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My Story...


mintpoppet
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Hi everyone. Signed up here last week and posted my experience as my introduction to myself on my profile, but thought i should really post it here to introduce myself properly! So hello! Here is a wee bit about me!

 

Around 6 years ago i 'gave my life to Christ’, baptism and all... I really thought I had been ‘born-again’ and life was sweet. I lost my best friend in the process but i didn't care, because i had my new buddy, JC...

 

But he isn’t my buddy anymore as i feel I’m a bit too old to have imaginary friends.

 

I fell away from the church i was really involved with when i met a non-Christian man and started getting serious with him. You know the story. The church wouldn't accept him and so i had to make a choice and i chose him - even moved from Scotland to Australia to be with this handsome young man.

 

I know this introduction is kind of going back and forth and all over - apologies for this, it's just the way my warped mind works!

 

I wasn't brought up in a Christian household. My mum went to our local parish church on holidays only but sent me to Sunday school although her motives were more to teach me to have good morals rather than to become a Christian (none of my family would call themselves Christians). I stopped attending Sunday school around the start of high school, and didn't really think much more about xianity until i was at uni and placed in student res sharing a room with a Christian girl. I made my own friends and she made her own too but we managed to get along ok, even though she was a bit wary of my teenage years i had spent with my head in books about Wicca and new-age religion and so on. In return i would cringe when she played her Christian rock cds, and longed for Sundays when she would be out the house all day at church and I’d be able to sleep my hangovers off in peace. During the Christmas hols of my 2nd year at uni though, i had been dating a guy who was curious about xianity and who started attending church with my roomie and her friends. I was sooo jealous and didn't want to lose him to the church as well, and so i went along one Sunday with them all and actually enjoyed the service. It was a modern happy clappy charismatic church as opposed to the old hymn-book worship with near dead minister experience i had as a child, and although i had always laughed at these Christians and churches on TV, i could see that everyone was happy and having a lot of fun. And so i threw myself in and became involved and slowly learnt to 'let Jesus into my life'. I attended an alpha course and met a lot of people my age in the same boat as me, and together we slowly converted and became more and more involved in church life. I really felt as though god was using me to preach to others and i felt in control of my life. I was a real Jesus freak, on fire and content that god loved me and that I was going to be with him one day. I felt that the 'empty' space was filled and that I was complete. I know now that this was because I was lonely. I experienced this feeling again a few years ago, and felt it strange that as a Christian whose empty space was supposedly filled, i still felt that something was missing. And I knew it was because i wanted a boyfriend. Analysing myself, although I am generally very confident and have a lot of close friends, I have this insecure part of my personality and I can be very needy. Having church wasn't enough for me – I wanted a physical relationship.

 

I went through a rough patch where upon return from a 3 week mission trip to Russia with OM, instead of being on fire for god, i was miserable and down and feeling that all my church friends had advanced so much in their faith but mine was lacking. I hated the way that people on mission and in my church constantly referred to me as a 'new Christian' and as though i wasn't worthy of leadership etc. I was forever being made to feel that i wasn't good enough and that was really hard, especially since I’d been an active member of the Church for a few years and gave them nearly all my free time and way more money than I could afford to give at the time (I was still a student).

 

When i met the man I’m about to marry in 4 months time, things became really awkward at church. I kept getting advice about not going there etc and to walk away before the relationship advanced and so on, but i was falling for this guy big time, and i was finding it hard because although he wasn't a Christian, i saw more supposed 'godlike' qualities in this man than in any of my church friends.

 

Anyway to cut this down a bit, i stopped going to church altogether and I’ve emigrated and have a new life in Australia. I haven't been to church in 36 months and during this time i have kept telling myself that as soon as i got properly settled here, I’d start looking for a new church that would accept my marrying a non-Christian. I never got around to looking. After praying for so long for my fiancé to see the light and come to God, i have come full circle and am now looking back over my Christian life thinking what on earth happened to me. My fiancé has never once questioned my faith or tried to stop me believing and took an active interest, even though he is an atheist (but deeply interested and knowledgeable about many world religions).

