I know it’s a little late for it, BUT….
This year as been… very interesting. In fact, I’m not 100% sure of what happened between this year and last. It’s all kind of blurred together in my mind, since I’ve been trying to forget… and with good reason.
First, I’m pretty sure this is the first year of my life I’ve spent as an atheist. And how is that working out for me?
Good…. and bad.
The good points of being an atheist:
1. I don’t have to worry about a heaven or hell
2. I don’t have to worry about such strict rules of morality such as jewelry, drinking and dancing, or reading and watching Science Fiction
3. I can have close secular frineds
4. Not having to follow all the SDA rules.
1. I feel guilty about nearly everything I do
2. Am scared I’m wrong about heaven/hell
3. Having secular friends
4. being free of the rules.
These lists sound contradictory, and perhaps they are. But I do not believe it.
You see, not having to worry about heaven or hell is nice. However, 15+ years of brainwashing is hard to overcome, and so one is almost always afraid there IS a heaven or hell to worry about.
Also, I am free from arbitrary rules such as jewelry or drinking or dancing… but how does one separate arbitrary rules from morality rules? That’s still something I’m figuring out. I’m not proud of it, but I still have problems with impulsive behavior of the illegal nature, though not against people I like.
Having secular friends is both comforting and scary. Comforting, because I can’t tell you how many Christian friends I had who would tell me they were only my friends because Jesus wanted them to be. And then they proceeded to be offended when I burst into tears.
Secular friends, on the other hand, have no such obligation to be with me, and so I trust them more.
But at the same time they scare me, because, without Jesus, what is to stop them from leaving me? Dare I trust people to…. to stick with me without a god telling them to? but of course if a god tells them to then it’s not real friendship…. head knows that, heart is scared. very scared.
And this year I have had a lot of reason to be scared. It is almost a year since JS(B) left me because she found out my sexual orientation. It has been a little over a year since my friend JB left me because I had mental issues. I am convinced he persuaded JS to leave me because mental and religious (but mostly religious, as the mental issues had mostly gone away)to leave me.
JS was with me for ten years. She stuck with me through candyland. When everyone else found out about Candyland they left, except her. But when she found out my sexual orientation… oh heaven FORBID I be anything but hetero! I thought she would understand… I was wrong.
I will never make that mistake again. I will never be friends with another seventh day Adventist. I do not even believe Callie W will be friend with me. She hasn’t contacted me since she got back to the country, so…. she has probably rejected me too, but that’s my fault. I told her things, on purpose, knowing they would repulse her.
2012-2015 blend into each other in a blur of absolute pain, so I don’t remember how many SDA friends I started with in 2014. But by mid 2014 the list of SDAs I was talking to numbered 4-5. That may seem like a big number, but to someone who knows better, it is a pitifully tiny list.
I lost everything. My best friend, half my family…
And I will never be ok with that. Part of me will always grieve. BUT…. I know from experience that…. as time passes, so will the pain.
It will be hard. It will take a long time… a long time of searching, studying, and crying. I’ve spent most of my time longing for someone to hold me as I cry and tell me… whatever.
Now I know I will not have that, not ever.
And strangely… I’m ok with that. Because I don’t need friends or close friends to help me get over this. I just need me. That’s not to say friends aren’t valuable, just that…. as much as I want them to they can’t help me. Only I can help me.
Yet it does help to have them. it helped that a friend was willing to carve time out of her day to be with me. That’s not something I understand, because no Adventist I know would have done that. I would have done that, but I haven’t been SDA in 11 years.
All this isn’t just me rambling. This post is me telling the world that I’m ready. I’m ready to have secular friends. I’m ready to cut almost all Adventists from my life.
And so this year marks a transition. I am ready to transition from conservative Christian to…. to what, exactly? I do not know. All of 2014 I’ve tried to figure things out and, Honestly, I still don’t know.
But what I do know is this. I have friends, for now, who care about me. Will that last until the end of 2015, I don’t know.
What I do know is this:
It doesn’t matter if I have friends or if I don’t. If I do, great, but if I don’t, that is THEIR loss, not mine. Even if I am alone and friendless at the end of 2015, it doesn’t matter, because I will have achieved something.
Do I know what that something is? No.
And that is different from the past. In the past I had a goal…. but… I can’t do it anymore. My past goal was to… to be a CAMPUS missionary.
That is no longer my goal, and it is no longer possible. The future is no longer certain, it is open, and wide, and scary.
But the future is also bright… and broad….and…. full of possibility.
And I have hope that not only will I get through it, I will be happy, in the end, or even in the doing.
Really, that is my hope for everyone; to be happy in the living of their lives, in the end of their lives, and in the beginning.
Even if only one or 2 of those is possible for me, I will have lived a good life.