I have been very quiet lately ( I think) in an attempt to grow beyond the hurt and pain, okay even a little anger, and evaluate my position in life. My beliefs were once new and unsettling to me and many whom I love. The shock factor used to be what I lived for but now it is what I try to avoid.
A couple things...I have been asked a whopping 3 times THIS week if I am still a Christian and 2 times Why do I HATE god. It is innumerable to recall the number of times in the past year I have been messaged privately about the above. Now I know we get on facebook and post WAY too much about our personal lives...our weight, where we are eating, who we are with at every given moment of every day...Some of us join pages and "like" in support. Some post religious preferences in an attempt to rile up a family member or ex colleague. I USED to be this person but today I just want to live my life in peace. I want open dialogue with friends. I want to support the causes of my choosing. I want freedom to express myself in this free country without being bombarded with questions. Is that really too much to ask?
Questions that ARE okay to ask: What led you to the place you are now?
NOT okay: Why do you hate God?
Okay: What activities are you and your family involved in?
NOT: Where do you go to church?
Okay: Do you feel peace in your decision to leave the Christian faith?
NOT: Aren't you scared you and your kids will go to hell?
Believe it or not people ask me these very personal questions all the time. I wouldn't dream of being so bold. They can tell me all day long "When I stand before god, I want to be unashamed..I want to know I followed his leading.." Truly, I don't buy it. I think people are nosy, curious, frustrated, sad or feigning piety but really I feel judgment and dissapointment oozing from them. Why if god wanted to speak to me could he not do just that? It would be painfully easy for god to speak to me should he so choose. He could prove his existence and make a convert out of me in no time but instead I am told to have faith..not sight. I have said before that should he choose to appear to me as he supposedly did to Paul (formerly Saul) I would live the rest of my days living the most radical, crazy for Jesus life anyone has ever seen. If he is real, he knows this and yet holds back from me..
Now I know all the retorts that many of you have for me (please try your best to remember that I was a believer for 28 years) but they fall flat. Why is it that most who profess to believe have no power in their words. Why do they not fill their days and nights deep in thought about the world like I do. I spend countless hours wondering about suffering, pain, war, famine, disease and the oppressed. I think about equality and fairness. I educate myself to be the best contribution to society and my family as I can be. I do not say things like "be blessed" or "I'll pray for you" but instead think and phrase my words to those hurting so they know that I spent more time and thought on my response to their need then I did ordering take out.
At this moment I will clear things up so as to not be misunderstood any longer. I am not a christian. I do feel fear creep up on me at times. I call it post traumatic indoctrination disorder. I push that fear away and seek for peace and understanding. I am NOT an atheist, I just don't know what I am. I had no labels in the church and have no label now. I know that I do not believe in the god of the modern day church. The god who created the world and sent his son Jesus to die that we might live...then die...then live again. I do not believe there is a god who desires intimacy with me. I don't believe in a god who heals some and watches others die. I don't believe in angels who watch over us but I cannot prove their existence or non-existence. I do not believe in heaven or hell but again, have no proof (nor does anyone). I don't believe in a rapture of the church while the sinful are ruled by an anti-christ. I don't believe the bible is my authority or the words of god. WOW.
What do I consider?
I consider the possibility of a creative being who is hands off with his creation. Even as I say it I want to unsay it because at this moment I am not strongly considering this. I consider the idea that Jesus really did live and die (Actually, I believe it) I'm just not sure that there was anymore purpose for his life than my own. I consider reincarnation ( I actually hope for this) but cannot prove or disprove this. I consider the fact that there are a million different viewpoints and faiths practiced..none of them may be right or wrong or necessary. I feel that saying a single religion is right is like saying a single language is right. It is your language and you speak it naturally and with fluency but does it make the french speaking man wrong?
What do I believe??
I believe in people. I believe love conquers all. I believe in learning, sharing money, sharing food and resources. I believe in equal rights for all mankind in every nation. I believe I will die and that a far as I know, this is the only shot at living I will get. I believe I (alone) am responsible for becoming who I become. I believe in family (though at times it does not believe in me). I believe that actions speak louder than words. I believe that meditation just may be the way to go (I have not practiced this yet). I believe forcing a particular faith on a child is cruel and assuming. I believe that being healthy and fit is important and I am frustrated when men and women, who lead in churches, are obese and make no effort to discipline their bodies long term.
I know I just lost any reader and probably my entire "friends" list. The truth is, if you knew me..REALLY knew me, in person, you would not find me to be harsh or mean or angry or bitter. You would find a woman who seeks friendship, love, community, compassion and understanding. You would find someone who is striving to be a great nurse full of tenderness towards my patients. You would find a weak person who struggles with self-confidence and wants the approval of others. You would find someone who tries to put on a brave face and laugh off the ridicule.
I am just a woman seeking to find my way. I am just like you if you have ever sought to know something for yourself. A mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a student, an aunt, a surrogate...a person.
Please as you read and think that you have me figured out, consider our similarities and not just our differences.
Thanks for reading-