Tales from a recovering Pastors Wife

I used to be a pastors wife.  Now, I am not.  I tried desperately to find support for my journey out of religion.  I found nothing.  The disappointment and shock on peoples faces when they find out I no longer have a belief system is incredible.  The complete crumbling of my financial and emotional well-being has been staggering.  The loss of a compass, and the feeling of drifting has been overwhelming.  People do not understand me.  Even though I have been able to build a network of non-church people due to my work in local theatre, they do not understand me either.

I used to have a plan, a goal and a reason for all my actions.  I loved the feeling that some all-powerful being “had my back”.  If things got bad, I was supposed to pray.  I used to be calmed by the idea that god was working on my behalf and that, actually, the best thing I could do would be to STOP worrying because it is a sin to not trust that he had it “under control”.  Problem solved!

I knew my place in the universe.  I knew my job, and I had clear indications that I was failing or succeeding.  People were happy with me, or they weren’t.  They were touched by what I said or sang.  God had spoken to them through something I did.  I was a “conduit through which the heavenly interacted with the earthly”, and there was no greater honor.  I felt superior in some ways, yet remained humble. “Oh, it was all god”.

I had constant encouragement for the one thing that makes me feel like I have anything to offer, music.  Every week I had the opportunity to sing and play the piano several times, and for people to tell me it was good.  I was not prepared for the complete loss of this platform, and how not having a musical outlet would crush my soul.

I look back on this time and wish I had made other decisions.  Sometimes the pain and regret is unbearable.  I no longer know who I am, what my place in the universe is, or sometimes, how I will feed my children.  I left to stop living in a world that I no longer believed in, and to give my children a better life.  Pretending like I believed in a god that I HATED made me feel like a liar and a thief for getting paid to sing to a god I wasn’t sure existed, (and if he did, he had a lot to answer for).

Two years have passed, and although I can say for certainty that no god exists to me, I am not certain of anything else.  I have not come very far in these two years, but I do understand.  Sometimes just having someone understand a unique circumstance is a little bit soothing.  I want to continue to write about my experiences and what led to my ultimate departure, but I think this will be enough for today.  Thank you for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Tales from a recovering Pastors Wife

  1. You make a very compelling statement.
    You are not alone, by any means, in your economic and existential anxieties, but you will need to fight for your own place and worth and sense of possibility. There may not be any easy or easily comforting answers to these predicaments, but you obviously have a very strong mind and will. Your children are very lucky to have you as an guide and support in their lives, away from the ridiculous and insincere blandishments of religion types.

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