Missions

In a group I am in on Facebook we were talking about Christian missions and how they seem kinda silly.  People spend lots of money and time to go places to spread the word of god.  I understand as Christians you are called upon by god to spread his word but when you are going to countries where Christianity is already abundant what is the point? It has always seemed to me like an interesting way to get your congregation to pay for your family vacation/homeschooling field trip.  

But my real serious question that came up was why do Christians not actually try to spread the word to the people who really need Christianity?  Why do I only hear about missions to places like South America and Africa usually?  There are a lot of people in these places but a lot of them have not only been introduced to Christianity but are active Christians and many are already there doing missions.  Why don’t I hear about missions to the Middle East?  Isn’t that the real test of your faith?  Really go out there are try to spread the word to people who have no access to your god’s word.  Sure it would be dangerous, but wasn’t it dangerous for Jesus to run around telling everyone he was the son of god? Of course you aren’t as good of a person as Jesus but shouldn’t you, as a Christian, aspire to be as good as Jesus?  Go out and actually experience real persecution.  Not persecution of your faith because a judge decided that gays can get married in your state but the type of persecution where you have to have secret meetings in basements of sympathizers to even share your message and then hope nobody rats you out to the government whose laws are the laws of their majority religion (and by majority I mean only) because you will likely be hunted down and killed.  

What you don’t want to die? Don’t you trust that your god is stronger than the evil and that you are good enough to be saved from that? 

This is where I think that deep down christians do doubt the whole thing – they are not willing to make that sacrifice.  They are not willing to put their life on the line because they do not believe that their god will save them because time and time again christians have seen evil win over and over despite the supposed power of their all-knowing and loving god.  

Answers from an Atheist Part 2

Q:  What do you think is the “final straw” that causes most atheists to become atheists?

 

A:  I always like this assumption – that there was a “final straw.”  I think for most atheists there was no defining moment where they were like “Oh hey this god stuff is bullshit.  I am done with it.”

Sure I do think there are some people who have things happen in their life that are so drastic and life altering that they literally do lose their religion.  This is especially true when they would have been considered good christians and who prayed and asked for god to help them and nothing happened.  When you are told that your prayers will be answered and they aren’t you tend to think its a bunch of lies especially if it happens over and over.  So you either have to believe you aren’t good enough for god to answer your prayers, you didn’t pray enough or that there is no god listening.

I didn’t have a “final straw” moment.  I did have a moment where  logical things I had seen that drew me towards Mormonism became the logic that pushed me out the door.  Sometimes I think I should have the missionaries over to discuss this and see what they have to say about it.  Even so that moment didn’t make me have a sudden disbelief in god though it did provide a loophole in which to take a look deep inside myself.  It still took a few years before I was able to actually define the feelings I had been having about god.

Its incredibly hard to be raised to believe in this god  in a country where everyone seems to believe in it too and have doubts.  I truly believe there are many people out there who say they believe in god simply because everyone else does.  Peer pressure is incredibly hard to overcome.
I think that more likely Atheists’ “final straw” is more a coming out – when they are finally fed up with hearing things like “it was in god’s plan” or “god is good” or just any of the other things that are thrown out on a daily basis by well meaning Christians.  So then they post it on facebook , or tell their family and there is a relief to be able to be who you are and openly (maybe) not believe in what everyone else seems to believe in.

Becoming Atheist is a process of introspection and logical and reasonable thinking over time but coming out as an atheist is the “final straw”

Answers from an Atheist part 1

I guess either no one really reads this anymore – and can I blame anyone when I have barely been posting? Or every one who is Christian isn’t actually interested in getting to understand the other view. Or you feel like you have heard it all already.  Whatever the reason – it’s ok.  So there were not many questions but I am going to spread them out over a few posts because no one wants to read a novel here.

Q: If I’m recalling correctly, you said earlier that you *wanted* to believe. What percentage of atheists do you think feel this way? Do you still feel that way yourself (again, if I am remembering correctly)?

