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By Cody ~

Hello fellow Ex-Christians.

Early in January I posted my situation in the "Kind of Lost" headline and I read through all of the commentary and the supportive responses from all who did so.

I just wanted to say thank you to all who had anything to do with it like those who gave advice and their own personal testimony. I was about to type "thank you for your prayers" but I forgot that "wait a minute, these are ex-Christians, I doubt they do that".

Here is why I am thankful:

1. I told my parents, sisters, and my grandmother that I was no longer Catholic.

I explained to them that I never really felt anything "other-worldly in my life" and how I projected "God's voice" in my own head every time I prayed. I told them how my lector, Eucharistic minister, and mission trip services were for social reasons, not for theological purposes. I told them I agree with virtually none of the Catholic Church's stances (like same-sex marriage) and "how to live a good life". I also told them I see Jesus as a prophet but not as the Son of God (in like a Judaism or Islamic belief). Finally, I told them I do not support religion and how I will try to simply figure out what I believe in. I simply cannot call myself a Catholic if I fulfill these requirements.

All of them were very understanding (even my strict Catholic grandmother) and did not object or show disdain. I guess this goes to show they make up a wonderful family unit and they accept me for who I am regardless of what religion or irreligion I follow.

2. For all of you on the site.

A big shout out to anyone who tried to help me out. And even those who did not leave a response a shout out to you too. Life is tough and even if you are religious, no one has it easy, we're all human. All of you have your own personal stories and unfortunately, some had horrific upbringings and limitations in your childhood and it sucked some of your life away. I consider myself lucky that I never took religion too seriously that I didn't allow myself to get sucked into Catholicism. At 21, I am still very young and have plenty of time to explore new beliefs and if I so desire, to pick up a new religion if I like (I promise to be wary of "trickery and other jive beliefs in the future). And you never know, I may return to Christianity on my own accord but I highly doubt that.

3. Fate/God/Nature or whatever "guides" the universe.

I consider myself as a person who believes in some sort of life force but I prefer not to identify it as "God". In terms of what happens when I die, I don't really care right now. Maybe when I turn 65 or so I will think about it but I'm way too young to be thinking about it right now. I need to enjoy my time left at college and settle myself into a career.

4. My peers at school.

I talked to various teachers and fellow classmates at my Catholic college and there were some mixed opinions and testimonies. But my current RA was my favorite person to talk to about this. He is from Austria where religion/god talk is liberal and very few people take it seriously; not only Austria but throughout most of Europe. I had much fun talking to him about it and it sounds pretty awesome. Imagine that: a country (or even continent) where it is virtually safe to practice religion, not be "forced into it", and not have overzealous folks (like those awful Westboro Baptist Church members) preach their religion. Just an idea for now.

Anyways, one last time, a big shout out to anyone who tried to help me out. And even those who did not leave a response a shout out to you too. Life is tough and even if you are religious, no one has it easy, we're all human. Stuff is confusing and we all get into a funk sometimes. I just want to remind everyone to take it easy and enjoy life. As I write this, Valentine's Day is coming up, and I think everyone should try to do something fun with someone you love. I've never really pursued any relationships with females before, but there is one girl at my school I kind of like and I'm going to ask if she would to be my date for the night. Wish me luck, but please don't pray for me. I really believe if I want something badly enough, I need to mindful and strategic about it, not prayerful and blindly hopeful like I did in the past.

Peace out.