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Autumn girl

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About Autumn girl

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  • More About Me
    I look forward to a life that is not boxed into a religion!

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    A Divine Source, maybe.
  1. Several days ago I replied to this and another post from someone else, but I don't see them anymore. I don't know why they disappeared, but I just wanted to make sure, Positivist, that you know I'm thankful for what you wrote here. I think it will be very helpful indeed.
  2. It's been almost a year since this all began. The painful feelings definitely come in waves. It's been a while since I was this affected, and it took me by surprise honestly. I thought (and hoped) that I was over the largest portion of my inner turmoil over this. And I wish I could find as much solace in Leaving the Fold as you have. I used to own it. Long story. I am in therapy with someone who completely understands where I'm coming from and is very supportive, so that's good. It's just that I don't see him until Wednesday and it's Sunday. When things flare up like this it's hard to wait.
  3. I was completely entrenched in fundamentalist Christianity for my entire life. It colored literally everything I thought about or acted upon. The process of coming out of that indoctrination has taken place with waves of realization. It started last September, almost one year ago, and is still coming in waves. I read Neale Donald Walshe's book What God Wants in a 24 hour period last week. I cried, I paced, I threw out the rest of my fundamentalist Christian stuff (I had already done that, in spurts of emotion here and there within the last year, but I had kept some things due to sentimental value or thinking that I might go back to it one day), I was (and am) still dealing with anger and regret and a lot of lost time that I spent trying to be worthy of God's love, trying to do what HE wanted me to do, not what I wanted...so many shoulds. All the time, shoulds. Never "I want". That wasn't allowed. I practically tortured myself for years and years trying to find out what Jesus wanted me to do, say, believe, interpret correctly from the bible, act upon, not do, not say, not THINK. It was a never ending guilt fest. This was despite the fact that I had other Christians around me saying that all God wants is me, not my works, but me, and that he loved me more than anyone could and better than anyone could. This frustrated me to no end because I couldn't FEEL God's love on a consistent basis, so I thought something was wrong with me. Reading the bible is one thing that perpetuated my frustration because that book is INTENSE! It's no joke! I would read things like Isaiah 64:6: 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. What is a young girl supposed to do with that, huh? Filthy rags? Anything I do is worthless? Unless of course I manage to somehow do it through Jesus living inside me. What the !@#$?! It never made sense. Hence the endless searching and torturing myself. After reading the first half of What God Wants, where Neale Donald Walshe goes through all of the things the world has believed and perpetuated through religious thinking, I realized that I don't want to go back to the box of religion ever again. Spirituality, yes, maybe, but not religion. I don't want my kids to have any more religious baggage than they already do. They were exposed to fundamentalist Christianity for years and now I have to go back and try to bring healing. Not through more religion, but through sharing things with them at leisurely moments of pondering together about things people in the world believe about God, religion, and what I have come to understand (so far), etc. I am taking a huge leap away from all things Christian. I need to finally look at what I want. Not what God wants (which Neale proposes is *nothing*), but to spend time looking into my heart and mind and ask what it is that I want for myself in this life of MINE. Is anyone else reading this willing to share their experience with anger, regret, and handling the emotions that come during the waves of getting oneself out of religion?
  4. Excellent. I took his Intro to New Testament class as a freshman in college. It's hard to stay a Christian after that without shoving your head even farther into the sand. Congrats for making your way out! Bart Ehrman was the main person who influenced me (through his book Jesus, Interrupted - the print and audio versions, and online lectures, radio shows, etc.) to stop viewing the bible as a perfect holy book sent to us straight from the mind of God. He is a personal hero of mine. I also have his Great Courses DVD lecture series on The Historical Jesus and also the one on The New Testament. Amazing information, especially the lecture on Revelation. My dad is a fanatic about the end times and I grew up listening to ALL of his nonsense, but I believed it thoroughly up until my adult years, so the message of this lecture has brought me a lot more peace.
  5. thank you internet friend

  6. I saw your youtube videos last month after Evid3nce3 posted them one of them on his favorites page. Excellent and very profound. I look forward to the next video. :)

