Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Taking it slowly

At first, thinking constantly about religion and challenging my faith was exhilarating and consuming. I read loads of books (see my reading list), and starting reading and participating in online forums about atheism and religion. I started this blog, and wrote a few posts. I couldn't stop reading and planning what I would read next.

But suddenly, I hit a wall. I had to face some issues in my life, and the questions I've been exploring on this blog were causing me added stress. The other day, my dad asked me if I've been praying about an issue I've been struggling with. The answer was no, but how could I tell him that? It's stressful to think about denouncing my faith, even if I just keep it to myself.

So I took a break from the blog and the forums and the books waiting on my Kindle for a few days, and dealt with my real-life issues. I feel ready again now. I posted my review of Letter to a Christian Nation last night, and participated in a few forum discussions. It feels silly to limit myself to just a few posts, pages, or articles at a time, but I have to, at least for now. It's stressful to tear apart everything I've been taught and believed in. It gives me fear and anxiety, and I can't ignore or stifle those feelings. I have to step back, or I might abandon this truth-finding altogether. 

Some people would probably say that the fear and anxiety means I should turn back to the Lord. He's calling me, or something. Maybe that's true. I guess I don't feel like it is, though. I feel instead like I'm mourning my Christian childhood and traditions and the life I thought I would have. Sometimes it seems comforting and easy to return to my childhood faith. I have to remind myself that religion has rarely provided me the comfort and security that it always proclaims.

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