A:  When I say that I “want” to believe it is because it would be infinitely easier to feel that I wasn’t in control of my life sometimes.  Oh that bad thing that happened? It’s god’s plan, not my fault.  For example when Jack fell off the bench at the soccer game last year and I watched his eyes roll into his head as he passed out and I wasn’t sure he was breathing.  I watched his entire future life pass in front of me and all I could think was it was all my fault.  If he died, or had brain damage, or was paralyzed then it was all my fault because I wasn’t paying enough attention. People who believe in god seem to feel that way at first about things but then they say that it is god’s plan.  That  god doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  All those lovely phrases that to most atheists (and many christians) are insulting at the worst and insensitive in the least.

Its not that I want to believe because I think it would be better but it is more that often I don’t want to take responsibility for everything that I don’t like or to think that there is a higher power out there that knows better than I do and will make everything right.

The analogy of god as a parent really is accurate – someone who will let you fall but then pick you up, kiss your boo-boos and make it all better.  Who doesn’t “want” to believe in that?  So yeah I want to believe but I just can’t.

I still feel this way but again only when I am feeling like I just don’t want to take responsibility for what is happening in my life or when I really wish there could be a big giant daddy that comes in and makes everything all better.

As for other Atheists I know some have said they do think this too, but again only sometimes.  The problem with having this deity who is always in control is the inverse of having them take responsibility – its when god is given all the credit.

Right now I have the best single semester GPA I have ever had in my life.  I have worked hard for this and my family has  sacrificed – especially my oldest who babysits a lot so that I can go to the library and study or even just lock myself in my room to get my homework done.  This is my hard work and my success.  Not god’s.

So even if sometimes I say I want to believe – its only because I want someone else to blame when things are going down the toilet.

Found a Church (at least for now)

Last Sunday we had a soccer game to go to here in Las Vegas. It was huge.  Real Madrid (the Italian League Champions) versus Club Santos Laguna (the MExican League Champions).   Real Madrid won 2-1 as expected though Santos put up a good fight.  It was a good game and I had a nice evening out with my husband and a friend (and no kids!)

Because my husband worked right before the game he had to meet me there so we obviously left separately.  He went straight home since he had to work in the morning and I went to get the kids from the babysitter’s house.  On the way I saw a sign in a strip mall that said “Epic Church.” I remember thinking that sounded interesting and I wondered if it really was “Epic.”

Well unlike every other church I have passed and I try to remember the name to, I actually remembered this one.  So it looks pretty cool.  Maybe even more laid back than my last church (if that is even possible).  So now instead of church in a school it will be church in a strip mall.

Its about 22 miles from my house so it’ll will have to be impressive to keep me going for more than 2 visits (I think twice  is fair, right?).  Though starting anew does bring up all the questions of before; do I admit my atheism right off? Do I keep it to myself and if so, for how long?  Should I just go with the flow?

This time I don’t have a friend to show me the ropes and I cannot believe I am actually excited but I’m going to jump back in and see how this all works out.

Blessed

Its been a super crazy time here at the Temporary Christian house and there is a break in the chaos – but only right now at 2:30 in the morning. 😉

First thing, THANK YOU to everyone who helped out.  I had some incredibly wonderful women bless me with financial help when my family really needed it.  I was able to put food in the fridge and fuel in my gas tank sooner than not at all because of their generosity.

One thing putting my situation out there for the whole world to read did was really make me get up off my butt and do something about that situation.  So I had a garage sale.  What I didn’t sell at the garage sale I either donated or pawned.  I made $500 from that and regained 3/4 of my garage back.  It was like a quadruple win because with that $500 I had the money to negotiate and extension on our car payments.  It will cost us more overall (which is, no doubt, why the finance company approved it) but making the one payment on each vehicle brought us up to date.  Good timing because we were about a week away from repossession on the car.  I used the extra to reward my helpers with Pizza for dinner; they deserved it.

My friend Stefanie, who I attend church with, helped in many different ways like donating her left over garage sale stuff to mine, bringing us dinner one night and letting me know that the church had a benevolence fund that might be willing to help.  Walking into the church office to get the paperwork out and then filling it out was incredibly hard.  I am extremely grateful that I even had the option to ask and the church approved my request and paid my electric bill.  Not just the past due to keep my lights on but the whole thing.   That was such a relief.

