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Losing Fear

By Melissa ~

I grew up in a chaotic environment, lack of love or care. I always felt I was missing something and with the sexual trauma I suffered as a teenager I turned to partying to help myself cope. I lived a dysfunctional lifestyle. My family and I attended church when I was very young but my mom stopped going because they did not accept her decision to leave my very abusive father.

I felt lost and depressed most of my life and seemed to be surrounded by unloving people. Then I met an amazing women, she was very loving and spent a lot of time just listening to my story. She happened to go to church so I started going. I felt things in my spirit there, like I was alive for the first time. The worship helped me feel a connection to God and a love I had never experienced. I concluded it must be the truth and became a Christian. I did all the right things, went on a long healing journey from my trauma and served God by going on mission trips and trying to be the most loving person I could be.

Along the years I saw many different "types" of Christianity. I saw the miracle believing high energy prayer for miracle services, I saw the boring quiet churches, and I saw everything in between. I even had a sparkly light substance appear in my hands for a few months after a worship event conference.

I know there are spiritual things.

I researched it and realized "miracles" can happen in my different spiritual settings not just Christianity, and that there was even a large sector of Christians that thought this was demonic. Sadly, I also saw a whole lot of lack of love and care in churches, unless you some how were lucky enough to be in the "in" group.

My experience with this first loving women was not common in church. Most of the women I met due to my "bad past" did not wish to be real friends with me. Instead they wanted to "pray for me" and looked at me like I was on a different lower level on the God chain. I tried 4 different churches for a least a year each and got involved in anyway I knew how. I also become chronically ill during this time and I was shocked at the lack of care and love during this time, because I am younger and "look so healthy" most people thought my illness was due to something I had done wrong or my past.

It was very disheartening.

I prayed so often for healing at services but always left disappointed.

I did eventually find healing on my own through implementing acupuncture, allergy treatments, and diet and I do believe I was God lead. Anyway, I also started reading the Old Testament and found many of the things I was reading disgusting. How could I believe this? The only answer from pastors was that it will all make sense someday or "Don't read the OT, just the New". I also noticed most of the people I met in the church were actually a lot more unloving then the unbeliever friends I had, and they were not as authentic. I started losing my religion through all this even though I tired to hold on tight. I tried church one last time today after a few months and it was all fear based, the service was about how anyone is going to hell for all eternity if they do not serve Jesus. I had my last straw, I just don't believe it. I need to be honest with myself. The truth is I just don't really believe that, no matter what the Bible says or how I wished I could. I am left with confusion.

I know I believe in God, I know he is a God of love. I have experienced it. I still believe in Jesus. But this is all I know.

I need to now go on my journey knowing God without religion. I cannot believe what the church teaches, it does not make sense for my life. I know LOVE helped save me and heal me out of so much pain, but the church only confused me and caused me pain and confusion. I am left figuring out how I will now love others and love God through my life, without the church. I am so very thankful for this site! Thank you for your work.