I’m not sure where to begin…so I guess some backstory. I grew up with a VERY religious family. We went to church every Sunday morning and night and every Wednesday night. All of my social gatherings were with the youth group and my parents didn’t want me to become “like the world”. I was to be the perfect Christian daughter…but I was a dissapointment. My dad consistently said I wasn’t a good enough Christian, that I wasn’t trying hard enough, that if it didn’t believe everything 100% then I didn’t believe at all, that I was either for everything he believed or I was not a Christian, that if I wasn’t 100% sure that I was going to heaven, then I wasn’t a good enough Christian. He told us of how not to trust anyone, that conspiracies are all around us and that we were/are living in the “End Times and to BE READY!” .
I was obviously never going to be what he wanted me to be. I didn’t know 100% about anything… except that I wasn’t a good enough Christian for him. So, why try? I started sneaking out, hanging out with the guys more often and trusted EVERYONE. That led me to a party with “friends” who ended up doing something that I can still not call it by it’s name even though it’s been 16 years. They then told everyone that I started it and I was the slut. I went 2 more years of highschool with everyone being afraid to be close to me because “they didn’t know where I had been”. I was broken and used and discarded. And I couldn’t even tell my parents…now, I was never good enough for a “good Christian guy” I would be too “unequally yolked” with someone GOOD. So, I turned to shady guys and had the thought that I wasn’t worth someone really loving me. I put up with abusive and rediculous relationships before I found my husband. He is amazing and loves me and could care less what happened in my past, but will listen when I need to tell him. I thought he was too good to be true, but we just celebrated 9 years since our 1st date…and we are more in love than before.
I had not been to church very often once I moved out of my parents house, but once we started dating, I decided to try his church…a small Catholic church in a small town in Indiana. I started to fall in love with God again. I saw him in the little things. I felt him in the quiet. I felt him everywhere. But then I told my Dad…and he filled my head with his opinions on the Catholic Church. How it’s not Christian, how it goes against the Bible. That they are WRONG and so am I. So, my doubts came back and we tried going to “community” churches (non-catholic) because my husband said it didn’t matter where he went, church is church…and that’s where it all began. The more I started undstanding that we are talking about the same God. The same Bible and that there are thousands of different interpretations of the same book…HOW DO I SAY THAT “MY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY”?
How do I find a church? How do I talk to people about this?..then, oh then ““christians”” started blowing up the news and social media. Started spewing hate and “us vs them” talk. And it has continued for a few years now. I am so disgusted by my “Christian” family and “Christian” strangers that I do not even want to be associated with the term. Not, because I don’t believe in God, but because they have tainted the name so much…and I do not understand why they cannot see it!! My husband had a divorce before we met, and yet my brother and father say that “divorce is unforgivable” that marrying after a divorce is a sin and a BIG one. They say showing support to the lgbtq community is sinful. They say showing understanding to those who have done wrong “are biblical teachings”, we should tell them they are doing wrong so they can become christians". I have always felt like Jesus taught unconditional love. That we should not be sitting in our comfy churches talking about how bad everything and everyone is…we should be out there trying to understand our neighbors and showing them that they deserve love too…that God loves them no matter what they have done or what people have told them. We should stand out in a crowd by NOT being a bigot, by NOT being racist, by NOT being sexist, by NOT being homophobic, by NOT DISREGARDING CLIMATE CHANGE!! We should be the leaders of love the leaders of cooperation…and yet we are seen as the opposite!!
So, where do I fit in?? We have 3 young boys now and it has been over a year since we’ve been to church and we rarely talk about it. It feels wrong to voice concerns and doubts about our religion, so we just ignore it…but when our oldest asked “who is baby Jesus?” Around Christmas time, we were shocked and ashamed…and yet we still don’t know what to do or where to go from here.
Lately I’ve been intreged by the supporters of “Flat Earth”…not that I believe it AT ALL…but I’m simply in awe of how these people can look at facts and their own experiments that prove them wrong and yet still believe with everything that the Earth is flat?! They reminded of my dad’s response to any doubts or scientific findings…he always has a defensive response that doesn’t really make sense to me. So I started googling “why are conspiracy theorists making me loose faith in God”?!..and there was nothing. There was lots of articles about how believing in God can make it easier to believe in conspiracies and lots of atheists saying science is real but good isn’t.
But deep down I know God is real. I feel him when I remove all the noise and the need to know the answers…but does that mean I’m just like those flat-earthers who say they believe in their gut that the Earth is flat?
The videos on Heart Support we’re/are amazing and gave me hope. Hope that I’m not alone. That there is a community out there… I need help navigating this territory tho. I always hear the voice in my dad’s head saying “Don’t trust anyone” and that this is probably too good to be true, but I have to at least try to reach out. Try to get some answers…from someone I’m not afraid will call me a “bad Christian and mother” for having these questions.