Through a contact with the local news station we hd a reporter call us about our problems with the State of Florida and the child support people.  We thought they would be able to help but, understandably, they didn’t want to sit on hold for an hour to try to maybe find something out.  So the story died and our possible help went down the drain.  Being told by yet another person that it just wasn’t really that important to help us get our $3200 back was really upsetting so what did my husband do?  He emailed the governors office.  Yes, he sent an email directly to the Governor of the State of Colorado about how the stet was not helping or caring that a law abiding tax paying voting citizen had basically had $3200 stolen from him because of a possible “computer error.”

If you want something done apparently you have to go over the heads of everyone and bitch to the governor because it worked.  The governor’s office called us, got the details and forwarded them to the state liaison.  The state liaison called us and clarified the details and called our local child support enforcement office and I am guessing told that lady how things needed to go.  It was still a few more days since nothing can be super quick, but eventually they did enough digging and found out that there were 147 people who had the exact same thing happen but because they were all in varying counties they didn’t realize it was an epidemic and not just single occurrences.  The state attorney general was brought into the whole thing and they took over and viola after they took over we got our money back from Florida within 10 days.  Which coincidentally was right before we needed to pay rent for May which we of course didn’t have.

:GIANT SIGH OF RELIEF:

So we paid some more bills, got my over drafted checking account back in the black, bought some much needed shoes for the 2 youngest, and as a splurge (and early mother’s day present) I bought some running shoes for me.  I don’t run but I am trying to be healthier and lose some extra weight.  We have extra in savings right now because we are going to need it to move.  I AM sure my husband will get the transfer he applied for (though he needs to go out there one more time) but even if we aren’t moving to Las Vegas we will be moving out of this house because we just cannot afford it.  Which brings me to my next unexpected blessing.

Dave Ramsey.  The church is sponsoring Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  They were having a drawing for a free lifetime membership and of course I entered.  I didn’t win.  😦 I decided it would be worth it to pay the $70 for the class/membership and hopefully learn how to never be in this predicament again.  First I was offered a scholarship so it would only cost me $35 but I didn’t have the money on me.  That was ok and just take care of it at the first class.  Well when I got there they told me the church decided to gift me the full cost.  Maybe that is not a big deal for the church but it was wonderful for me.  Anytime anyone gives you a gift it is wonderful but this is something that will truly keep giving for the rest of our lives.

The help that has been provided to me has definitely been the type of help that Jesus gave to those around him when he was alive.  I know I said that God would have to prove to me his existence in a very large and tangible way but I just still cannot change my belief.  What I have come to believe is that there is a good in Christianity.

There is a group of people called “Anti-theists.”  They are atheists that no only don’t believe in a god but do believe that belief in one is harmful.  I can see where they get these ideas from.  Many atrocities have been done in the name of god.  Whichever god one believes in, it doesn’t matter, horrible things have been done for that god or because of the teachings of the religion that worships that god.
What this past month did for me was make me believe in the good in Christianity.  I still think there are some pretty bad things in it that I don’t agree with but there are some pretty awesome things.   Things like actually helping people without expecting anything in return.  Providing for the community because its the right thing to do.  The argument goes that an Atheist does these things because they are right not out of fear from a vengeful god.  But I think that the good parts of Christianity lead the good people to do even better and helps the people who might not have otherwise seen a reason to reach out to someone who is different actually reach out to them.

So whether it was god telling you it was the right thing to do or doing it because you’ve been there and want to pay it forward or just because you wanted to, helping other people when they need it is always a good thing.
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(Wow it took me an hour to write this post and it is really time to go to bed now.)

He Wants You To Fit In

There are 2 Christian Radio stations that I have found locally that I have been listening to.  I prefer the talk show based one since it has more talk radio and more religious music versus the “trying to be mainstream” Christian music station.  I was listening to one of the local religious radio stations last Friday  and the host said something that really moved me.

