Change

by bdhesse

I said I’d write a story about someone who lost their religion, so here it is:

It’s hard to describe this feeling deep inside. I never ask for it to form, and I never expected this to be my truth.

I was raised in what would be considered by many a “good family.” We went to church every Sunday. We prayed before every meal. I went to Sunday school, Bible camp, and a youth group. It was my life. I couldn’t imagine every being without my religion.

But that has all changed now.

There was a time when I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a non-Christian. How could anybody not believe what I believe?

But that has all changed now too.

It’s not like anything bad happened. My life didn’t crumble around me. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t in a rebellious stage. I just…changed.

There was no specific date it happened. I didn’t come to any conscious conclusion. I don’t even remember changing. I just remember the realization. The realization that was the last realization I wanted to make.

My family told me that religion is where my morals come from. They told me that religion makes me good. My friends told me that they didn’t understand how anyone could not be religious. That religion just makes so much sense. They all said that they would never trust someone who wasn’t religious.

They told me that they wouldn’t trust me.

Of course, they didn’t know they were talking about me. How could I tell them? The risk was too great.

But I don’t believe.

That realization was hard. I didn’t want it to be true. I fought hard against it. I tried to believe. I read the Bible. I tried to believe it. I went to church. I tried to agree. I listened to what they all said. I nodded. I said the same things I had always said. But none of it was true.

I don’t think they suspected anything. Nobody looked at me funny. Nobody said I’d changed. But I knew I had. I knew I didn’t believe anymore.

It took awhile, but I accept myself now. I know who I am, even if no one believes me. I know I’m not a bad person. I know what I’m capable of. And I know what I believe.

I’ve changed. I’m not the person I was. But I’m still me.

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