Lost Youth

sent in by Mary Williams

My testimony is similar to others I have read on this wonderful web site. I grew up in a professed atheist family. There was no hypocrisy, my father, mother and brother simply stated they didn't believe in God and acted accordingly. I too, never questioned this, being good at science in school and could believe that the Bible was simply some "stories".

At age 14 , my older brother died. This created some big problems in my family as he was very loved by my parents being the only boy. My dad took to drinking more and having fits of rage. My mom was so grief-stricken that she simply dropped out of life. I was left with so much guilt at being alive and at one point heard my parents say they "wished it had been me in the casket."

Needless to say, I was open to seek for some answers. I was very mad at any kind of God who could allow things like this. At this point a "born again" Baptist in my school became interested in being my friend. I was amused by her religion but did enjoy her sense of humor.

Obviously her goal was that of converting me. I remember so clearly one night she had me spend the whole night at her house and she preached to me. I thought she was a little nuts, but the next morning watching the interaction of her and her large family made me think maybe they had something.

I also had no problem with the concept of being a "sinner" as I was really angry and hurt with my parents and knew I had bad feelings toward them that wasn't right.

To make a long story short, I prayed the sinners prayer one night in my home, thinking that I wanted to be more like my friend. And that this maybe was the answer.

However, as I announced my new found belief system to my parents, my mother wept and said no one in the family had every done this before. My father was angry and probably got drunk. This was the start of many years of intense disharmony and a worsened relationship with my family, which I just didn't know how to prevent and keep my faith.

I was only allowed to attend a Lutheran church in the neighborhood because my parents had some friends who went there. I have to chuckle now thinking about when the pastor made a "house-call" to talk to my parents about their lack of faith . After this experience I remember him looking at me very solemnly in the church, and saying "You will need much prayer".

After being so happy to get away to college, I eventually joined a radical shepherding movement that was popular at that time called Great Commission. This group was very close knit and did a lot of evangelism. We also didn't date so as to allow god to lead us to our mate. I thought the idea was great at the time and for a long time after, however now I think it landed me with nothing but spinsterhood.

They promised to be the "family" that I'd never had - as do all the churches. They tell us that our real family is our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But honestly in over 20 years I've never had anyone go out of their way much to be family to me. I think most people in the Christian religion don't feel the impact of this much, because despite all their rhetoric about "family in the Lord," they still very much cleave to their own families, and the church is no more family to you than the corner store. For me however, I honestly didn't have any family that was there for me, so I keenly felt the lack of this promised support system..

So they taught about reaching people for Christ, then after 5 years I told them I wanted to go to Bible School because I wanted to reach more people. They said don't bother, I could do it through the mail. I thought this was very interesting as it was all they talked about , the great commission. No one encouraged me. Later however, I would remember that my nursing salary was pretty good at that time and so was my tithe to the church. Maybe this was part of the reason.

When I got to Bible school, one of the teachers told me I had been in a group that had "cult-like" qualities. Geez, I can't win. It seemed to me that the Bible school had a lot of the same qualities though.

Honestly, I have lived overseas after my Bible school days, teaching English and trying to do share about God. Finally I got to the point, I didn't even know what to say. I felt like all these big promises of Christianity were so empty and I hadn't seen god answer any of my heartfelt prayers. I began to come to this site and entertain the idea that I have been the one mistaken.

At first it was major a problem with prayer. I just couldn't understand, having studied the book so well, how there could be so many promises on answered prayer and so few materialized. Then I realized that the reason for all the books on prayer in the bookstore is cause other people must wonder too. I tried to follow all the instructions for answered prayer and still no results. Then I would notice people who didn't follow any instructions and seemed to get answers. Nothing seems to make sense on that level. I mean if you pray, and any answer, yes, no, or wait, or silence, is the right answer because it comes from God, then why the heck bother?

This didn't make me happy, due to the countless hours I had poured my heart out in prayer.

Later, I also became bothered with some obvious contradictions in what is supposed to be the flawless Word of God.

Now I feel I have wasted my youth and will never have it back again. I have no family because I "waited" on him who hears the cries of our heart, and my whole worldview has collapsed. I'm not sure where I'll end up but I'm just so sad. I know I need to get over it. I wonder if anyone has been through or felt this way.

Sad.

Mary

Lantana
Florida
Usa
Joined at 17
Left at 45
Was: Born Again, Pentacostal
Now: Undecided
Converted because: Seeking for meaning
De-converted because: False meaning, lack of evidence
Email: nanguo41 at yahoo dot com

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've only one thing to say despite of my age.
We are not perfect people, and a perfect God requires perfection. How ever could we please God without out perfection.
Jesus died to bridge this relationship between man and God, but still man are not perfect.
A church is made up of imperfection, because man are not perfect.