“He doesn’t want you to get in, He wants you to fit in.”

The host went on to talk about how at the Second Coming when Jesus comes you will get a new body, all your ailments will disappear, your body will be perfect, but your character is yours.  Character is something that one needs to be growing right now because the character you have at the second coming will be your character for eternity.  You get a new perfect body and hopefully your character is worthy of it, but I am not worried about my Character.  I am concerned with not being an outsider.

I don’t fit in.  I won’t fit in.  I have been trying to figure out how to address this for a month and every time I start to write it just doesn’t come out right but now I think I finally have the right words.

I don’t see how, even if I decided there was a God, would I ever fit in?

I do not believe that life begins at conception.  I support the right to have a abortion if a woman wants for whatever reason she wants only because I support the rights of all people, young and old to make their own decisions for their own body.  I support gays; I support them in getting married or civil unions or whatever the government wants to call it.  I don’t think they are bad people and I don’t think they are doing anything wrong just because they love another with the same sex chromosomes as them.  I believe in evolution.  I do not believe that the earth is just 6000 years old or that dinosaurs were just made up by atheist scientists to fool the masses into disbelieving in God.  (OK I’m not sure how many christians believe the 6000 year old Earth and Dino thing but really they come out in droves on the internet).

I know that America is not a Christian Nation built on Christian beliefs and even if we were? We were also a nation of people that at that time believed we could own other people.  Money didn’t have “In God We Trust” on it til the 50’s same with the Pledge of Allegiance; it did not say “One nation under God until then either.  Those changes were brought on by the fear of communism and Cold War.  (I am still not sure what one had to do with the other though- I should probably research that.)  I don’t believe that there should be prayer in school, not for Muslims, not for Mormons, not for Hindus, not for Catholics and not for Christians.  I think that sex education, though primarily the responsibility of the parents, should be taught in schools and that includes teaching about prevention not just abstinence.

It seems that my beliefs on social issues do not align with the bible or with the majority of the Christian populous.  I think that is must be ridiculously hard to be a Scientist, a Gay or Pro-Choice and still believe in a God that apparently doesn’t think you fit in.  I wouldn’t fit in and I don’t see myself changing my beliefs on social issues and from a few of the responses I can tell that though a few other Atheists that have become Christians haven’t changed their core social beliefs.

So even though I enjoy the learning aspect of church and I will still keep going because I do enjoy what I am learning; I still do not agree with most of it; I don’t fit in and I don’t see that changing.

My Questions for You

In the 6 weeks of Lent I shared with you about me and my life; now I want to know about you.

There are some things I want to talk about but without knowing more about the people who read this blog I feel like I would be making grand assumptions.  One thing this challenge has done was remind me that people are different.  Everyone.  Christians only really have two things in common – their belief in the God of their Bible and their belief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Everything else seems to vary.

I don’t know why this was surprising.  I think part of the problem was actually getting too comfy in my Atheist world.  Just like with any other group, when you label yourself and you hang out with people that have the same label you definitely start to participate in groupthink. Groupthink like this takes away from our individuality which is something I pride myself on.  I don’t want to be told by the larger masses what to think and what to do.  I want to be able to make choices for myself without fear of repercussions.

Now on to the getting to know you part.  I have a set of questions I am asking all of my blog readers to answer.  You can either post them in the comments or send them to me via email at victoriousolive [at] me [dot] com

It would be easier for me if you posted in the comments and since some of these questions are hot button topics, please be sure I WILL delete any comments that are inflammatory or even debating.  I don’t want a debate here on this post.  Some of them are just cause I am a sociologist at heart and I want to compile some data that I can’t get from WordPress stats.

