So I have wrote before on my exit from my long attachment to Christianity. At that moment I was quite unsure of myself, but was at least sure I wanted to take this step into an unknown moment.
There a few things I learned about this early journey and moments where I was tested. The first worry was “what will I do in times of crisis?”. I grew up with many stories of non-Christian folk (atheism, islam, etc.) who, in hard moments, turned to Jesus without question. A “testimony” as they call it to the attraction of “the one true God”. So my main concern was what will I do in these times? Will I do the same? Will God make a fool out of my words and show me that I needed Him all along? Will I repent and just break down?
Well, that moment came this summer when I had a health scare. Yet when it happened I didn’t feel an immense fear. There was fear, don’t get me wrong. However it was the first time I just accepted what was happening and decided to take the next steps of what I could do to fight. I had no looming worry whether or not this was some divine plan. Or that I did something to deserve it. It was just, “well, what can I do about it?”. In moments of fear I decided to focus on concentrating my energy towards what I can help, rather than what I couldn’t help. I learned to accept that uncertainty is apart of my life. I learned to depend on the ones that offered comfort to me. I also learned to take the parts of my previous faith that did help, by focusing on positive thoughts. This time though, I accepted what was happening. In the Christian faith I often denied the reality and immediately started fervently praying for it to go away. Calling the devil a liar and such. I focused on positivity, but I also processed my feelings. I gave myself time to not be okay in the moment. I gave myself rest.
I learned that being a black woman who is agnostic, pan-African, and humanist is a big pill for some to swallow. Even after telling some people that I am no longer Christian it’s like they went into “I gotta save her from herself” mode and decided to just force me into their way of life anyway. I got a lot of “I know you aren’t Christian but you gotta listen to this message” and it was a bit much at times, but I held my ground on why I chose what I chose. So to my friends and family. Just trust me. Trust me to make my own decisions for myself. Believe me when I say I’m trying to heal. “Heal from what?”, one may say. You won’t completely understand. I don’t need you to. I just need you to be a friend. It’s insulting not to be trusted with my own life. I’ll take the prayers. I respect your faith. Just respect my path.
Overall I feel a lot less anxiety about my life. No longer is my life wrapped in a grand plan of favor. I realize the notion of favor is kind of self-centered as well. That I deserve more than the next guy because “I’m a child of the most high”. Now I feel I deserve what I work for. Nothing more, nothing less. Not that I never felt that way. It’s just I no longer focus on getting something through divine order anymore. Life will give me what it gives me. All I can do is live by my principles. If something fatal does happen to me, I can die knowing I did the best I could. Life for me is fickle but grand. Scary as hell and beautiful. Not saying I don’t believe in consequences, I definitely do. I just know that the unexpected and random happen. Uncertainty is okay. I’m not supposed to know for a fact. It can be painful and terrifying, but I can at least choose to process those feelings. To move on and live the life that I chose.
I still have a sense of spirituality in some ways. I believe in connections and energy. I see lucky coincidences as the moments that create the thoughts “Now that was odd timing”. Some call that God. Some call it coincidence. I see it as the moment a connection and energy formed to create these great moments. My line of path just happen to cross another. In that moment something great happened. Confidence. A $20 bill. Love. I take it and I try to send that same energy back out into the world.
It’s been an odd year. But I feel balanced and calm. I feel ready.
“Leave this world a little better than you found it.“