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Reality Sets In

By awake2reality ~

How do you encapsulate the last 35 years into a small paragraph or two? Here goes my feeble attempt.

I grew up in a small, southern town securely fastened by the bible belt. Going to church was a given and I suppose mom and dad were doing their best to make sure that my sister and I were focused on the "narrow road" ahead of us. That enlightened gaze became somewhat cloudy as I ventured off to high school because you could say that I gravitated more toward the "rowdy" crowd. After several parental confrontations I was sent away to a rehabilitation facility for several months to contemplate my actions. As it turns out this was the best advice given to my parents from a "godly" counselor.

After my stay I was enrolled in a private christian school where I came back to the safe fold of believers. After graduating from high school I can honestly say that I had an experience at a revival at the local baptist church. From the best of my knowledge I encountered Jesus and was baptized. I was "on fire" for the lord and ready to go off to college to learn the trade of the pastorate. I met my bride at the local christian college and we were married my junior year. I managed to work my way through school and landed a youth ministry gig at a small baptist church alongside my best friend from college.

After a year of serving, my best friend informed me that the lord had impressed upon him that I should resign due to fact that I did not disclose to the board that I had viewed pornography prior to holding the position. I was crushed!! What was I to do now that god had moved me out of the pastorate. I felt betrayed by whom I thought was may best friend and mentor. So we moved back to our home town and plugged in with our church serving as sunday school teachers.

My wife and I wanted nothing more than to become parents, so we tried, and tried, and tried for eight years with no fruit. Finally, she bacame pregnant and the thought of being a father was overwhelming. Not so fast, she had a tubal pregnancy and the baby expired on it's own. That was miscarriage one, a year later was number two, months following was number three. I prayed and prayed and prayed and searched through my "inner man" for unconfessed sin because all I was asking god for was a child. My wife was pregnant, finally my prayers had been heard I thought. But four months into the pregnancy the baby's heartbeat was no more. My wife had to have the little one removed by the doctor and I can recall seeing a lifeless little body the size of my hand laying on the table. My wife and I were done at this point. In my deluded mind I reasoned that god was allowing us to go through this gut-wrenching horror for a reason.

My oldest son asked why god does not answer his prayers [...] I had asked the same question myself so many times before.The next year we visited a specialist in infertility and we became pregnant via the so-called "turkey baster" method. Now I have two sons and sweet little girl.

I don't know exactly what was the catalyst that caused my faith to vaporize. I honestly believed for the longest time that I had a genuine holy spirit experience. Last year my oldest son asked why god does not answer his prayers, I had nothing to say in response partly because I had asked the same question myself so many times before.

I began searching various sites and researched books from Paine, Darwin, and Erhman. I was amazed to find out that so many non-believers were once fundamental christians who adhered wholeheartedly to the same doctrines I once held dear.

I still attend church out of respect for my wife because she is a believer and the daughter of a baptist preacher. It makes it difficult to share my doubts and frustrations regarding her faith but I suppose that she believes I am just experiencing a trial. I know this is no trial, because my conviction that the faith is erroneous is as strong, if not stronger than when I believed it was true that.

I am grateful to this blog! I have read so many insightful and ecouraging posts that have given me hope through this rocky quest. I had read where the deconversion process for those who have worn their "rose colored" glasses for longer periods of time is difficult. I have found that to be the case.

Please feel free to share your wisdom with this weary traveler. I apologize for the sketchy writing and the missed details. In fact it is challenging to define your journey in a few paragraphs. Thanks for listening.