Trying to pin down a topic long enough in my brain to get anywhere with writing it out has been almost impossible. Ever since getting pregnant and now being a mom, I’ve been painfully aware of just how busy one’s mind can get. My mind bounces around over hundreds of topics and it has only been in the past week where I have finally felt the ability to properly organize my thoughts return to me. So please bear with me as I work through the jumble of thoughts I have as I try to write this post out.
I was sitting in the nursing mothers’ room at church yesterday and half listening to the baptisms that were happening downstairs while nursing Ender. Something caught my attention as those being baptized gave their testimonies. All of the three testimonies I heard started out with “I was raised in a Christian home but I _____(fill in the blank),” consisting of having wandered, or messed up, or slept around and became a single mother with no money or job, or something along those lines. I listened as these people described becoming a Christian and turning their lives over to the Lord. The only thought in my mind was what would it be like for someone like me to give a testimony. What would it be like for someone like me to give a testimony about going in the opposite direction than those being baptized?
Ever since I first walked into that office a year ago April and wrote “I just need help” on the form for my therapist, I have been slowly unraveling and accepting the questions that had built up inside for years. Some weeks it’s felt like I have had more breakthroughs than my mind can handle, and at other times, there’s been nothing but silence for months. When I wrote my Goodbye Christianity posts, I had just gone through several series of hard breakthroughs which included realizing that I was okay with not calling myself a Christian anymore. I’m still in that spot and perhaps I have even gone beyond now.
I have been having a lot of difficulty understanding why I once “believed” what I believed. I don’t understand how I could have been so blinded or brainwashed.The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think I never really did believe what I thought I did while growing up. I worked hard to keep the doubts and questions below the surface, but I think they have always been there, especially as I remember clear moments throughout the years where I distinctly felt uneasiness.
I have reached the conclusion, for myself personally, that a lot of Christianity exists for finding peace of mind. Praying, for instance, is something I do when I am uneasy about something, such as hoping Phil gets home from work safely when there are several massive thunderstorms coming through. I do not see any other purpose to prayer other than giving yourself peace of mind. I pray so that I can create a sense of peace for myself. I don’t really believe God, as Christians believe God, exists. I do believe there is a higher being of some sort, everything around us is proof of that. But, I don’t believe there is a god who answers prayers. I’m not willing to blindly believe or have faith in a god I’m not sure actually exists. Too many things have happened in my life that if there really was a God and he was the loving being Christians make him out to be, I don’t believe he would have allowed those things to happen. I don’t agree with the “all things will work out for good” line of thinking anymore, at least when it comes to God causing all things to work out for good. I believe life happens and it’s up to us to make our experiences worth something.
I don’t believe anymore in the idea of God having a plan for my life. I don’t understand and cannot wrap my mind around the two conflicting ideas of God somehow knowing everything I’m going to speak, do, think, and the idea of free will. Those two ideas do not go together and please don’t try to give me a theological argument are why they do, I don’t believe they do, and that’s enough for me. Free will does not happen when a puppet master controls the strings.
I really do wonder what it would be like for someone who has gone the opposite direction in faith and beliefs than new believers to give a testimony. It is weird to sit there and hear someone talk about, sometimes with great passion, sometimes in a strained monotone, the things I used to believe in and then to look at where I am now.
I am someone who doesn’t believe in a god who controls every aspect of my life. I don’t believe in prayer as something that a god will answer. I am an un-christian and frankly, I don’t even know fully what that means or where I am going. Most of all, I’m completely okay with exactly where I am and I feel no rush, no pressure, and no urge to move in any direction other than the one I am going in wherever that may be.
I am regaining my grip on who I am and this is only the first part of many parts to come.