For unto us a baby atheist was born…
I feel like I have to start this post by mentioning something I’ve been thinking about. I write primarily for myself. I am not trying to save the world through my writings. I write because this is something that brings me immense pleasure. I can’t imagine not writing because this is how I stay sane. I love to write. I have kept a diary since I was in grade 5. Before then I used to write on random pieces of paper that would be found around the house which is why my dad thought to get me a diary; so I could keep all my thoughts in one book. Anyway, no one asked me why I write or who I write for. I just thought to have that saved somewhere on my blog.
I was having a chat with one of my dearest friends today and he mentioned that he was getting re-committed at church. Immediately when he said that I thought to myself, I need to be there. The gag is I don’t go to church myself. I have written briefly about my strained relationship with God here. I have tried going to church to salvage that relationship but I have made peace with that maybe God and I are just done.
That’s what I set out to write about today, my relationship with God. I was raised in a Christian home. My mum may very well be Jesus’ mother- Mary’s sister with the way she is so devoted to the Jesus cause. My dad is Christian too and so is my sister. My brother is an atheist and I am somewhere in between agnostic and baby atheist. Something not many people know about me. I kept a christian blog for a while and when I felt like I couldn’t reconcile my writings to the truth in my heart I shut it down. I started a circular blog on tumblr after that and this one later on.
I don’t like a lot of christian things because they generally don’t have any meaning to me anymore. I have been battling with this for a while now. I didn't even know there was a name for people like me anyway. People who don’t necessarily believe in God but leave a tiny room in their lives for those random days when they think maybe he is there. I desperately wanted to believe again because it was safe and familiar. I am not ready to come out to my family (except my brother who already knows) about my faithlessness. So when people share scripture with me or church events I politely nod my head and come up with an excuse for why I can’t come.
When my niece was christened I went to church with my family cos I felt it was one of those moments I had to be there for, as her aunt. I feel the same about my friend’s re-commitment. I want to be there to show support. I support my friends and family who want to seek God because it’s a very personal thing this thing of God. When I lost my faith I didn’t try to recruit people to come with me. My lack of faith is also a deeply personal thing so I treat it as such. I side eye atheists who try and recruit every one they come across. We are adults now. Every one has the right to decide that for themselves.
Another friend invited me to poets in autumn which was last week Friday. A lot of my friends know I love poetry so I always get invites to poetry events. She’s a good friend so I told her why I couldn’t come. I went last year and I was so underwhelmed. I hate christian poetry because I’m not the target market. Which is what made me think of writing this blog post. It feels weird to admit out loud that I do not believe in God anymore. A lot of times people just assume I do and I do not have the energy to correct them cos, what is the point? I don’t want Jesus freaks trying to sell Jesus to me. I also don’t want to have to explain why I don’t believe anymore.
Now that my little secret is out I have to say I have been genuinely surprised by how full my life is. I always thought I would feel this crazy emptiness once I lost my faith. It used to be a huge part of my life so I expected my life to feel empty. But it hasn’t. I am happy, I have good and life-giving friendships. One of the reasons I left church was cos I felt like it clouded my judgement and was stunting my personal growth. I ditched the pastor for a certified therapist and I have grown in leaps and bounds.
I have been scared to say out loud that I do not believe in God in fear of all the awesome in my life just wilting. God is known for brutally punishing those who turn against him. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. But tell you what, none of that has happened. Which is GREAT! I like this life out of the proverbial christian closet. Phew. Okay I’m done. I am still not ready to have this conversation with my parents. Especially my mum. Sigh.