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.