How would you expect perfection from someone who is not perfect?
Only God is perfect.

Your prayers not answered? You're not looking at the point whether it is answered or are you looking at the prayers whether it is answered according to what you want?

God listens to all prayers, and He answers it according to His own timing and own willing, not our will. Only the creator determines the creations actions.

Are you praying according to His will? Are you praying with faith and humbleness?

These I leave to you.
Im only 19 and a production of prayer. (being changed by God through others praying)

Anonymous said...

"I've only one thing to say despite of my age.
We are not perfect people, and a perfect God requires perfection."

There you go. Assuming right off the bat that this god of yours exists, and then drawing the faulty conclusion that everyone else thinks he exists too. Look, if you're going to talk about this god of yours like he's your neighbor, and proceed to tell us all these great things that you think you know about him, you should do us the honors and put some evidence on the table that would demonstrate his existence first, don't you think?

"How ever could we please God without out perfection...

Sure. So here you have a perfect god that makes an imperfect creation, knowing full well that things would go sour soon afterwards (he's omniscient, right?). But in his 'perfect wisdom' he waits thousands of years to send a blood sacrifice to earth to fix the imperfect mistakes he made prior so that he can please his perfect self and not have to send his special creations to a place of everlasting torment. Yup! Perfect sense that makes. Yikes!

"Jesus died to bridge this relationship between man and God"

Well that's only because you *think* this is true, even though you have not a shred of evidence to support this claim other than 'I believe'. Sorry to inform you, but the jury is still out on the validity of the whole JesusSonOfGod thing...

"but still man are not perfect."

Yeah, we know.. because a perfect deity screwed up. Funny that is.

"A church is made up of imperfection, because man are not perfect. How would you expect perfection from someone who is not perfect? Only God is perfect."

So why doesn't mister perfect fix his mistakes then? Tell me - this perfect god of yours - if he can assemble all the proper elements together to form amazing fully-functional races of living, breathing creatures, all of which live in orbit around a star that exists amongst 100 million billion other stars within a galaxy that is in fact just one of about 500 million billion other galaxies - all this, and he can't fix 'eternity' for those that live a mere 80-average years on this stupid chunk of rock?? Sorry. I think that if there IS a god responsible for all this, then this god is probably many orders of magnitude less retarded than the god you describe who only seems to fuck things up from the get-go.

"Your prayers not answered? You're not looking at the point whether it is answered or are you looking at the prayers whether it is answered according to what you want?"

Please understand that a good lot of of us here have been christians for many many years and have varying reasons why we have left. My de-conversion has nothing whatsoever to do with prayer. I personally left christianity because it lacked logic and common sense, and I often found that I had to leave my brain in the trunk of my car so that I wouldn't get headaches sitting in the pew Sunday morning trying to wrestle with all the logical inconsistencies, biblical absurdities and sheer stupidity that was dispensed to (and swallowed whole by) the uncritical masses there.

"God listens to all prayers, and He answers it according to His own timing and own willing, not our will. Only the creator determines the creations actions."

There you go speaking for god again, as if you knew him personally or something. Proof of existence first, OK? Then we can discuss attributes. And sorry - holy books are not proof. Thanks.

"Are you praying according to His will? Are you praying with faith and humbleness?"

I suppose you have a divine lesson plan on this? There are thirty thousand different brands of christianity, y'know. Are you sure your techniques are the right ones??

"These I leave to you.
Im only 19 and a production of prayer. (being changed by God through others praying)"

Nope. Your the production of your dad having intercourse with your mom. Just like I'm the production of my mom and dad 'doin da deed' thirty years ago. Really! It's true!! In fact, I have a tag on my arse that says "Made In Vagina". So that's proof! :-)

Oh, wait. Is screaming "Oh God Oh God" considered prayer?? Well then hell yeah! I guess there are people out there who could be the products of prayer!! But wait.. That wasn't what you meant though, was it? My bad. ;-) -Wes.

Astreja said...

19-year-old Anonymous, we are perfect. Not identical, not without flaws, but perfect nonetheless. We are what we are... 'A is A', and all that. The most flawed and "evil" among us included.

"Only the creator determines the creations actions."

As I've said before, "So much for that 'free will' shit." If your god determines the actions of all that it created, then it is 100% liable for all the evil on this planet. (As you probably already knew, *if* you had read Isaiah 45:7.) I guess your god's idea of "perfection" does include stupid and criminal behaviour, after all.

viczoe said...

God (with a capital G, because there is only one) makes no mistakes. He did provide a way before Jesus, but decided to make it easier for people like you to come to know Him. He never said it was going to be easy or a bed of roses, all Christians know that. I will be praying for all of you on here, for there will come a time where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

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