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.