The moment you realize you don’t think you know what you believe anymore is a scary one. You feel like you’ve messed up. So you shut down. You sit in church and stare at the pastor and try to listen to what he’s saying, but it’s really hard.
You kind of feel like you’re in Charlie Brown-land when the adults talk and all you hear is, “WAHH WAHH, WAH WAH WAHH.”
So you zone out and smile and sing the worship songs and mingle after the service and go home and stop thinking about it.
You go to community group but feel isolated. Everything feels trite. Because sayings like “guarding your heart” and “Lord just help me be thankful for this season” don’t make sense. And then there are the sugary smiles and the same discussions. You sit there and you feel like a freak.
You have this darkness all over you and you don’t think anyone can see it. When they ask for prayer requests you press your lips together because hell no, you’re not letting anyone know you feel depressed or confused. Or how you inwardly roll your eyes at all of it.
You become cynical. The anger, the hurt, the confusion grip your heart really tightly. You stop hanging out with your friends who share the same faith because you’re scared if you say a cuss word or if you drink too much or if you talk about something they don’t agree with that they’ll judge you. That they’ll tell you how God loves you and how their hearts weep for you.
So you avoid them. And the anger grows and grows until you raise a giant middle finger at the whole thing and you feel good.
And that lasts for like, a second.
And then you’re sitting at home and you still have that hole in your chest. You thought separating yourself and isolating yourself would make you feel better. Actually, it just made you feel more alone.
You carry this confusion and angst with you. You sit in church again and you try to listen, but it’s still hard. Then, you get the feeling like maybe you are part of the problem.
Maybe no one seems to care because you haven’t let anyone care. Because you’ve been pushing people away for so long.
You flip through old journals, you look at old blog posts and you see how much you trusted God. You look at that girl and you miss her but she’s just a naive idiot, right?
You fill your days with things and stuff and distractions so you can try to stuff down all the insecurities and questions. But they keep lingering about. You feel a little “tap tap” on your shoulder and you know it’s God but you ignore Him.
You ignore Him to the point where you can’t feel Him. And then you’re scared.
It’s like when you tease your boyfriend with a break up because you think he won’t actually go anywhere. “Maybe we should just break up!” you shout. And instead of falling to his knees, begging you to stay, he shrugs and says, “OK.” And then you are left lonelier than before.
But even though you can’t feel God, you have a feeling, deep down, He’s there. He’s there and you don’t want Him. But He’s not leaving.
You find yourself kneeling at church and you feel this emotional barrier come crashing down and you realize you’ve been unfair. You’ve projected your own self-hate and anger onto others who were around you.
You realize you are angry at the Christian community because you’re angry at yourself.
I’ve realized I have been angry at the Christian community because I’ve been angry at myself.
Flickr photo (cc) by Maëlle Caborderie