I like to believe I am a good person. I try to teach Curls and Red right from wrong. I am a big believer in the Golden Rule. I try to be aware of others feelings, especially when I am in the midst of a crisis. And I try to help others in need. Does that make me a good Christian? No, it doesn’t. Because I don’t believe in God.
A while back I posted an article about a woman raising her kids without religion on my Facebook page. I didn’t get much response save for one of my friends deleting me. This was her absolute right but I still to this day don’t understand why she would do that. We weren’t the best of friends but we were friendly. She was a pretty religious lady and I respect that, even if I don’t share her beliefs. Maybe I am being overly sensitive and she had other reasons for deleting me. But the timing was a little too convenient.
I grew up in a household where religion wasn’t a priority. My Dad was raised Catholic and my Mom was raised Baptist in the South. My Dad brought my Mom to Southern California after they got married and they raised my sister and I in a small town. We went to church a handful of times throughout my childhood but we never discussed God. Both my parents believe in God. What I have taken from this is that they wanted us to make our own decision about faith. I appreciate that. It has given me the freedom to live my life the way I want to, not how they did. I plan to do the same for Curls and Red. I will answer any questions they have about God, which I suspect will come soon. I will try to give an unbiased and educated answer to my kiddos when they ask about God so they can make decisions on their own just like I did.
Why else do I not believe? Maybe because I was bullied from the time I was in sixth grade til about ninth grade. I felt utterly alone and things didn’t just get better. I lost myself in books and survived being bullied rather than magically find a group of friends who looked out for me. Maybe because my family and I had a very hard time the first year Red was alive. Hubby went through a number of jobs, we were renting out two bedrooms in a friend’s house, we had no family around us, and it felt like we would take one step forward and then take four steps back. Both of these times I felt the lowest I have ever felt. I had forgotten what hope was and was afraid that if I dared to have it things would just get even worse. I don’t understand how tragedies like Newtown can happen if there is a God. I don’t know why I don’t believe. Somebody else may read all this and say, “How can you not believe in God?” But it doesn’t fit for me. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Religion is front and center in the media and politics in this day and age. Abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and even the new Pope are high profile issues that people are talking about. And whether or not you believe in God, you will have an opinion on it. Without getting into specifics I will say two things. One, I want everybody to be treated equal. I don’t care who you love. The point is, you are loving somebody. Two, it’s not my place to judge you how you live your life. Yes, these are blanket statements and there are specifics I won’t go into. But I believe it can be that simple. Maybe it is naïve to think so, but that is my take on it.
Some will pity me because they believe I don’t have faith. But I can assure those people that I do. I have faith in my friends and family. I finally know that if I am having a bad day it will get better. I try to take advantage of every day and the good in it. In with the good and out with the bad. I don’t know what will happen after I am gone . I don’t have control over that and I would rather focus on the moment, as cheesy as it sounds.
I read a number of blogs that are mostly moms who I can relate to. But three of them openly discuss their love of God and how their religion gets them through the day. They are Momastery, Whatever, and Enjoying the Small Things. I can’t relate to their faith and looking to a higher being. But I love these writers because of their heart. Glennon Melton of Momastery has a love of people and is always searching for the greater good, no matter our differences. Meg Duerksen of Whatever loves nature in her little Kansas town, vintage finds, and her large family. She is always so happy and honest. And Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things is an amazing photographer who always is showing how beautiful her three children are through her gorgeous pictures. These ladies have all shown me different ways of looking at life and even though we each have our set of beliefs, we are in this together.
Why talk about this? Because I feel like I have been in a self inflicted corner of shame due to not sharing a popular belief. I feel isolated at times. Nobody has made me feel like this. Talking about it pushes me out there front and center and not afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve. Will I talk about this again? Probably not, unless I get requests. And if you notice, I said try A LOT in this post. I try every day. That doesn’t mean I succeed. I make mistakes more often than not. But I get up and try again. This was something I needed to talk about and this is my safe place. It lifts a weight off my shoulders that I didn’t know was there.
Thank you for reading.