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Just a real quick 'testimony'. Seems weird using that word. Anyways, I was 'saved' around age 19. Totally got into the whole 'church, witnessing, pleading with my family to get saved, reading my Bible for hours on end' type of life style.
Went off to Bible College, Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. Graduated with a music degree. Met my now 'ex' husband and got married right off the bat. I was afraid that Jesus would come back before I could have kids and I wanted kids. How gullible was I!?
Anyways, we ended up on the mission field in Australia. We were there for around 5 years. During that time I started really questioning the whole Christian life. It seemed I was always at odds with it. My ex and I were having arguments all the time because I was sick of the whole church thing: tired of the judgmental people, tired of always trying to please Jesus, tired of always being so damn good. You know, that whole 'turn yourself inside out' life. Towards the end of our stay there in Australia I let my ex know I wasn't doing the church-God-Bible thing anymore - that I was know in charge of my life, not God, not the Bible, not him (my ex). I came back to the states with the kids (who were grown by then).
Oh, an important part of my story I left out was, that I was always attracted to women. Part of my getting saved was to try and squash that whole part of me. The whole 20 years I was into the Christian life I was always beating myself up because I would find woman I was attracted to and then I'd feet sinful, shameful and disgusted with myself. It was hard.
Well, after leaving the ex, and a few girlfriends later I have finally found a life partner who I've been with for a decade now. Life is great. It's so much easier, so less stressful. I'm just sorry I wasted those 20 years.
I'm agnostic. I'm not atheist. But I find myself being pretty militant against organized religion. I was so young when I got sucked into the Christian brainwashing. I did grieve for the longest time over the lost years I wasted. But I'm pretty well over that now. I've never been sorry I left the church for one second. It was the BEST decision I ever made.