My dear friend and secret twin just posted this on her blog (of which I am a huge fan). I was going to comment, but as I kept typing, I decided I would just make it a post on my own blog because it was getting rather lengthy.
First, read her post. Then come back and read this.
I must say that Deanna has described, to a T, what I feel whenever I walk into a church. There is the overwhelming feeling that I Must flee followed by the overwhelming familiarity that attempts to wash over me followed again by the overwhelming feeling to flee.
I have to constantly struggle with myself to not go back to complacency. It would be so much easier for me (and probably my husband as well), if I could just decide that I’m okay with being a “Christian” and going to church on Sunday, regurgitating the same things that people have been regurgitating for hundreds of years. I have honestly almost come to that point several times. Why? Because, finally, I might get a break. A break from my mind. A break from feeling torn between hiding what I believe (or don’t) and shouting it to a lemming world. A break from feeling judged and worried about what others will think. A break from the endless need I feel to examine and learn everything I can before coming to what is most likely going to be an indefinite conclusion. A break from the fear of how my lack of religiosity will affect our future family dynamic. A break from awkward tensions I cause with various family members.
I could just go back into my shell of religion and be a good Christian. It is so tempting. Because being outside of the norm is very hard. I am not truly comfortable with anyone save my husband and my immediate family. Outside my family cocoon, the world just seems to weigh down on me. It tries to constantly pull me back.
I want somewhere to go where I can feel comfortable and safe. I want to be around like-minded people with whom I can discuss and bounce ideas off of. I want to be able to share this overwhelming passion that I have developed for studying religion. But I really can’t…because it’s just not normal.
Being in church, I have to battle with myself the whole time. I have to battle with the side that wants to run away when Rock of Ages starts up on the organ for the millionth time. And I have to battle the side that yearns for that old feeling of familiarity and comfort that I had long ago in such an environment.
I have to constantly fight the feeling that I should just stop what I’m doing, turn around and go back to where I came from. Because there, I was safe from everyone else. But I wouldn’t be safe from myself.