Leaving home, leaving faith

4 April 2014

You know, it’s hard living on your own.

I moved out of my parents’ home about a year ago. I’m old enough that it was probably time, and I have a full-time job.

But that doesn’t mean it was an easy transition. Before this, I always either lived at home, in a college dorm, or in the mission program. It is hard having your own apartment. You have to make rent payments every single month, and pay for your internet, and other expenses. You have to do your dishes, not just once in a while, but every single day. You have to cook your own food, unless you want to spend money on eating out all the time. Nobody wakes you up if you sleep in. Nobody gives you a pep talk and helps you get back to work if you decide to slack off instead of cleaning your room, or whatever else you need to accomplish. Plus you miss your family. Sometimes you wonder if it would have been better to just stay with them.

But it is so much better to live on your own. For me, I didn’t feel safe exploring atheism living with my parents. Here, I can read atheist books without being in fear they’ll find out. I can read atheist blogs without having to scrub my computer clean every time. I can go out with friends whenever I want without having to explain myself. I can have friends over to my apartment, again, based on my own decisions, not having to explain myself. I can drink alcohol if I want. I can sleep in, or stay up late. Plus I have to learn the responsibility of taking care of myself; it may be harder, but it’s better for me. Living on your own is really a pretty good thing.

I’ve slowly moved out of my spiritual home over the last three years. It’s been hard going from fully convinced Christian to basically atheist. Sometimes I miss being able to go to church and just worship, and be totally on-board with it. I miss being able to pray continually, about anything, and fully believing that my heavenly father was helping me. I miss praying to help motivate me, to find out what to do for my future, to feel comforted when I’m lonely. I miss the confidence that God will work all things out for my good. Sometimes I get very depressed. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to just go back to believing.

But I don’t think I could ever go back. I can come to understand gay people now, and not feel like I have to judge them based on the Bible. I can believe in evolution, and not worry about whether “the devil” is misleading me to damage my faith. I can believe I am capable of good, without always having to worry about my ‘sinful nature’. I don’t have to question everything anymore, wondering if it’s really from God. I don’t have to subject every decision I make to God’s will, and I don’t have to worry and wonder why God won’t give me a clear answer to this or that question. I can learn, and study, and explore, with no limits. I never have to say, “This looks true, but it can’t be because that would mean God isn’t real.” Really, I’m probably better off this way.

But I’m not sure.

I really do miss having an all-powerful friend who would help me whenever I got lonely.


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