Messages of Hope

I almost feel like I had some sort of blinders on, and now, they have been lifted. And now I can truly see. It’s scary to see how much religion shut down my mind, but also exciting and freeing to see how much leaving has opened me up.  – Renatta

Almost on a daily basis I find myself in situations that highlight the change in my views and the quick use of reasoning that I now have available to me. And every time I experience these daily events it becomes clearer that there is no going back to Christianity for me anymore. Knowing that makes me feel free and alive and happy.   – Jamie

Do you know what it feels like to realize that I don’t have to fear anybody’s thumb on me any more? You know how great that feels? It is fantastic.  – Ray

I’m actually basking in a beautiful sense of accepting the real…I’ve dropped pattern searching for “clues” to some “big secret” and just let the unknown be just that – unknown. It’s the weirdest, most blank slate I’ve had without baggage attached to it. It’s like I moved to another country, left everything behind and I’m now beginning a life of ease and calm. – Amy

 

My ordinary human life is not “falling short.” I don’t have to suffer through my life and wait for everything to be made right in the end. I don’t have to earn good feelings, work painfully to deserve happiness… I can choose to be happy about who I am, just the way I am… I’m finally embracing the freedom that comes from letting go of the Biblical view of humanity… and myself.  – Jessica

I can trust my own internal compass, which leads me to treat myself and others with respect and love most of the time. My internal compass leads me to appreciate beauty and seek out pleasurable experiences for myself and those I love. It leads me to learn and grow and experience more of the world, to listen to others and appreciate their diverse paths.  – Melinda

The moment I called hogwash and decided I DON’T DESERVE TO FEEL BAD was the first moment of my life when I truly felt free to embrace happiness and goodness…over and over again…every day.  – Mary

I am feeling free. . .I’m actually so stable in my daily activity from an emotional perspective, I am so relaxed, I am able to feel the moment without the idea of the future, past, good or bad “catching up with me”, I HAVE more energy because I’m not holding up a fake belief system that I must have subconsciously known was fake……I can truly REST at night….I can truly REST through out the day.  – Chris

I finally feel free… Feeling the moment… And have no question as to whether life should be lived to its fullest potential…. There are no obstacles… No thought processes blocking my ability to act on this life… The active word is feel… When I say I feel free… It’s the most liberating choice I’ve made to live in the reality of ‘I just don’t know.’   – Desiree

 

I almost feel like I had some sort of blinders on, and now, they have been lifted. And now I can truly see. It’s scary to see how much religion shut down my mind, but also exciting and freeing to see how much leaving has opened me up.  – Carolyn

When I was a fundamentalist, I felt I had to have all the answers. Now I’m really reconnecting with my spirituality and I think I’m more spiritual now than I ever was. . . We’ve been set free on an exciting new spiritual path of self-discovery that can be even more fulfilling than what we left.  – Matthew

I can let go of fear, use my own mind to think, question, doubt and live honestly before God and others. Ahhh….so great to breathe, do yoga, listen to other points of view, learn, grow, change and not feel like I have to fit into a prescribed way of living and thinking.    – Barbara

There are moments when I am so free and so glad to leave a world that seems to have an answer for everything.  I am happy to be in a place where I don’t have to be right, I can let go of judgment, and live in a place where I can say, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘at the time it seems to me’ and I can hold truth loosely.  – Kim

I can’t explain it, it’s inexplicable.  You know when you’re present, when you’re just walking and you’re just enjoying the feel of your feet on the ground and there’s nothing else that’s coming that has to make it better; you’re here, the sun’s on your skin. . .  If there’s a “glory glory in the by and by,” great, but I like this.   – Paul

I’m enjoying flowers for flowers’ sake, sunlight for sunlight’s sake and letting myself enjoy what’s right in front of me and let that hold my entire focus.  – Pablo

I feel free to explore the world, knowing that I’m no different than anyone else. I also feel free to pursue friendships that I would never have dreamed of. I feel I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but it’s my road. I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll also have triumphs too. All that said, I only wish I had left religion sooner!  – Darren

I love how many more things and experiences and people are open to be experienced, as wonderful or good. . . I have an image of a field and the treeline is literally receding back.  There’s so much more land than there was. There’s so much more to explore.  Some of it’s good and some of it’s scary but it’s all okay.  – Jesse

At times I will mentally stop in awe at how many options I have open to me because I left the life of fundamentalist thinking. I have hundreds of tools at my disposal, so many that sometimes I feel frustrated that my life is not more challenging.  – Carl