1. What religion are you currently? (or lack of religion as the case may be)

2. When did you become this religion? (i.e. how old were you)

3.  Why did  decide that this was the religion (Or lack there of) for you?

4.  Were you previously a different religion and if so why did you change?

5. What is your stance on Abortion?  Why?

6.  What is your stance on a National Health Care Plan in the US?  Why?

7.  What do you think about Gay Marriage?  or Civil Unions and why?

8.   What is your stance on the Death Penalty? Why?

9.  Would you adopt a child (If it was within your means to do so)?  Would you put any restrictions on the type of child?  i.e. must be same race, must be from a mother of the same religion, cannot be mentally disabled, only want a baby, etc

10.  How old are you?

11.  Where in general do you live (like country if out of the US or State if within)

12.  If you live in the US or are a US Citizen outside of the US – what political party do you identify with?

I Know those are some hot button issues but I have a lot of things I have been thinking about and like I said I don’t want to make grand assumptions or sweeping generalizations.
Obviously, it would be unfair to ask these questions without putting myself out there first, so here are my answers to my questions (But I am starting on question 5 because the first 4 have been covered in previous posts or in my about me section)

5. What is your stance on Abortion?  Why?  I am pro-choice.  This doesn’t mean that I am pro-abortion just that I support people being able to make choices for themselves no matter what.  I do not support the government making medical decisions for any person.

6.  What is your stance on a National Health Care Plan in the US?  Why? I think we should have a national health care plan in the US but I Don’t think that the US should try to reinvent the wheel.  At the same time if a government health plan means that the government gets to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body then I prefer that we do not adopt a government plan.  

7.  What do you think about Gay Marriage?  or Civil Unions and why?  I think that marriage is a religious thing and therefore the state should not be performing marriages nor should they be providing additional benefits or services for married couples BUT  I support civil unions for all and additional benefits for people with civil unions.  You got married in a church (or temple)?  Well that is good – you will get the benefits that you God provides to you by being married but to get government benefits you will need to go to the county clerk and recorder and get a civil union.

8.   What is your stance on the Death Penalty? Why?  I support it for the most heinous of crimes.  I think we can all agree on which ones are the most heinous.  I don’t support people sitting on death row or in prison for years getting three hots and a cot on the law-abiding citizens dime either.  Though I am not sure how we should go forward so we are not spending more in prisons then we are on education without making criminals live a life that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

9.  Would you adopt a child (If it was within your means to do so)?  Would you put any restrictions on the type of child?  i.e. must be same race, must be from a mother of the same religion, cannot be mentally disabled, only want a baby, etc  No, but only because we have more than our fair share 😉 Really we wouldn’t because this is something that my husband and I have talked about and since he was adopted he has his own stance on adoption and wouldn’t do it.  

10.  How old are you?  This is actually something I don’t think has come up but I am 35.

11.  Where in general do you live (like country if out of the US or State if within) Colorado (If you haven’t figured that out or didn’t already know that)

12.  If you live in the US or are a US Citizen outside of the US – what political party do you identify with? I’m definitely an Independent.  I hold views that would be considered both Democrat and Republican.

 

What Would God Look Like to You?

I know it has been way too long since I posted here but I haven’t had anything to say.  I did skip church last week because I had previous commitments that church would have interfered with.  It was so nice sleeping in though.  (No sleeping in was not my previous commitment)

Since tomorrow is Easter (or today now I guess) that means that technically I am done with giving up being an Atheist for Lent.  The thing is I don’t feel like it is time for this to be over.  On one hand church is boring and it makes me mad.  I don’t have a spiritual connection with it but it feels like a sociology class and I want to ask questions and challenge the assertions/views but I can’t.  I really need some place I can do that.  I need more open talk with people about their faith and Christianity.  Being preached to is not effective for someone that doesn’t believe the way you do.  This is true for everything not just religion.

So I am sitting here on my couch.  All the kids have been in bed for over 3 hours, even my husband went to bed about 2 hours ago.  I was on Facebook and Twitter and I realize there are things I want to say but really nowhere to say them.  I want to get feedback but I don’t want the judgement that would come with it.  Maybe this is what prayer is really about?  Talking to someone and getting feedback without judgement.  But God and Jesus both have too many Facebook accounts for me to know which one is the right one to send a message to.  😉

The words I want to say are flowing so i figure this is as good of time as any to grab a laptop and make a post.  I am not so sure this is really the right place to share my feelings – only because so many of my friends are following me but honesty is the best policy right?

