Sent in by Travis
I wasn't exactly raised in a strict Christian household, but we were Episcopalian and went to church regularly from when I was in the 4th grade on through to High School.
I was baptized at first and when I reached my teens I was confirmed and began taking communion. At the time I was told that when I took communion for the first time I would 'feel' the Holy Spirit come into me. Of course that never happened since there's no such thing, but my child mind was disappointed and felt let down.
As I started getting older and making friends I felt more and more different as everyone in Texas is pretty hardcore about their faith. I went to praise concerts and baptisms at my friend's pool and was so scared to admit to not believing it that I even faked speaking in tongues once.
Through High School I made no attempts to hide my lack of faith and was subjected to so many questions and interventions that I couldn't be civil about it anymore when it came up. It wasn't until I moved to New Jersey for college that I even found out I was an Atheist. I met people like me that knew the freedom of loosing one's religion.
The only answer that made sense to me was that there was no answer at all. I was finally complete and everything made sense.
Now I'm almost 29 and I'm married to the most wonderful woman. She's Christian, of course, and the conflict has created a few problems. We work through most of it. She doesn't drag me to church all the time and I find the good parts of the religion and try to implement those things in my life. I feel bad because I know she thinks one day I'll accept Jesus as being real, but it's never going to happen. Believers don't understand that once you leave there is no coming back. If you do come back then you never truly lost your faith to begin with.
I was lost, and now I'm found. Remember that character is based on what you do when nobody is looking - and trust me... nobody is looking.