  7. The night before Thanksgiving I watched this entire deconversion story and found it so encouraging to me, as I'm in the middle of my own deconversion experience, that I had my husband watch it with me two nights later. I really value this kind of well-thought out explanation of how someone can go from being a passionate Christian, to atheist. FYI: the story is broken up into many separate videos, so you'll need to click the lower right hand of the video as the current one ends to move on in the series.
  8. Wow Duckwater, you cracked me up! I've just emailed what you wrote to my brother, who I think will also appreciate it.
  9. Thank you for your support everyone. I appreciate your kindness and your willingness to help me work through these tough times. My husband is planning on going to our church's men's retreat in a couple of weeks. He has been meeting off and on for the past month and a half with the men's ministries pastor, trying to grow his faith, but now, with everything going on with me he's unsure about Christianity as well (less so than me, but still very concerned). His men's pastor/friend strongly encouraged him to come to the men's retreat and bring all his questions/concerns about Christianity. He said that if the retreat isn't a good place to bring up issues like my husband is going through then he doesn't know where a good place would be to do that. And he said to my husband that if he finds out that they are doing things wrong at the church or believing in something that isn't right, then my husband would need to leave the church because that would only make sense. He's trying to be open and support my husband through this process. He has him reading Josh MacDowell's book, you know the one. Man, every Christian seems to bring up that book when faced with doubt! I hope my husband doesn't come home "on fire for God". I told him that would be a big problem, considering where I'm at. He said that is unlikely, especially since he's not the type of man to get all hyped up about Christianity. He's more laid back, even tempered. Still, this could turn out poorly. I hope it doesn't. I hope going on that retreat will only help him see how feeble the "answers" are to his (our) concerns about Christianity. Now I have to formulate a list of all the concerns I've brought to him. How do I do that without making it a book!? A lot of the men at this retreat might not even know about some of the things my husband will be bringing up.
  10. It's only been about a month that I've been pondering the idea that Christianity seems to be, based on research, a religion founded on the created fables and myths of an ancient people. Instead of the shock and then anger that I first felt, I'm feeling sad, so very, very sad the past few days. I think I'm grieving the loss of my identity as a Christian, and it feels like an amputation is being performed on me. It's that disorienting. No more looking forward to heaven? That's something I'm having difficulty grasping. I know that there are plenty of ex-christians who still believe in heaven, but there are many who don't and have good reason not to. I foresee eventually not attending church anymore - that was my main way of having social contact, and for my children too. No more worshiping? I loved worship. It was a high for me actually. Now I see worship as a weird thing to take part in because we are all getting worked up about someone who is seemingly not even there. And then I still have thoughts of "are you really, truly sure? Do you want to bank your eternal life on this new "research" you've found? Things were so normal and accepted before. Do you really want to face the ramifications of your new findings? And what if you change your mind in the future? What a mess all of this would have caused." This is only a fraction of what's going on in my head. It's all so exhausting. And yet there is also this new sense of hope and excitement because I might actually, finally become free of all the shame and guilt I've felt my whole life. Feeling like I never measured up. Trying to "be perfect, just like my father in heaven is perfect", which is impossible and a clearly bad message for a child to be exposed to. And maybe I can finally find out who I am without all my religious baggage, what I want in my life, to listen to myself, trust myself, learn about the world, accept the here and now, and relish it. But the road to get there is fraught with pain and heartache. No wonder so many people, when faced with doubt about their beliefs, decide not to look into it because it would be too much of a bother. I'm not like that though. I can't turn a blind eye any longer. Anyone else out there who has gone through this? Obviously there must be. That's one thing I know more now than ever - I'm not alone in this.
  11. No, just an "evangelical free" church. The man who came to speak is the Vice President of a missions organization that has something like 900 missionaries around the globe. He was/is a personal friend of our pastor and his wife. He, honestly, was mainly trying to drive the point home that giving money is ok and all, but actually going out and doing missions work ourselves is what Jesus would have us really consider. foolish girl - That really says it! I look forward to all traces of fear being gone.
  12. I forgot to mention in my last post that I don't only have my oldest son to consider, but my three younger children. Each of them need and derserve my attention too, which has always been hard to balance considering my oldest's large need for quiet, calm, and focused attention from me. He is highly distractable, so when my two year old starts doing the things two year olds do he can almost instantaneously lose interest in our lesson. Then there is my adorable baby, who I could spend all day cuddling, playing with, and loving on. And my five year old - she's one smart little girl! Can be sassy at times though (as most five year old girls can be sometimes!), so that's another distraction for my oldest. Just wanted to add this because my oldest is not all I have to contend with, and all of this needs to be added to the mix when I'm making new decisions about my/our life.
