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Condemned & Confused -- HELP!

By Shai ~

I went to church yesterday for the first time in awhile and it was a nice service but it doesn't mean it's something I want to continue to do. I've felt this mental tug of war for a long time and I guess peace and routine are the things that are on each end. I don't like the idea of going to church when I have questions and I usually tend to get answers for something completely unrelated to what I'm confused about. I feel like I've fallen from grace but that doesn't necessarily scare me. It's just if there is a hell why am I going there? If there is a God why does he give people the choice to turn their back? I don't know why free choice is supposed to be this back-handed gift. We're supposed to enjoy our free will but dig ourselves holes and cry when it comes to face the consequences of the same free will we were "gifted". How come God seems like the very emotional manipulative type in the relationship to test you by not talking to you and waiting for you to make the first move when in all actuality you have no clue that you're supposed to make the first move? I struggle with the inconsistency of it all. Why can't god call for once?

They say being 20 or being in your 20s is a huge roller coaster of emotions and self discovery. I see the truth in that and I've happened to discover maybe God and Christianity isn't something I really resonate with. Maybe it's just the church in general maybe it's the almost overbearing dialogue my family members have with each other at every Sunday dinner where they speak on the Christian thing to do every time they do something right. I feel out of place and I feel I can't really express my concerns to my family because I don't have the same thoughts as they do. I just feel like a black sheep. I feel as if I don't belong my family gets so offended by my questions and tell me that it isn't "me" or that "you know the right thing" but what if I don't? I mean if you have more than one person telling you what the right thing is and you're the only person to believe otherwise it's hard to fend for yourself. I guess my initial struggle with my faith happened when I discovered the fact that I was gay.

I'm going to save all those stories because they're really hard to talk about and just bring you where I am now. I'm 20 years old and I'm secure in my sexuality and I thought after years of fighting off this tug of war between my faith and who I love this would be my only difficult trial. And since I'm writing this I guess that's not the case. I'm here to tell you all I'm dating an atheist and it's the best most fulfilling relationship that I've ever experienced. I'm here to say that this boy has done so much for me and has been with me and it's been such a great 7 months and that I want to spend the rest of my life with him genuinely. Thinking that I told my family about him and I guess that's not something that wanted to hear. They say he's a bad influence and they basically want me to break up with him. They're making him the scapegoat for my depression/anxiety and every time I'm sad they relay it back to him. And it's not him at all. They believe he's the reason why I question things and I've had questions long before he was even a factor. He's just brought me to realize that what I'm dealing with isn't what God is supposed to be about and that he feels I was brainwashed at a young age. Scared into believing Jesus was my savior and that he died for me. This is a thing I struggle with and it's made me attempt suicide plenty of times. I genuinely don't know what to think or what's wrong to think. I'm not getting any straight answers I'm just sick and tired of feeling condemned for having my own thoughts. I hate the feeling of having this guilt stored inside me. My brain is restless and like I want to just be in love and be happy and not have this godly conviction over me I don't want their to be any clashing I don't want to feel like crap for having questions and I have them and there's a reason for that. I'm sorry to the readers that may have to piece this together but I'm still looking for the freedom that a lot of you already have.

Sincerely, a very confused 20 year old.