is an unusual, weird place I find myself in. Sometimes, I still pray, to God or whoever is out there, but only in my head, as praying aloud still results in panic attacks. I still listen to some Christian artists, as their songs soothe me when I go into flashback mode. I still talk to Christians about their faith, ask questions, express my doubts, and the like. We have interesting and meaningful conversations. They give me resources that they think will help and I let them pray for me, though I don’t necessarily believe in it despite the fact that I do it. Regardless of whether I pray or they do, I don’t really believe it-it’s more of a force of habit. I feel empty at times, miserable even, but I guess that’s what happens when you start questioning your worldview. Maybe I’ll find solid ground one day.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

Return from Hiatus: Questioning Everything

Dear Lovelies,

I know I’ve been away from you guys for a while, sorry about that. I took a break because I’m still, 3 months later, trying to figure out what my beliefs are and trying to discover what I’m actually leaving: God or the church? I don’t think there’s an easy answer because those two entities, for me, are so closely linked together. So many questions in my mind:

Does a Christian have to go to church to be a Christian?

Can a person be good without God?

Why do so many use fear tactics as a means for promoting their religious message (i.e. “Believe in the Gospel or you’ll burn in Hell!)?

Why let a book over 2,000 years old dictate one’s life?

Is God’s love and character truly unconditionally and unchanging?

Is one less of a Christian for having mental illnesses?

And many others in that line of thinking.

This process, this place I’m in is hard as I have lost friends whose only concern now is preaching at me as if I were an atheist and not an ex-student of the ancient script. I have made new friends who are Christian, and they are sweet and gracious, but I keep wondering if/when they, too, will leave me because of our different beliefs? I will admit that part of me misses the close relationship I had with God, but Christianity, Christian culture, and “Christians’ who either act like they have a stick up their butt and are so “holy” they ignore reality, or those who abuse others in the name of religion have all left a bad taste in my mouth; so much so that I want nothing to do with Christianity or the Church. Yes, I know I’m kinda throwing the baby out with the bath water, but at this point, I’m sick of being hurt by untrustworthy people who claim to be Christians. Sick of having to put on a smile and pretend that everything in my world is fine when it’s not. I’m sick of “living in faith” and denying that my reality hurts. I’m sick of the easy, Christian pat answers that do nothing but make me feel more guilty and alone in my mental anguish than I already do. But I could be wrong. (I also recognize that I’ve contradicted myself somewhere in this post. More evidence of my confusion!) I don’t where this path I’m on will lead me but I’ll see it through.