 

Some of the things that also contributed to my fall away from faith sound so trivial but they annoyed me so much. Firstly, i have a problem with missionaries. I had so much fun on my mission trip in Russia that i knew that being a missionary was much better than having a real 9-5 job. Why should i pay to support someone to go out to a country they really want to travel in? (god 'putting that place on their heart' my ass -they want to travel as much as the next person). I'm all for supporting aid and humanitarian workers, but even as a Christian i found it hard watching money being given to those whose main reason for going to that little village in wherever is to ‘save souls’. What about the fact that these people are dying of tb/aids/malnutrition etc? Don’t they deserve to have a good life while they're here? To live a little longer? I also began to seriously question the bible again. Why were these books chosen? Who really wrote them? What about all the contradictions? I guess in the long run, my inquisitive mind was too much for me and i answered my own fears - i didn't really believe in what i was hearing. I think i kept going to church in the end for the social aspect, even though i didn't really believe, although i wasn't aware of this at time. Does that make sense?

 

A few weeks ago, i was lying in bed one night before a mid term exam and was about to start praying when i started wondering if i still believed in god. More than just my usual doubts, i had trouble sleeping and was thinking back through my whole Christian experience and wondering if it ever existed. I've prayed in tongues, felt filled with the Holy Spirit, cried, clapped, and jumped around like a maniac. And now i am convinced that it was all in my head. I wanted so desperately to be a part of something that i threw myself into Christian life, and then when that started to get boring for me, i threw myself into my fiancé. I guess i just need to have something in my life. Strange that i didn't see this before as I’ve known for a long time that i am very passionate about things and how quickly i become obsessed. My parents were amazing during my Christian conversion - although they were a bit scared of how OTT i had become, they came to my baptism and never stopped loving me. Some of my non-Christian friends realised all along it was just another of my so called phases. How right they were.

 

Religion fascinates me and i guess it always will. i have friends of pretty much every faith, and i love them all equally. I don't think i was brainwashed as such by the church - i think i just wanted so badly to believe in something that i let myself get carried away by it all. It's strange looking back now when i know that as a Xian, I believed what i was fed by the church, even though i have always been highly critical of anything I hear. I never did take the bible literally, but I believed.

 

I know it's hard for any Christians reading this - it does sound as though i was never a Christian in the first place, but at the time i did live to worship god and share his love with others. I hate to think about the people i convinced to convert. I say convinced to convert rather than shared god's word with as i can no longer say that it was god speaking through me if i don't believe. It was me feeding them stories and giving false hope. Maybe their lives will be better off with religion though, as i am open to the argument that some people 'need' religion and it helps them - i could say it helped me when i was lonely for example. Who knows?

 

I’ve learnt a lot about myself through this journey – mainly about how weak a person I am when it comes to the opposite sex… jealousy and lust made me follow someone into Christianity, and then it was another man who led me out again. Thankfully I’ve matured so much over the past few years and am now in a loving and trusting relationship. My fiancé is as fascinated with my current journey as I am, and although he can’t experience it on the same level as me as he has never been a Christian, he is supporting and encouraging as I try and get a grip on what is happening to me! We get married in January and we opted for a non-religious ceremony and chose a ‘traditional Celtic’ theme instead… months before I deconverted. At the time of booking I was rather hesitant that I wouldn’t feel that I was really married if it wasn’t in front of God – now I am so relieved!

 

i know this is similar to a lot of experiences here, but i just wanted to share a little something about myself as I’ll be around here for a good while I imagine!

 

this site is fab - keep up the good work as your posts are really helping me as I’m come to my senses as an ex-Christian in the short time I’ve been around!

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Welcome to ex-c, mintpoppet.

Glad to hear that you are a happy ex-christian about to marry the man you love. All the best!

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"I'm all for supporting aid and humanitarian workers, but even as a Christian i found it hard watching money being given to those whose main reason for going to that little village in wherever is to ‘save souls’. What about the fact that these people are dying of tb/aids/malnutrition etc? Don’t they deserve to have a good life while they're here? To live a little longer..."

 

I say Amen. This is the kind of crap that made me think too, about 'the church'. When Jesus came to town, He'd heal anybody, if they had enough faith. If they didn't, according to the Bible, He could do no works there. WTF?

 

But the Popes and the Preachers explain it all away, and then pass the plate. We'll talk it over in the by and by. I'm sure that that sentiment comforts the sick and starving among us.

 

'There but for the Grace of God go I' really is a load of bull. There is no Grace of God, and I'm glad that you see so.

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Welcome to Ex-c, Mintpoppet, and welcome to Australia.

 

And thanks for sharing your story too.

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