Did I Ever Really Believe?
We didn't start going to church until I was about eleven, but when we did, it changed my life. Suddenly everyone around me started encouraging me to live my life for Jesus, and I wanted to! I loved church, because we had fun and all my friends were there. We sang songs and didn't have to wear dresses and I often went barefoot. I went to church camp and I was happy. Mostly. For some reason, after I prayed to Jesus to save me, I didn't have that feeling that everyone else had. I couldn't make myself REALLY interested in God. I didn't feel that he had touched me or did anything special in my life. And it really hurt. I cried over it lots of times. Why couldn't I be a good Christian like everyone else? I thought that there was something wrong with me. I just wanted to feel the spirit of Christ inside of me like everyone else did, but no matter how hard I would pray, nothing happened.
As I got older, I started to be bothered by the attitudes of people in my church. They seemed judgemental and bigotted. They would call other religions cults, and they would have bumpers stickers on their cars that said things like "Marriage = One Man and One Woman". They were all very conservative Republicans. The close-minded things they would say bothered me so much. As my high school years ended, I was becoming a very pro-choice, gay-marriage supporting, accepting of all religions, liberal who might just be an atheist, too. I was ashamed of the views I had at first, but then realized how I should be happy that I am not like them.
Many of my insecurities stem from my Christian upbringing, and not feeling "good enough" or "Christian enough". There will always be a fear in the back of my mind that I am wrong, and I am going to Hell. The fear instilled in me is so strong. I am scared right now. Still, I cannot force myself to believe in something I don't believe in.
I am at best agnostic. I don't think there is any way to know whether or not there is a God. I almost hope there is. I would love God without all the mess associated with organized religion. There is so much narrow-mindedness and superiority associated with Christianity that I don't think I could ever go back to that. Still, I wish there was a way for me to know the truth. Not knowing is killing me.