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Not the story I thought I'd be telling

By Tania ~

Today, I was told that I am stubborn. I'm not sure if anyone has ever called me that – anyone, that is, besides perhaps my parents. I was with my fiance at church today. He knows what I think about God, Jesus, the blood and the body, prayer, faith, and so on, and we've agreed to disagree.

When the communion plates came around, I did not take the bread or the cup, and he jokingly whispered something about how I shouldn't be so stubborn. It's just easier not to partake. I know what the blood and the cup symbolize. I know what they meant to me at the times in my life when I did partake. I know the thoughts I used to have around the concept of communion. That is not me anymore. It has lost its meaning to me. The combination of books I've read, the conversations I've had, my own “journey of faith” and the “losing” of that faith, new friends and acquaintances – friendly, kind, intelligent, entertaining, ethical people, albeit “non-believers,” non-religious, agnostic, and otherwise – have led me from being the Christian I was not too long ago.

As I've said before, this is not the story I thought I'd be telling. Life often works that way, doesn't it? We often would not have chosen the path we're on, but for one reason or another, we find ourselves on it...and when there's no getting off of it or turning around, we do the best with what we've got and move onwards and upwards. Or something like that.

Christmas rolled around again, and it's never really been my favourite time of year. Last year (2011) was my first Christmas as someone who had de-converted from the faith. It's hard. It's hard when songs, symbols, stories lose their meaning. When you can't help but read between the lines. When cynicism and scepticism keep popping up. When you're reminded of yet another line from a fellow “non-believer” or an atheist writer or a psychologist or a scientist – and those “magical” parts of the season just don't seem so magical anymore.

So, back to the topic of being stubborn....I probably won't partake in communion anymore, because it would seem to me like I'm just acting a part. I probably won't sing along with a lot of verses of hymns and Christmas carols, because they don't make sense to me anymore. I will probably be the person who, when asked, “Would you like me to say grace or would you like to say grace?” will always answer, “Oh, you go ahead.” I will probably be the person who, when invited to church, will still say “yes” and will still go, but certainly not with the same frame of mind I had years ago.

And I'm probably going to be the parent who teaches her child about Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jesus Christ...and, above all, love, compassion, generosity, honesty, peace.

Dozens of voices tell me to go back to Christianity, God, the manger and the cross. A quiet voice inside of me says, “I just can't anymore.” I know this voice isn't the voice of the evil one. I know it's okay to listen to this voice.