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Intro after several years of reading here...


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You have certainly been lurking far longer than I, and I thank you for taking the step to join our community.  While this is a clearly a difficult experience, it is heartening to hear that is improving your communication with your children.  Hopefully in time your husband will find other avenues for which he has a passion.  What is the reason he left the church as well - your unbelief?

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Welcome, Seeking.  It sounds like you have a good sense of self-awareness, which is something I lacked for many years even after deconversion.  It has been interesting for me to watch myself evolve as a person and I sometimes surprise myself.  Having family support really helps, too; though I'm sure it hurts to think of your husband's career being taken away because of your lack of belief.  I hope to hear more from you.

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It's so unfortunate to have to choose between a social context where you've built your life and earned your place and belief which is something you can't choose and can't emulate without denying your own identity.

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Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it!  It’s been a rough few years and even tougher last few months but as my name says I’m currently seeking what comes next. I’ve never really made decisions in life, I just always did what came next. I never went through the typical teen/early 20s phase of questioning and figuring out who I am. Because of my fear of my doubts I just doubled down on being a Christian. And given that I married at 20 and my husband was devout in his beliefs it was easy to transition from a kid in my parents Christian home to a wife in my own Christian home.  Now I am thinking about who I am and who I want to be and how to get there. Being open with my kids about this has been incredibly positive for both me and them. We are all kind of trying to figure out who we are and what we believe. My honesty has helped them be honest with me about things they are going through. I tell them to think about things and try different things and figure out who they really want to be because it’s far easier at 17 & 19 than it is in your 40s!

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Personal honesty is incredibly hard and I admire you for pursuing that despite the circumstances! Learning to live with uncertainty is hard, too, but I think it's best to face and accept it. Welcome to X-Xian!

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Welcome to Ex-C @Seekingwhatisnext

 

Wow lurking for 5 years. That means you've been reading stuff for as long as I've been a member!

 

Good on you for having honest conversations with friends and family. It seems that they are supportive and you haven't gone through the heartbreak of big fights and religious family guilt tripping you for what was essentially their emotional state. It is as you say a tough journey and it's never easy finding out you no longer believe in the magical fairy tale of eternal happiness.

 

I look forward to seeing more of your posts around the place.

 

LF 

 

 

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Welcome @Seekingwhatisnext. Always nice to see lurkers join the ranks.

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Hi @Seekingwhatisnextand welcome to the community!  I’m glad you finally went from being a lurker to being a member.  Nobody understands the deconversion experience like those of us who have been through it, and I think it will help you to participate here.  No two deconversion processes are exactly the same, but between all of us here there’s a lot of history and lessons learned.  
 

As difficult as these last few years have been for you, it’s good that you have been honest with your nearest and dearest and it’s great that you husband has been supportive, even if your deconversion is surely a source of sadness for him.  You didn’t say what his status is now as far as career is concerned.  If he wants to stay in a religious role it would be good if he could find a church that does not require a pastor’s spouse to also be a believer.  I’m sure there are progressive churches where that is the case, and maybe even some more reasonable conservative ones.  If you could find such a place he could answer his “calling” and you could have community without having to be a believer.  Easier said than done, I realize. 
 

No doubt it’s hard to replace the community that church membership provides. It’s one of the things that Christianity has going for it, regardless of any truth in the theology.  My wife and I no longer have a “church family” but we have broadened our circle of friends to where religion is not a factor.  Again, that’s not so easily done, but in our case we have cultivated friendships though our jobs and revived older friendships.  
 

It may not seem that way to you now, but life after Christianity can be even richer and more rewarding than ever.   It takes time, but no longer having to look at people through the filter of Christian theology and morality opens the mind up to a much wider range of ideas, experiences and friendships.  Admittedly it’s challenging when married to a believer.  You may find the following book helpful: In Faith and In Doubt, by Dale McGowan.  It looks at “unequally yoked” relationships from both sides.  
 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0814433723/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_0814433723
 

Again, welcome to the club, and I look forward to hearing more from you!

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I can really identify with much of what you have gone through.  Most of our friends and relatives were church members, and I worked in a church related social service agency.  You find who your real friends are when you leave the "fold".  HANG IN THERE!

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On 3/17/2021 at 10:45 AM, Seekingwhatisnext said:

We did leave the church a few months back and that has been incredibly hard. I miss it so much. It has been my place that felt like home my entire life. I am grieving very much for my church.  I feel such guilt because my husband was a good pastor and now he can’t do what he loves anymore.  I’m sure I’ll share more in a testimony soon, but for now that’s my intro...

 

So what's his deal? He realized it's all BS and left with you? Or he still believes the BS but decided to stick by you and leave anyways? 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Skittlebisquit said:

 

 I see mostly athiesm here as a community standard, i would caution against it, generally.

 

 

 

I don't know the percentage, but there are several agnostics (including me) here.

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3 minutes ago, Skittlebisquit said:

So the agnostic (lit not knowing) is undecided then? 

 

Check the dictionary, but off the top of my head I believe the agnostic says that with our present knowledge we can't know if there is a god or not.  It's not an all or none issue.  My own belief is that if there is a god, it certainly is not the one found in the christian bible.

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12 hours ago, Skittlebisquit said:

I see mostly athiesm here as a community standard, i would caution against it, generally.


If there is a community standard - apart from the common ground of us all being formerly Christian - it’s more a standard that withholds belief in the absence of good evidence.  
 

I think it’s accurate to say that the prevailing view here is de-facto agnostic atheism, meaning lack of belief in any god, without actual certainty.  I say “de-facto” because some who occupy this position of non-belief prefer to avoid the “atheist” label in particular.  But it’s non-belief nonetheless.  

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@TABA is correct. There is no reason to wade into or re-instigate the atheist, hard atheist, soft atheist, agnostic, agnostic-atheist debates.  Withheld affirmative belief is sufficient.

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13 hours ago, Skittlebisquit said:

I wish you all the best! I see mostly athiesm here as a community standard, i would caution against it, generally. It seems extreme, but xianity is an all or nothing sort of thing. They have this odd notion that no other path is viable.

 

 

I think what TABA said is true about the atheist community here. They simply dont believe in a god because they havent seen convincing evidence of one. I dont think atheism, theism or agnosticism by themselves adversely affects a person's life. Trying to conform to one of these ideas when you're not feeling it though, will cause a problem. Or trying to get someone else to conform to what you believe when they aren't feeling it is also a problem.

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Yes, we generally find the arguments for the existence of a god unconvincing. But as an objective thinker I'm sure you understand why. 

 

15 hours ago, Skittlebisquit said:

I see mostly athiesm here as a community standard, i would caution against it, generally. It seems extreme, but xianity is an all or nothing sort of thing. They have this odd notion that no other path is viable.

 

The deeper issue is that anyone who makes a firm claim, that something exists, has the burden of proof requirement for their own claim. It's a little more than just an all in or all out situation. It's a learning how to interact with people who take objective thinking as a priority instead of an afterthought. 

 

That comes down to understanding why people don't believe anything without convincing evidence. 

 

Fool me once, shame on you! 

 

Fool me twice, shame on me! 

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2 hours ago, Skittlebisquit said:

Wow

 

It looks like the term atheism has set you off. Would you like to discuss your thoughts/feelings on it in regular paragraph form? In English? My Gaelic is a bit rusty. 

 

 

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