Here’s what I have been thinking about.  I was asked in a comment some time back (and I am feeling too lazy to look up which post specifically) What would God look like to me?   I was unsure at the time and I just said it would have to be something big.  The small and subtle might work for those just questioning their beliefs but for a non-believer to change their mind I would think it needs to be a grand gesture on God’s part.

I think that right now I can answer this.  God would provide help.  For the first time in my life I am truly worried about how things are going to work out over the next few months.  Like most of America money is tight, but for us right now it is not just tight we are downright broke.  I don’t actually care if people know that.  We have a large blended family and somethings that have been out of our control have really sent us down the river so to speak.   Like the State of Florida confiscating $3200 from our tax return on the premise that my husband was behind on child support.    He is NOT behind.  The State of Colorado knows that (they are the ones the order is through and it is taken out of his checks every two weeks) but Florida messed it up and they have now had our money for 2.5 months.  My husband calls weekly to see what is going on and as of the last conversation with them they admit the money is owed back to us not to his ex-wife but they don’t know when they will send it back.   We were counting on that money to do silly things like pay our rent and put some in savings for what will likely be a cross state move this summer.
The other thing that has hit us even harder was my ex-husband lost his job. Even though my ex is paying support for 3 kids it doesn’t quite make up for what my husband pays to his ex-wife for two so we actually really depend on that money.  This is not a case of using the child support for frivolous things like going to the movies or getting hair & nails done.  It goes towards bills.  Anyone who knows us personally knows we have Season Tickets to our local Major League Soccer team.  That and the fuel to go to the games is our only real splurge.  It is the only thing we do as a family.  It was the main thing we got for the kids for christmas.  Seriously their big gift was a keychain with a sticker in the box that said “plus 1 season ticket.”  I won’t apologize for not spending every moment of every day in our house.   So anyway we need that money and it is not coming in right now.  He is basically behind what equals our electric bill and my van payment (and remember we live in Colorado so this isn’t a $40 electric bill).  My ex is doing everything he can and he does have 2 part time jobs but since he went on vacation after he lost his job (it was already planned) he didn’t work for a month at all.  I trust that he will do what needs to happen to get caught up but until then it hurts to be here.

We are just in one of those situations where we are not living the high life. We don’t have cable.  We don’t have expensive cars, but we do have car payments.  We do have cell phones but my husband truly needs his for work and we need some sort of phone at home so I don’t consider these unnecessary luxuries items.  We are at the point I am actually thinking about going to a food bank to fill our cupboards.  I don’t want to do this.  I want this situation to resolve.  To be back at the point where we aren’t worrying about this stuff.  To not be at the point where I let my 8 year old daughter know the Easter Bunny isn’t real because we aren’t doing Easter baskets this year.  Its an unnecessary expense.

I have been working too.  I have picked up every possible substitute teaching job offered.  I have been leaving my cell number and my sub ID number with teachers in hopes that they will call me first if they need a sub.  I am working a lot.  My husband officiates soccer and has been doing that since it is in season.  It doesn’t pay a lot but it is something.  Substituting pays decently but what I am earning now I won’t get paid for until May 31st so it is not a solution for right now.

This week will be a week of putting stuff on Craigslist (need a Wii or a Beco Baby Carrier?) and seeing if we can get stuff organized enough to have a garage sale friday and saturday if the weather isn’t horrible.  This is going to be a hard task for me.  I have struggled with clinical depression in my life but have been pretty good until recently.  The idea of even going to church tomorrow makes me want to go into my bathroom and lock the door.  I am regretting telling the kids we were going because there would be an Easter egg hunt after and now I cannot back out.  I can’t get their hopes up and then dash them like that.  I won’t be that parent.

So what would God look like to me?  Right now, God would look like a solution to my problems.  A grand gesture that I cannot possibly pass off as coincidence.  I am not talking winning the lottery (especially since I only play when its at $500 million).  I am not looking for money to fall from the sky or things to magically be resolved.  I can do the work; I am just not 100% sure what it would be, but if there is a God then I am sure he knows the solution. He just needs to show it to me in a way I cannot ignore because at this point I am out of every idea except the one that keeps haunting me about telling my kids we have no place to live or explaining why we are eating crackers with ketchup for dinner.

