I think I now understand where some of my ex-Christian friends are coming from when they start struggling with the direction they want to take in their writing. More and more I find myself wondering if I should continue this blog or go off in a completely different direction. When I was first going through my de-conversion, I wrote and wrote and wrote about it—how I felt, how others responded to it, how I responded back. Now, it isn’t such a huge part of my life—as evidenced by my lack of postings. Part of me wants to move on to something different, but I am also very aware that there are those who are still in the process of de-converting and I want to be there for them. I want to do for them, what others did for me, and still do at times. So what does one do? Perhaps supporting others in the process of de-conversion is, in a way, moving on. Instead of focusing solely on how de-conversion has affected me, I can focus more on how it is affecting those just beginning their journey or in a place of struggle along the way.
When I encounter someone in the midst of losing his or her faith, or as I call it, gaining clarity, I find myself in a difficult position. It’s a bit like someone asking me if having a baby is a good idea. Part of me wants to tell them, go ahead, it will be awesome, and another part of me wants to say, if you like your life the way it is, don’t do it, because life as you know it will never be the same. Relationships will suffer, some will be lost, new ones gained, and you have to reset how you live your life, BUT, you will have this wonderful baby that is worth all of it, because your life suddenly has a dimension that adds a depth and richness you never could have imagined, albeit in the midst of chaos ☺. It’s great to be in the position of supporting those leaving their faith, but I also know what it will entail, and although each situation is unique, it is never easy. When someone in the process of de-converting asks about my experience, I have to go back to the baby analogy. Giving birth is the most painful experience I have ever encountered and it is the same for those de-converting. In both circumstances, I would give the same advice, I would have to say, “well, you are going to need to be very strong and constantly remind yourself that if you can make it through this most difficult part, it will be worth it.” In some cases, the “getting to the good part” doesn’t take long, but sometimes, it can seem to last for an eternity and it takes a special amount of stamina to make it to the start of that new and amazing life. I have to admit that because I fully understand all that leaving the faith entails, I worry about those beginning their journey. Some are so fragile and frightened, as I was, and I am fully aware of just how vulnerable one becomes during the process. There were times, when I felt as if I didn’t want to go on, it was just too much, but along would come some fellow de-convert to say, “yeah, I know, and you and I can get through this together. I’m here for you.” Just writing this has helped clarify things. I need to remain an encourager to those wanting to leave Christianity. Those who have never been entrapped by religion can encourage Christians leaving the faith to a certain extent, but they don’t fully understand why it is so difficult and the cost involved in doing so. As an ex-Christian, I know all to well what leaving involves. Those of us who have left Christianity are in a unique position to help. I don’t ever want to forget what it was like to be a Christian and what it was like to leave, so here I’ll stay until I feel at peace moving away from that. Maybe I never will, but more and more it isn’t all about me, but more about others and that feels good. So, to the dear brave souls that are beginning to see the light of rationality, get ready to white knuckle it through some tough times, but I promise you I will do my best to stand by you and the freedom, the openness, and the happiness that comes, eventually, will be well worth it. Hang in.