  13. Everyone's posts are very helpful and are giving me lots of support and direction, so thank you again. DesertBob, everything you said is extremely compelling. I've wanted to homeschool ever since my oldest (who is almost 9) was two years old. I've researched it for years, going back and forth over whether or not I have it in me to do it or not. You're right, it's damn hard work. It can be very rewarding and even fun at times, but mostly it is seriously overwhelming to me. And this is even when using a beautiful curriculum plan, Waldorf-inspired homeschooling based on Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf education (which is partly what has led me away from Christianity...that's a long story for a separate post). It's a very art based curriculum that brings things to each child according to what Steiner believed about child development. I have some concerns about this form of education though. One thing I do know is that there are lots of homeschooling methods and even more curriculum choices out there. I've read about unschooling too, lots. A Thomas Jefferson Education. Charlotte Mason. Classical. Etc., etc. Back to the "damn hard" aspect: The thing is, my oldest son has high functioning autism and epilepsy. He's had seizures ever since he was a baby. They now occur every few weeks to every couple of months. Each seizure lasts a couple of minutes, and they affect his whole body, so he's completelyl unconscious during and afterwards. He has incurred some scarring to his left temporal lobe (brain damage) which is an area of the brain that deals with learning and memory. He takes two different anti-convulsant medications which work to slow down his neurotransmitters within his brain, so that doesn't help his ability to grasp things. He's bright, considering all that he has to deal with, but NOT AT ALL a typically developing child. Autism AND epilepsy. It's a lot. In the past he has been in special education public school and also mainstreamed public school classes for a little over three years, but in the summer of 2008 I decided that homeschooling would be best for him/us. I've gone back and forth ever since. I see the pros and cons. I have huge concerns about homeschooling this child and also huge concerns about sending him to public school, which by the way, is literally a two minute walk from our house. We can see the school right from our front door. It's not a bad school. Not great, but not horrendous either.
  14. What an awesome and needed forum this is! Thank you to everyone who has replied. I am tremendously grateful. I stayed up way too late last night and listened to all of "Great Big Bore"'s youtube videos going through the book of Matthew. I couldn't stop watching and listening. Oh man, I'm about done with Christianity. There's so many conflicting scriptures that do not mesh with each other. Jesus was usually teaching things that are utterly ridiculous! I feel duped. Seriously duped. I have a ring on my left hand's index finger that reads "Princess" and has a crown. I think I'm almost ready to take that off, since it was always a reminder that I'm god's princess. Now, my children. What to do about them? They are being fed dogmatic nonsense every week at church and at AWANA. I was reading a book to my five year old last night, which she chose. This book is written by someone who created letters that seemed to be coming right from god to her. Sherri Rose Shepherd. Have any of you heard of her? Well, the letter from god (ugh) that I read to her last night was signed off with "Your Daddy in heaven". She was intrigued and quickly asked me what that meant. I said that no, her dad, Matt, is her daddy. She was kind of stuck on this new idea about god being her daddy though. Then I prayed with her to Jesus before saying good night. It was SO PAINFUL to do all of this! I'm tempted to get rid of all of my Christian books (and there are lots), my bibles, my Christian music CD's, take my kids out of AWANA, stop going to church, tell the head of our Sunday school program that I will not be going to the meeting on Sunday with all of the volunteers, and write a letter with lots of links and information to everyone that would care I'm not a Christian anymore. Something tells me that this might not be the wisest course of action though. Oh, and then there's the fact that I homeschool and since I'm going through all of this I'm not sure if that's what I'm going to want to continue. I have many reasons for homeschooling that have nothing to do with Christianity or religion, but the main, number one motivation was that I felt it was what god wanted me to do. I was concerned, to put it mildly, about putting my children in an environment that would be a negative influence on them. I still believe that homeschooling is the ideal situation for my family, but I'm not sure I want to go through with it since I don't have the "god wants me to do it" source of motivation to back me up. I'd appreciate any advice about how to navigate this turn of events in my life. Of course, I'm aware that I'm the only one who can make decisions about my own life. I'm on a path to become a bonifide free-thinker, able to trust myself and my decisions. I'm not there yet though because I have so much baggage to unload and get rid of.
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