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Just Jumping Off


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After spending my entire 48 years in the church, most of the time filled with questions and doubts and feeling like an inferior Christian, I realized that no matter how much I knew the standard explanations, it just didn't ring true to me. So much didn't make sense. Just this past week I decided that maybe it all sounds unbelievable because it isn't true. My whole christian life I felt like a fraud, especially at Easter when I just couldn't believe in the resurrection. No matter how much I tried to convince myself, try to drum up more faith, read books or talk to people to make sense of it, underneath it all I just couldn't believe. It was like dedicating my life to Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

 

So far I've only told my husband. I was surprised at his reaction, since he's never been too spiritual. He was shocked and felt like an awful husband for not being more of a spiritual leader. Thankfully he is a supportive guy and didn't try to convince me otherwise. I think underneath it all he doesn't buy it either but isn't ready to admit it.

 

My decision is made, now I am full of fear and guilt. The church has been my support system my whole life. All of my friends are people I've met at church, who may not be my friends for long because I'm positive that their goal will be to try to win me back. I can't deny their kindness throughout my life and support through tough times. Where does an atheist go for that kind of support? (just typing the word atheist fills me with guilt). How do you not be afraid of leaving the only kind of life you have known? What do you say to people who ask you what happened?

 

I don't doubt my decision. There is definitely some sense of relief to being honest with myself . I'm tired of being a fraud.

 

I'm still not sure of what I do believe, just of what I don't. Today I looked over my church's statement of faith and couldn't agree with a single point. Suggestions for figuring that out?

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Welcome to the forums 4truth.

 

I think you'll find plenty of people here who share your experiences. Please remember to give yourself plenty of time in all this. I don't think it's necessary for you to figure out everything at once.

 

I'm impressed that you've found the courage to do all this. Good luck and again welcome.

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My decision is made, now I am full of fear and guilt. The church has been my support system my whole life. All of my friends are people I've met at church, who may not be my friends for long because I'm positive that their goal will be to try to win me back. I can't deny their kindness throughout my life and support through tough times. Where does an atheist go for that kind of support?

 

Well, I only spent the first 25 years of my life inside, but reading your post made me think of how hard it would be for those in my family that have been in as long or even longer than you should they now decide to leave the fold. I have a lot of respect for the decision you are making. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to leave behind a social safety net that you've known for 48 years. Fortunately, you are in the right place here to get much needed support. Expect to go through a roller coaster of emotions as you sort through things. You will find understanding here.

 

I'm still not sure of what I do believe, just of what I don't.

 

Well, I'm not sure you have to figure out what it is you do believe. You will, I'm sure, formulate some opinions as time goes on. Hopefully one of those opinions will be that life is grand and you only need enjoy it without harming others.

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4truth, Here are a few suggestions that I think will help.

 

1) Hang out here on the forums. Your kindred spirits are here.

2) READ - a lot - read all the things you never would before. You have a lot of things to process through your new mindset. Science, archaeology, history, astronomy, biology. Surprise yourself by learning what evolution actually is!

3) Enjoy your weekends, Sundays in particular. You'll be amazed with your newfound productivity.

 

The social aspect is sometimes the most difficult to replicate. No easy answers there.

 

Welcome!

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Forty-eight

Is not too late.

 

Sorry. I just realized this rhymned.

 

I'm a bit older and I'm going through the process myself. It was made MUCH easier and smoother having folk here to talk to and support me though some very seriously difficult times.

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  • 4 months later...

I relate! After three decades as a Christian --- charismatic, UM, a ministers wife, bible teacher, missionary --- blah ---- IT'S REALLY HARD and feels very lonely. To shake the guilt, fear and self doubt is tough. You are not alone! You are NOT! Hang in there....

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