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† If you happen to be my husband reading this and are uncomfortable with this being out there – you know how to reach me.  I’ll edit it or take it down.

Turning to God for Help

I figure that the best question to answer first is the one that is the most pertinent to recent events.  This question was posed by Abandoned Barns regarding Jack’s concussion.

“Any point during this ordeal you thought about turning to God for help?”

Simple answer.  No.

I did not turn to god for help.  I did not even think about praying or putting it out there that I needed his help.  When I prayed about the little boy who was verbally abused by the teacher I had time to think and to mull over the situation.  There was time to reflect and time to for the idea to get in my head.

This was my child, my emergency, my right now.  Even after my husband ran with my unconscious child up the stairs at the stadium I didn’t have time to think about asking god for anything?  Why? Because I am not a Christian.  God is not where I go to for help.  I don’t ask magical forces to fix my issues or my child.  I can say things like “I hope that x, y or z does or does not happen” but I am not asking a mythical figure to change the things in my life.  I am really just talking to myself knowing full well that what will happen will happen.  Somethings are just out of my control.  That does not mean they have to be in the control of someone else.  I suppose that is the big difference.  I know that some things are out of my control, and some things I can control if I would just do something.  Christians want to have God in control.

One of the comments I have received has been about the difference of living “like” a Christian versus “as” a Christian.   I cannot live as a Christian because I am not one. I do not believe.  I have been trying to live like a Christian but it does seem that “fake it til you make it” doesn’t work with belief.   I can pretend and I can do all the things that Christians do like go to church and pray and red the bible but overall that has not changed what I believe.  So when it came to a moment in my life where I was not in control of the situation at all I did not turn to God because he’s not there.

I Wish I Could Believe -Days 5 & 6

I really wish I could believe in God. I just can’t make myself do it. I have tried.

I have tried to feel things when there was nothing to feel, I have prayed with no results, I have asked for answers and guidance and nothing happens. This is basically what I did the entire time I was an active member of the LDS church. I spent that time lying to myself and others about my belief. If there was a God would he think that was an acceptable lie? Give me and A for effort? Would he believe in “fake it til you make it?”

I’ll admit that when given this challenge my first thought after “awesome” was “maybe there is a God and this is how he is trying to get to me.” Then I laughed at myself. I don’t actually doubt my lack of belief even though it seems that way; its just it would be really great if there was a God. Kinda like it would be really great if there really was a Santa. Then if I just started believing in Santa and wrote him a letter he would actually bring me what I wanted on Christmas morning.

When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2007 I wasn’t scared until the night before the surgery. With every major surgery one of the possible complications is death and I was understandably worried something would go wrong. I wrote letters to my kids to explain (as I hadn’t told them what was going on) and one to my new husband about how sorry I was and with directives on what to do if something bad happened the next day then I cried myself to sleep. I did not pray to a God I didn’t believe in but it would have been great to have that to fall back onto; to give me the feeling of reassurance that so many say they get from God, to believe that If I died that my children would be ok; that my husband wouldn’t be emotionally catatonic after another death-too-soon in his life.

Since I have started immersing myself in the Christian lifestyle I have been watching for signs of a creator. I have prayed that this God would show himself to me. I have been listening to Christian Radio as suggested by my best friend’s father. I don’t feel any different listening to it as when I listen to any other music I do not know the words to. I have been praying for myself; praying for things for people (not material things but more for action in their direction). I have been trying to change the way I think. Leaving the sarcasm behind that, as pointed out by one commenter, is quite prevalent in the Atheist community. I am reading some Christian non-fiction and reading the bible (I am currently on Matthew 11). I am actually trying hard to understand what I read and put real thought into it.

While I was in the shower this morning I asked for God to show himself to me if he existed (though I didn’t mean at that exact moment). It hasn’t happened yet. I sure wish I’d get a sign but I don’t believe I will.