I don’t want to be all sappy and sad all the time on here, or give the impression that I’m just an angry person. I am pondering my confusing life, and how I landed here. I am not confused about my anti-theist position, no. I’m just sometimes amazed that I made it out of the mess of my life somehow. Maybe it will make sense to someone. Writing it down helps me anyway. And I am curious. Curious if there are more ‘closeted’ MK’s who have not ‘come out’ of their atheistic closets. I’m not trying to ‘push’ this on anyone. No, no. I am not ‘missionary’ anymore, ha-ha. Just kind of sad for those stuck in their religion.
I want to talk about the loss of my social network, brought about by leaving the Faith. I really don’t know many other Christians, let alone MK’s who have actually given up the concept of a god (other than my dear readers, so far, who I am so glad have found this blog!). But I was also raised in a strict evangelical home and community, so among that community of MK’s, there are few I know to be completely atheist. Most still at least believe in the Christian god.
Almost everyone around me growing up was bent on one purpose: saving the world for Christ. Saving them from HELL. This was a serious ‘calling’ in their lives. Everyone believed they were in “God’s Will” because they were rescuing souls from a literal fiery lake. I really think this was driven into MK’s a lot further than most Christians who just went to church and sang nice songs in their home countries (there are exceptions, yes).
So yes, the community was very supportive of one another (usually) in this Purpose. My parent’s mission organization was my family, the only one I knew, since ‘we’ had all left our own blood-related families back ‘home’ to serve god. So in becoming an atheist, I have lost many a friend, many a “family” member. Unfortunately, I think most of them just think I am just extremely liberal, or a ‘struggling’ Christian. I have not blatantly announced to the world that I am an atheist. But the ones who have, well, I am honest with. But I feel others, that have not asked, do sense something different, in the way I talk, the fact that I don’t go to church, and don’t talk about God anymore, my overwhelming support of gay rights, etc.
As an MK, you feel isolated to begin with when you return to your home country. Your friends all your life come and go regularly, or you are the one moving constantly. You don’t fit in to begin with, no matter where you are. So on top of all that, when I first lost my faith, I thought I was completely alone. I was so incredibly angry, at EVERYTHING (the Church, my parents, my missionary ‘family,’ my pastors, my teachers, my friends, my professors (Christian school), missionaries in general….the list goes on..). I finally sat down and “googled” something like “ex-christian support groups” and found a few sites that were created as forums for those who have left their Faith. I have made a new circle of friends..not best friends, but definitely less evangelical in nature. But it can still be lonely. I believe my background to have been harsher. Stricter. And isolated. I feel my exit was gut-wrenching. I’m amazed I’m still alive.
It is a lonely journey. But it is worth it. I believe that.