Once I deconverted it was like a weight was lifted off of me! I was also somewhat of an angry person while in the church and this seemed to intensify over time. However, when I left that life, I lost my anger. That which the Bible promised (freedom) is what I found when I left the faith!  – Dan

I think the simple act of reading whatever I want without limiting myself like I used to as a religious person, has made me feel incredibly free. Religious studies, philosophy, and psychology have helped me better understand what people believe and why. Well-written novels that address the human condition have helped me to see people as unique individuals rather than saved and unsaved, clean and unclean.  – Amy

It is amazing how limiting “thought” is within conservative religions. Once we’re out… The world was once black and white, but now it’s in Technicolor! So many options to choose from. And I don’t know about you, but I want to make up for lost time.  – Denise

To discover myself, who I am under the layers of indoctrination, is an ongoing process.  Sometimes it’s a hard and confusing task; other times I thrill at the freedom with which I am able to commune with my heart in ways disallowed while held in the thrall of fundamentalist dogma.  –  Justine

I did what I never dreamed I’d do. I said good-bye to God. I said, “Thank you, but I think I’m fine now. You can go. I’ll be in charge now.”   – Joel

Almost forty years ago I realized that I no longer believed. . . I began exploring, reading books, going to places that had been off limits to me, enjoying a new found freedom to consider any and everything. . . the life I’ve lived since leaving Adventism has been so much rich and fulfilling than anything I could have imagined as an Adventist.  – Jim

I am learning how to trust myself and to allow others that same benefit. Recently, I even attended an open mic afternoon at a local coffee shop where I shared my own writings. Though it may seem small, it is a huge step for me and ‘proof’ that I am healing; to voice my personal truths.  – Terri

It’s crazy because I have all these emotions back.  I’m sad a lot and have a lot of anxiety and tears, but there is also this spring in my step.  There is this feeling that I can look people in the eyes, as if I’m seeing people I haven’t seen in years.  And, also, this pride that I’m a woman.  – Mary

The key to my success was by letting my identity be free. . . I was a full time Jehovah’s Witness and I had a nervous breakdown as the beliefs that I was being taught were not really helping me develop as an individual.  I still am very much isolated, however I am making great strides to meet new people and make friends outside the faith.  – Eric

I am a recovering fundamentalist Christian and have never been happier! I always hated the OT god and thought something was wrong with me. The first thing I read that helped me was Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason. That was when I discovered I was not alone in my feelings and thoughts.  I have been reading forbidden books ever since.  – Sean

I’m 63 yrs. old. When I was 19 I entered a convent. I left after 3 years. What I’ve realized through the years is that I’m deeply spiritual. You can be spiritual without buying into the Jesus hype. I haven’t followed any religion for a very long time. It’s freeing. My confidence comes from a deep place within — in the human family — within nature.  – Joanne

I am in my 30s now and no longer consider myself a Christian. I don’t believe in Jesus or any other form of deity for that matter. This is my personal choice that finally brings peace to my life. I am finally learning about myself and how I want to experience life and it is amazing!   – June

When it really hit me that no one ever died because of me … that no one who loved me more than anything was tortured and slaughtered because of my badness … it was like someone had opened all the windows and let me breathe air. It was like a huge curtain had been pulled back and … there was nothing there. No terrifying God, no hell, no heaven … just sky and clouds and it was all mine, it was all for me, I was okay.   – Laura

Though it’s taken almost half my lifetime–and endless hours of therapy–to shed the anger, guilt, and self-hatred, my new life is demonstrably richer, fuller, and more meaningful than my narrow, fear-driven experience in the church. I am not alone.   – Tod

After many years spent living in “the World,” I have learned that there is such a thing as happiness, peace, and even unconditional love, and that the church–religion in general, for that matter–holds no monopoly on it.   – Andrew

All-in-all, the grieving lasted about 2 years. But here’s the good part: I got better. I learned to accept and love myself. I made friends who are supportive and keep me from being too serious! I joined a club at school that replaced church. I never in my life thought I could be this happy, but I am.   – Shay

In one way, it was a huge relief for God to disappear. I didn’t have to be perfect. I could do what I wanted. I could explore my sexuality. I could have emotions. I could forgive myself.   – Valerie

I thought there would be no life worth living apart from my faith, but I feel more alive and in love with this ‘one shot’ I get then I ever could serving my imagination. . . Funny how it seems to unfold… this fantastic mystery called life.  As a Christian I was so petrified of knowing the ‘exact truth’ about ‘how it all worked.’  Now?  Who cares, lets just play with all the ideas.   – Arnie