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Everything posted by Unsure

  1. Hi @Jane, Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you were able to break away from xtianity. You seem like a considerate friend. I understand not wanting to hurt them,they often mean well. I think you're also lucky in that most of your family isn't really religious. At least that pressure is not weighing on you as well. But I do hope you find an easier way to navigate your friendships while being true to yourself.
  2. I think there are a lot of testimonies of people who purely think or reason their way out of religion without turmoil being the root catalyst. I always admired those journey's and wished mine was similar, but it didn't start that way for me. When I was christian, I wholeheartedly believed in the things I was told. I occasionally had doubts, but they were dismissed by family and church members with vague answers that I just believed without question. I had many experiences growing up in the church where I felt I wasn't a good enough christian because I wasn't "catching the holy spirit" or "filled with the holy ghost" or I couldn't "speak in tongues". Even though I always felt inadequate, I always kept believing. And I was so paranoid and fearful about going to hell, that I prayed to be saved, even though once was supposed to be enough. Then when I was in college, I was having a really difficult time with several things going on in my family, at school, and within myself. In hindsight, I was severely depressed, but felt I had no one to reach out to except god. The only coping mechanism I ever learned was prayer. The only solution I knew was my religion. Normally my prayers were asking god to fix one thing or another, but on one particularly horrendous day, all I prayed for was peace. I just wanted god to calm my restless spirit. I just wanted to stop being in pain. Anyone with depression knows how relentless it can be, how heavily it can weigh on you, especially when it goes untreated. But I did the only thing I knew how to do. I prayed and sang praises to god for hours. I sobbed and screamed and begged god to just give me peace. And it never came. For some reason at the end of those few horrid hours of panic and hysteria, I thought to myself, "What if god isn't almighty? What if all the other things I learned about him are true, but we got that part wrong?" It was the first crack in my faith so to speak. I still attended church after that, but I didn't pray again for a few months. In college I had a ton of friends who were a part of the LGBTQA+ community. I was raised to believe their lifestyle was a sin. This was brought to my attention again a few months later at church during a sermon. I was worried about my friends going to hell. I loved them. I wanted them to be happy in this life and in heaven. So I started praying again. Not for me, but for god to save the souls of my friends. And they were frantic panicked prayers whispered through tears at night. I begged my friends to come to church with me. I knew I just had to convince them to stop living in sin and turn to Jesus to be saved. But over time, that thought process began to breakdown. I saw my friends constantly showing love and kindness to each other. How can god call himself love, yet so blatantly reject their love. It made no sense to me. So I thought to myself, "What if god isn't all loving? What if we got that wrong too?" I stopped praying again. I fell into this weird limbo with my religion. I believed in god, but I didn't believe he was exactly like the god I was taught about my whole life. But I also didn't know where to turn to for answers other than what I believed to be a flawed bible. One day, while hanging out with my friend who was an atheist, he casually said to me, "Has it ever occurred to you that god might not exist?" I immediately rejected his comment. I thought he was crazy. In all my doubt and confusion, I had never thought that it all just might not be real. But once that thought took hold, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was like every thing I had believed in for the last 19 years was being taken from me and I had nothing solid left to rely on. For the next few months, I dove into as much research as I could. I read the bible without blinders, finally seeing how awful the deity I had been worshipping actually was from an ethical standpoint. I watched christian and atheist debates. I looked more into the contradictions and nonsense I'd been fed and blindly believed my whole life. I argued with the leaders of my church about why none of it made sense. And everyday during this process I lived in fear. My doubt had brought me to the point of almost complete non-belief. I would pray some mornings and beg god to give me proof, ask forgiveness for doubting him, and asked him to restore my faith. I loved him and wanted to believe so so badly (and perhaps so so blindly). I didn't want to burn in hell! An then the next day I would wake up and ask myself, who or what was I talking to? No one is there. It was all an elaborate lie. This back and forth lasted several months for me. And I felt it all very intensely. I could die at any moment, right? I felt my decision to believe or not believe was urgent, so I worried about it constantly and couldn't ever relax. I felt like I was literally losing my mind. It was one of the scariest, darkest times of my life. Eventually, the days that I didn't believe became more frequent. It took a long time, but I eventually stopped believing altogether. Every once in a while the fear of eternal damnation would creep back up and I would wonder if I was wrong about everything. Indoctrination is powerful and even after losing my faith, the fear it instilled in me remained for a while. I had to reason with myself to calm down. If god and angels and heaven are not real, then neither are demons and hell. I've been atheist for 8 years now. I rarely have creeping thoughts anymore, and I can easily dismiss them as fear based lies when they do pop up occassionally. I know letting go of your religion and the things you've been taught can be terrifying. But when I finally let it go, it brought me more peace than I ever experienced being a christian. I wish the same peace for anyone else going through their deconversion.
  3. I got nostalgia about an old friend who helped me leave religion behind. I remembered during that time, I used to visit this forum a lot. I met amazing characters here and I'm grateful for their help in a time of pure uncertainty. I hope to return the favor.

    1. TABA


      Glad you’re here, Unsure!  We’ve all been helped by this community and it’s important to encourage those who   are taking the same journey we did. Deconversion experiences are as varied as individuals and we each have a unique perspective that allows us as a community to help different people in different ways. 

  4. Can't wait for Reason Rally on March 24th! :D

    1. blackpudd1n


      I'm so jealous. Any chance they'll stream or put stuff up on youtube?

  5. I bought God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. So far, it's pretty interesting.

  6. I bought God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. So far, it's pretty interesting.

  7. I thought this would be a simple process, but its turning into a nightmare.

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