What is it like to move away from the religion you’ve spent your life enjoying, loving, and following? As this blog begins to form, I hope to illustrate my own experiences for you, my haven’t-had-enough-time-yet-to-be-loyal reader. I hope these disjointed memories show how even today I’m still forming my thoughts, beliefs, and character apart from religion.
Slide back in time with me as I re-visit a private journal entry from my journey into non-belief:
July 22, 2008
For the first time in my life, someone asked me a question that began, “As a non-Christian, do you…”
This may not sound odd to you, but since my Christianity has been a vital and overwhelming influence on my entire life, development, identity, and choices, having someone essentially confirm what I’ve been wondering is a bit unnerving. I don’t want to say I’ve deconverted. I really ache to avoid it. What if this is a “phase”? I wouldn’t want to say I was one thing and then pull an “Oops, just kidding!”
Most of all, I don’t want to tell the people who still think “that’s GG, she’s a Christian” that I’m not so sure any more.
I’ve never had this crisis before. I always knew God and I always felt like that knowing was impossible to change.
I still have a Christian world view. I still know the Bible better than any other book. I am still interested in theology and doctrine. I still think Jesus/God makes a powerful, life-changing impact on people’s lives. In fact, I still love God as I understand it and Jesus as I understand him. But… I don’t know if I’m Christian anymore. I don’t care for the religion, even if I care for the principals at its core (love! all should be love!). But the religion is not that simple, no matter how many different pithy ways people explain it. I know this. I’ve been one as long as I can recall.
Clearly, I’m struggling over this. I’m struggling with the idea that a core identifier of my life might be gone. I’m struggling with the fear that I might lose the respect and love of those who respect and love “Christian GG”. I assume people won’t take my view seriously now–simply because I am not an orthodox believer. As if suddenly my insight and knowledge doesn’t matter anymore…. I haven’t felt like an outsider before. In simple terms, I feel demoted.
And you all might remember how scared I am of my family’s expectations. They have a picture of me in their heads… and they have no idea how far off they are. But they love that picture, and they support it and admire it. They know how to treat it.
But that’s not me! Who am I now?
Thank you for reading! Do you have any stories or thoughts on what the change was like for you? If so, hit me up in the comments.