The Beginning of My Journey To Non-Belief

When I first began to doubt that Christianity—or any religious dogma—needed to be a part of my life, I had an overwhelming desire to throw myself back into it once more, to give it one last wholehearted chance.

I really wanted to make absolutely sure whether this path I had already begun to head down was my new truth, or if I should just try harder to recapture what I always thought to be true.

Was this the beginning of my journey to non-belief? Or would I feel led back to the God I thought I knew?

Stone path through the grass leading to a grove of trees with fog-covered mountains in the background. Text reads: The beginning of my journey to non-belief.

I attended large, non-denominational Christian churches in the past, but never what could be described as a mega church. For some reason, I convinced myself this would be the way to go if I were going to re-commit myself to this worldview. Strength in numbers, perhaps?

I chose one nearby, dropped the kids off at their respective classes, and found a nice, anonymous spot in the back of the ginormous auditorium.

The catchy, contemporary, Jesus-praising music swelled up to start the service. People sang. swayed. waved their arms overhead. called out. The room transformed into something powerful and surreal. And I began to cry. 

I really wanted to make absolutely sure whether this path I had already begun to head down was my new truth, or if I should just try harder to recapture what I always thought to be true. Click To Tweet

Well, “cry” doesn’t really convey the incredible, visceral response I had in that moment. I had zero control over my emotions. I felt simultaneously lost but at home, like when you dream you can’t find your way to a familiar place, yet somehow you know it’s only a dream.

Why did this affect me so strongly? Could it be that I still yearned for this? 

The short answer is no.

Of course, it took considerable reflection, visits to several additional churches, and a few more years {yes, years} of untangling. Eventually I realized my deep-seated reaction was not a plea to nor a sign from the Christian God, or any god for that matter.

It was a final release of a part of myself, which for too long I denied was a facade. My journey to non-belief began. I wasn’t distraught because I wanted to turn back, I was relieved because I was finally free.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Candice

    I was brought up in a non-religious household, so I’ve never had to go through anything like you have. I think everyone needs to find what works for them, and if you feel free, I definitely think you have.

  2. Valerie
    Valerie

    Thank you for stopping by, Candice. It has certainly been a lot to unlearn. My children are being raised in an environment with way more freedom to explore and question all sorts of religious ideas and mythologies. They are definitely more confident in their views than I was at their ages.

  3. Avatar
    Anne

    Sounds like me story Valerie. I’ve never felt more connected to a higher power and at peace with life since I left Christianity. Great post.

    1. Valerie
      Valerie

      It is a wonderful feeling to be at peace with where you are on your journey. Thanks so much for stopping by, Anne.

  4. Avatar
    Jenn Summers

    I’m glad you figured out what works for you and your heart and soul.

    1. Valerie
      Valerie

      Thank you, Jenn. I feel very content. Glad you stopped by.

  5. Avatar
    Nilakshi

    Choosing our inner peace is the greatest step towards freedom and accepting the self. Very powerful post.

    1. Valerie
      Valerie

      Most definitely. Thank you for your kinds words.

  6. Avatar
    Bryan

    Good for you! You realized that organized religion wasn’t for you and broke free. I haven’t quite gone as far as you, but I am non- religious in practice and any tiny amount of faith I have is hanging by a thread. I have even considered starting a new blog focused on critical thinking and skepticism. It is likely only a matter of time before I drop religion for good.

    1. Valerie
      Valerie

      Only you can decide if and when the time is right to walk away for good. Writing about your thoughts definitely sounds like a good idea, though. I know it helped me tremendously.

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