I was raised in church. I was baptized at 9. I was singing in front of the church by 12. I was a Sunday School teacher at the age of 14. I knew God. I loved God. I was on fire for God, and everyone knew it. I was a self-proclaimed Jesus freak. I loved it! I told everyone about my faith and if they didn’t like it, I didn’t really care… I wanted everyone to know about Jesus. I studied the Bible daily. I loved reading it and by age 15 I had read the entire Bible cover to cover.
Now it’s 2012, and I don’t believe in god anymore.
There, I said it.
If you’re still reading, thank you for sticking around. For those of you that know me on a personal level, you already knew this fact even if I never came right out and said it to you. But it’s still hard to type to the world… to anyone who stops by my blog… to family that may not have noticed this fact about me.
So here goes nothin’.
Fast forward a few years from my Jesus freak days. I got married at a very young age (to a total douchebag, just for the record), and moved out of my mom’s house. My marriage failed quickly – if you can call it that. We never had a chance to begin with, to be honest. I was in a relationship with someone new by age 18. I never bounced from guy to guy, I just got in relationships and stayed for a while. I was never happy. It wasn’t really their fault, or my fault… it just wasn’t meant to be. I kept trying to find the perfect relationship. The one where I could get married and have the white picket fence, the one where I could be proud to take my boyfriend to church. Even though the churchgoers weren’t the nicest people, I craved their approval. I needed their blessing.
That relationship never came, and it caused great turmoil in the few relationships that I did have. I started to rethink things after a third failed relationship by the age of 20. What was I doing wrong? What were they doing wrong? Why didn’t I ever enjoy being with these guys? What was wrong with me?
I swore off relationships all together at this point, and just decided to be single for.. well, forever. I was really involved in church and didn’t have time for a man anyway, and obviously I sucked at picking good ones (even when I found them in church!), so it was pointless to try again. I was single for a while, and loved it. I noticed I didn’t even look at men.. never talked or flirted with them.. I was content. I thought maybe I was born to be a Nun or something.
I met Rachel when I was 23. When she walked in the room, I lit up. I was just in awe of her. I could tell right away that she was a great person… someone I’d like to be around more often. Even though I was 23, I felt like the uncool kid trying to get the cheerleader to talk to me in high school or something (even though Rachel is nothing close to a cheerleader type LOL). It was weird. I started talking to my best friend (Pam) about Rachel all the time. Pam started teasing me, saying I liked Rachel. Liked her, in a romantic sense. I wouldn’t hear any of it! I even got mad at Pam about it. Homosexuals burn in hell. How dare you tell me I’m attracted to a woman. Disgusting.
I started talking to Rachel a bit, and we exchanged numbers. I was very shy so I think my friend actually exchanged our numbers for us. Sad, right? :) Anyway, I had never called her and she had never called me. We texted a few times, about work, here and there, but that was it. One night I was driving home from work and I heard about a car accident on the radio. It was at the exit Rachel would have been getting off at around that time. Without even thinking, I picked up my phone and called her. I was hysterical – I had a panic attack and had to pull over. I had no idea why, it didn’t make sense, I barely knew this girl! When I heard her voice, everything was fine. I could breathe again. She was right behind the accident. If she had left work even 10 seconds earlier, she would’ve been the one dead on the pavement that night.
I tried to talk to Rachel about God (she didn’t want to hear it, as she had also had bad experiences with church members). She could have died that night! I found out she was an Atheist (or agnostic? I wasn’t hip on the terms at that time), and was just crushed. Why does it matter what religion she is? What the hell is going on with me?
Then reality hit me.
I was in love with Rachel.
I had fallen.. in love.. with a woman. Honestly, I’m not even sure if reality hit me at that point. I don’t know when it hit me. It all happened so fast. All I knew was that I loved her and couldn’t live without her. I wanted to be with her all the time. I introduced my kids to her almost immediately, which I had never done with anyone else in the past. I trusted her 100% from the first day I met her.
Anyway, enough of the mushy crap. ;) I tried to get Rachel to go to church. She didn’t want to. I pushed it, just because I was so on fire for God I wanted to share the awesome message with her! I found a new church (one that seemed very welcoming of everyone – unlike the other churches I had been to) and was excited about it. Now don’t get me wrong, God and I had our differences from time to time over the years, but I always believed. Always. I continued to go to church even after Rachel and I got together. I felt like a hypocrite when I told people I was a Christian, because I was also with a woman. I’m not sure if I identified as a lesbian at that point, but over the last few years I’ve done a lot of soul searching and have realized I’ve always been this way. It explains so much. It’s crazy.
So Rachel and I moved in together, and soon after, I stopped going to church. I had been so fed up with the way Christians had treated me, for so long… not just over the lesbian issue but in the past I was always judged – for my choices, for my mistakes, for everything. I hid my head in the sand and ignored all the hateful comments, the stares, the judgments. I tried my hardest, anyway. Lots of times I would stop going to church because the people there were just so damn mean to those that weren’t “perfect” (yet the Bible says nobody is perfect).
Even when I didn’t go to church, I kept my faith in God.
That faith is now gone. It’s been gone for a while, probably 2 years or more. I still haven’t discovered my own path, but I will say this… if a religion (or religious book) says I am going to hell because of who I love, because of how I was born, I don’t want anything to do with it. That’s not the only reason I no longer believe, but it’s one of them.
This post was actually started to promote my newest Squidoo lens. This post was originally titled “When Non-Christians Talk About God” and then I was going to talk about how awesome my new Squidoo lens is, and how it was a challenge for me to write it but how I feel confident in it because I used to be so connected.. to the Bible, to my idea of God. It took a turn when I started talking about my life, about how I grew up in church and how I met Rachel. Not sure how I got so off track, but I kinda poured my heart out here so it’s staying. :)
I just started working with a mentor this week and her task for me was to “challenge myself” in my writing. I write about a wide variety of subjects, nothing is ever off limits for me, but I tend to get bored when I write about the same things over and over. So when I started thinking about how I could challenge myself, religion popped into my head. It’s a controversial subject, it’s one I don’t like talking about, and it would be a challenge for me to write about it. I didn’t want to offend anyone, so I didn’t want to write about how I dislike religion.. or how I strayed from religion. Who would want to read that, anyway? So I ended up writing about inspirational Bible verses, songs, stories, and quotes. These are all things that have helped me in the past, so I wanted to pass them on to others who may be looking for a bit of spiritual inspiration themselves.
So, without further ado, here is my newest Squidoo lens that I’d love comments on:
I hope this lens (and post) will help you in some way. Whether it’s giving you inspiration when you’re down, giving you the strength to look into other faiths, or maybe it will just help someone look at themselves in the mirror when they’re acting like an asshole.. who knows. I just hope it helps. :)