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Leave it with the lord? Yeah, OK

By Chris ~

My oh my, it's quite a wonder that I'm even writing this. I'm not the greatest wordsmith, nor do I have an "escape-from-fundies" story to muse about below. All that I have is a real crisis of emotions, and a family and former church who are pressuring me to "seek the word of the lord."

You see, I'm a 22 year old recent college graduate. I have a degree in Communications consisting of education in interpersonal, organizational, and mass communications as well as PR and Advertising. I've also attended and graduated bartending school. I have quite a few skills to offer the world, or at least I'd like to think so.

The problem is: I can't seem to find a job. Anywhere. I mean literally anywhere. I can't even get help from temp agencies. I'd like to think that my resume is superb (and indeed, it is) and I'm a very smart and nice enough guy, but apparently that's not enough.

But where does faith come in? Well, I grew up attending church with my mom (a church pianist for a little over two decades). I often sat behind my mom at services when I was very young, as she played and the choir sang it's songs. We switched from a Baptist to a Methodist church when I was about seven, and in my teenage years I would operate the sound board (quite badly, I might add) during every service.

I am an atheist, rationally.

Emotionally though, I'm wavering.
During those soundboard years, I started down the path that I assume many of you reading this have also walked. That is, I began to question the Christianity that I had become so accustomed to, that I'd grown up with. The ideas of submission to the Lord, of believing in faith above all else, clashed with my developing reasoning skills and thirst for knowledge. Pretty soon, I started to lose my faith.

I didn't have the courage to officially come to atheism until I was firmly in college, and hundreds of miles away from my mother, from those church goers, and from their judgments. My sophomore year of college I became an atheist. I told my mom that I was atheist at the same time that I told her I was bisexual, about a year after that.

Fast forward another two years to present day. I've learned so much about atheism from reading blogs and books, and I feel more confident than ever that I made the right choice. Rationally confident, that is. Emotionally, I'm having some trouble, especially with my unemployment since I finished college in March. I know that rationally I shouldn't be surprised, given the state of things currently and the fact that people in my field are currently being laid off at alarming rates. Emotionally though, I feel worthless, not wanted, insignificant. I can't understand why no one will even interview with me. I've worked so hard and it just seems like it's all for naught.

My mom has constantly told me to pray, and that she, my family, and the church-going Methodists are praying for me. My question is: What good is that going to do? Praying never helped me put food on the table when I'm waiting on a 20 dollar freelance check so that I can eat that day. Praying never helped me when I had to travel to the suburbs with the only 5 dollars I had to run down a job lead that didn't come of anything (the place had been closed for months). Praying, empirically, has never helped a damn thing (other than a few placebos here or there and feeling better about your lack of action).

Still, I find myself emotionally wavering from atheism. I'm just afraid that there'll be a day when I'll stumble into a church and pray, and then I'll feel even worse. I told myself when I first came to atheism that I would never set foot in a church again. So far I've kept that promise, and it would be crushing to break it.

I am an atheist, rationally.

Emotionally though, I'm wavering. Perhaps this amazing community of people, people that I've read who've overcome so much to free themselves from the exact thing that I'm struggling with, people who inspired me to write this, can help me. Is there anything that would help me feel better?