the real reason i stopped writing

Writing this blog has always felt right, because it was somewhere I was such a freely authentic version of myself.

When I stopped writing it was because writing had stopped being that for me. Why? Because the biggest change and area of growth (and growing pains…) in my life at that time was something I wasn’t ready to share. And I haven’t been ready to share for quite some time. I actually feel like I’m only on the peripherals of healing from related damage I’m not ready to open up on here about, and therefore will only be sharing the basics.

I’m not a Christian anymore.

And while in the sense that we can’t know anything with 100% certainty, I am agnostic, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I’ve been so for about two years (I think… I don’t know, time is weird as an adult).

If you don’t know me very well, that might not seem like a big deal. But if you do, you’ll know that my belief in Jesus, my relationship with and love for God, was something I took very seriously. It was sacred and real to me. It was my whole world, basically.

While I’ve always deeply and sincerely believed in and loved God, I’ve also always noticed loose ends here and there. Which caused a lot of stress. I would analyze the issue and try to make things work out in Christianity’s favor (as soon as possible, because I didn’t want to risk going to hell). But one day, and I remember the moment so clearly, I decided to start looking at things objectively. My reasoning was that truth can withstand scrutiny. And if God is truth and God is love, then my belief in God would come out on the other side stronger and God would honor my desire for truth. Even if I happened to get hit by a bus while figuring things out.

Anyway, after giving myself permission and space to do the honest reflection and searching I needed to do, I came to the conclusion my religious beliefs didn’t add up.

And I stopped believing.

There was a time in my life when I would have gone into every last detail of that journey, because I would have felt the need to justify myself to any Christians I know who would be reading. But I don’t have to do that–my journey only belongs to me now. (Which feels soo good, by the way.)

There was also a time in my life when I would have opened up about every single complicated emotion I’m having and described all the healing and processing I’m working through. But in this season of my life, I need to keep that in places where I feel extra emotionally safe and supported.

The main reason I even decided to share this update is that I know there are other people out there who are closet atheists or closet doubters. It’s lonely and it sucks. And if you’ve been hearing since childhoold about the hell waiting for non-believers, where the worms never die and the flames never stop burning, or if you’re just in a high pressure group that would shame you or alienate you for questioning, then it also can be really, really fucking scary.

So I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in your skepticism or your fear or your loneliness.

If we’re good friends and this is a shock to you, I hope it’s not too hurtful that I didn’t tell you one-on-one. It’s not personal (probably). It kind of became a hassle trying to keep track of who knew and who didn’t know, between the few I told and who Evan told. And also the idea of having so many emotional conversations felt overwhelming.

So there it is. That’s all I had to impulsively say tonight.

If you’ve left the faith or started questioning, I’d love to start a conversation.

If you are a Christian, I’m not intersted in explaining myself (for a few certain people, I don’t mind) and I’m 100% not intersted in debating. And that includes the fake debating where you pretend to ask me questions out of curiosity with the intention of changing my mind with a “gotcha!” moment you’re convinced is going to happen (I’m familiar with the tactic–I went to the same kind of youth groups as you lol).

And if I ever hurt you with my past religious beliefs, and I know I have hurt people with them, I am so sorry. I deeply apologize for insensitivity I have shown. And I don’t think I could put into words how truly sorry I am for passing on scary and toxic beliefs to children and teenagers when I was a teenager and young adult. I wish I could undo that harm. But I can’t.

And that’s all I have to say about that for now.

6 Comments

  1. Alissa, I’ve known you since you were a kid. I’m proud of the woman you have become, and I think that this journey you are on is the right one for you. I’m here if you need or want to talk.
    I know how important your faith was to you because I have been there. I also know how difficult it can be to walk away because it’s not the right thing for you. -Been there, done that- If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.

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