Hi everyone, I'm a 30 year old woman, who was raised in a Christian home. My dad was a pastor (on occassion, not the main guy), and my step mom and his later girlfriends (my mom left when I was 3) were just going through the motions. You couldn't disagree with him about anything. He was used by God and God spoke to him all the time. Now I can say that with sarcasm, and not feel guilty about it, lol. I became a born again Christian when I was 16. Now, 29 years later, my defenses have officially been torn down. It's been building for many years, and if I'm honest with myself, for as long as I can remember. There was always niggling doubts and thoughts that I would push aside. I tried to reconcile a loving God with what I saw in the world and with the image of my own dad, but knew that God was different to our earthly fathers. Even though that thought also didn't sit well with me. I was always the good girl. Never did anything I wasn't meant to, never rebelled (until I was 20 that is). I was afraid of my dad, but also of God who could do worse and send me to hell. So I never questioned out loud, nor told anyone I was doubting. I am also gay. I spent the majority of my life trying to change and lying to myself. So many nights of crying myself to sleep, praying and begging god to just take it away from me. But he never did. I never got an answer. There was only silence. Being rejected by friends who I trusted with my secret, and knowing the church would kick me out, I didn't tell anyone again. I left for bible college, thinking that maybe if I became a minister and studied the bible more in depth, I would overcome this burden, and become "normal". It didn't work. I fell in love with one of the girls in my group. She never knew. I wanted to leave, as things were only getting worse the more time I spent with the bible and around all these "on fire" Christians. What was wrong with me? I went through a bad period of self hatred during this college year, but I couldn't quit. A friend committed suicide, and this was when the biggest blow to my christianity came. The words that came out of my teachers and the "prophet" made me sick. He was going to hell because he couldn't handle this life? He wasn't strong enough and gave in to the devil? It didn't sit right with me. But still I said nothing. Still I tried to hold onto my faith. The worst part? A few days earlier he had told me he had feelings for me, and I told him that it wasn't going to work. I didn't tell him I was gay. I blamed myself for his death for a long time, and I secretly hated God in those moments... For not changing me, despite my best efforts. I would then feel guilty and condemned because of those feelings I was having towards him. My defenses toward my religion was slowly being chipped away, day by day, until last year. I knew I couldn't live this way anymore, and that there was nothing left to hold onto it. I had found the Truth as a young girl and teenager, but now I had stumbled upon the real truth, and the lie wasn't good enough anymore. At the moment I'm going through what feels like a mid life crisis (I know I'm too young, lol). Still losing the last remnants of my faith, and dealing with the feelings and thoughts that come with that. For a few months I've been happier than ever, and felt free. The depression I had always had growing up, was finally gone. But the past few days, that darkness has returned. Only now I don't have anyone up there to hold onto. I feel more alone than ever before. I have mixed feelings about all of it. I can't go back to how it was, and I don't want to, but I miss certain things about my faith. It feels as though a part of me has died, and I'm not sure how to move forward. I'm also at a crossroads in my life, where I have major decisions to make which will influence the direction my life is going to take. And I'm not even sure WHERE I want to be going. Where I see myself with each of these decisions. The future looks so far away, dark and cold. I'm looking for the sun, but it seems elusive. I know it's just my state of mind though, and that everything will be okay in the long run. I'm holding onto that. I'll get through this. We all will.