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Waking Up, Part 2


2Honest

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blog-0141115001331675611.jpg(This the continuation of my journal entry from October 24, 2011.)

 

 

 

Over the past week I’ve gone back over 7 years worth of journals. In them, there are countless entries where I am crying out to God, asking questions, wondering why I’m not seeing results or answers to prayer, etc. Then sandwiched in between them are entries where I am trusting, surrendering, and thanking Him for what I believe He’s doing. But when I look back, those times I’ve laid in bed crying haven’t really been about the circumstances of my life. The circumstances of my life haven’t been that bad! In fact I’ve had a pretty good life (other than all this emotional turmoil!). The truth is, those times of desperation were because of my belief in God. I felt abandoned. Any painful memory from childhood that I have is magnified by the feeling that God didn’t rescue me. And all my present painful circumstances (sickness, financial problems, etc) have been magnified by the feeling that He wasn’t intervening.

 

So what happens if I remove God from the equation? Poof! Suddenly the things that happened in the past (my mom’s mental breakdown and illness, my parent’s inability to nurture me at times, sickness, financial difficulty, etc) all become just part of my life...just hurtful things that happened as a result of my environment, my own decisions, or interaction with fallible human beings. And when I look at my present circumstances, I can draw the same conclusions.

 

When I think back to how J and I have never been consistent about talking to our kids about God, I realize that we didn’t talk to them about spiritual things because deep down there was this disconnect for us on a personal level. Despite my deep and abiding faith, every time I’ve imagined sitting with our kids and really explaining “the gospel” to them, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. How could we as parents convince them that they needed God? Any time we did talk about spiritual things with them I would feel uncomfortable and could tell they did, too. Why? It wasn’t that we were trying to teach them “law” – it was all grace and love. But in order to get them to actually trust God and interact with Him, we would have to convince them that they were depraved and hopeless without him.

 

Yesterday at church our pastor said something that really startled me – it’s something I’ve believed my whole life but suddenly heard with new ears. He said in the Old Testament that God had to give people the law so they’d behave in a righteous way. That was the only way that He could get near enough to them to interact with them without having to kill them (because of His holiness and their unrighteousness). This suddenly sounded shocking to me. I wrote in my notebook, “So if I stop believing in God and don’t follow the law to the letter, He will have to kill me.” For so many years these concepts made total sense to me. I'm cursed because of the fall of man and redeemed because of Christ. Without him I would be completely lost and broken. But now these are ideas that don't make sense. I just can’t seem to reconcile it all anymore.

 

I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to have these thoughts and feelings. I have so many questions my head is spinning. It is so hard to be in a room full of my friends who are worshipping God, while I stand there feeling like an outsider. I've never felt that way before. But what’s interesting is that I don’t feel that deep sense of loss and pain anymore. It seems that the more my belief in God erodes, the less pain I experience.

 

J and I have realized that in order to find truth, we can’t just limit our search to one place or one perspective. We must be willing to objectively look at what we believe, and actually look at the findings of others who don’t agree w/what we’ve always been taught. We are on a quest for truth. And we believe that if the God of the Bible is real, we will determine that for ourselves.

 

But in order to find the truth we must be open to the idea that what we have believed is actually wrong.

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Your difficulty in talking to your kids about God resonates with me. I think that one of the many, many things that led to my final deconversion was after my son was born, and I started to think about how I would explain the Bible and God to him. I started wondering how I could tell him the story of Noah and the Ark and keep a straight face. Or how a talking snake was responsible for the fall of mankind. Or that everything sucks today because the first two humans ever ate one freaking piece of fruit. Or that we needed God to send himself to earth so that he could sacrifice himself to himself so that he could forgive us from his wrath and hell that he created to punish us because the first two people ever ate a piece of fruit. Because of a talking snake.

 

The more I thought about all of this, the more I thought about just how fucking insane it all is. Yet, I was supposed to tell my son all of this, and expect him to believe every last word of it or he would go to HELL. I finally realized that I didn't, that I couldn't, believe any of it myself.

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I don’t feel that deep sense of loss and pain anymore. It seems that the more my belief in God erodes, the less pain I experience.

 

I can relate to this comment 2Honest; all the "things and people" whom I "had trusted TO God" all seem to be fine now that I trust them to themselves as I trust me with myself. Funny, how we thought that by believing it; it make it truth.

 

But in order to find the truth we must be open to the idea that what we have believed is actually wrong.
SO NICELY put!!! Yes, believing (getting PAST the denial of it that is) that we believed UNTRUTH is the ONLY way to begin to search for the truth; otherwise, we would not be seeking!
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Trapped, I totally understand what you mean. For me it wasn't even conscious. I just avoided it b/c it made me feel weird, but I didn't stop to ask myself why (until the time of writing this journal). It's nice not to feel guilty about that anymore. I'm glad I woke up...things are so much simpler now!

 

NEWsong, yeah "trusting people with themselves" is refreshing! Just had an encounter with my teenage son regarding that very thing yesterday. And I've been able to reconnect with my mom now that I don't feel resentment towards her, or the responsibility to "help her".

 

It's amazing to me how, as Christians, we believed we had the answers and had a greater ability to love people, etc. But the truth is that it only complicated things and divided people.

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So what happens if I remove God from the equation? Poof! Suddenly the things that happened in the past (my mom’s mental breakdown and illness, my parent’s inability to nurture me at times, sickness, financial difficulty, etc) all become just part of my life...just hurtful things that happened as a result of my environment, my own decisions, or interaction with fallible human beings. And when I look at my present circumstances, I can draw the same conclusions.

 

That is rich! It's been enjoyable to follow your blog. Thanks for writing.

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