For some, questioning or leaving your childhood faith can be a life altering decision.

I was 25, married and a Pastor at one of the biggest churches in Australia.  I’d dedicated my life to the message of Christianity. Having been born into it, I completely believed and wholeheartedly gave everything I had to the cause.

As a Pastor, I felt a responsibility to really be 100% sure that what I was telling people was truth, was actually the Truth, as sometimes I doubted; niggly doubts that would come and go in waves. I felt that the only way I could know for sure was to objectively consider all the other options, from evolution to Buddhism.

Essentially my question was ‘What has Christianity got to hide?’. If it’s the Truth, it will be clear. The power of God and an honest heart is no match for the Enemy’s petty lies.

My own pastor approved the search, prayed over me and kept me accountable. I expected a testimony like Lee Strobel; that I would land at “Christianity MUST Be Real’ based on solid evidence and research.

Instead, it was like falling down the proverbial Rabbit Hole.

In a nutshell, I started to think for myself and couldn’t believe it all anymore. Throughout the whole time I was begging God to reveal Himself, to do something to stem the flow of evidence against His existence. There was no response.

After nearly two years, I resigned as a Pastor, moved cities and a few months later, separated from my husband.  A short sentence encompassing a year of incredibly painful and at the same time extremely freeing decisions! I finished studying, travelled and now work in a job I love and am passionate about again.

It was a long journey from there to here.  Sometimes it felt like I was in a tiny dingy of ‘Things I Know For Sure’ swirling about on a vast ocean of ‘Things That Turned Out Not To Be True.’.   You go through a hundred different stages in working out who you are, what you believe and what that means you should do on waking up every morning.

Without a doubt though, it was all worth it!

The freedom to think for yourself, to discover the world and truth with your own experiences and to accept people without judgement is breathtaking.  Liberating.  Exhilarating.  It’s a huge world and its up to each individual what we make of it.

I write for people going through the same thing, hoping they’ll find a place to feel normal in their period of confusion and a reminder that it’s all going to work out fine.

I write about how it feels to go through the process of your world view shifting so dramatically it’s as if you’ve been asleep your entire life.  I write to encourage people to discover what they think is true and to maintain a semblance of normality while doing so.

A lot of friends have gone through the same thing.  Some are still Christian.  Some are simply spiritual.  Some are atheists.  But all of them sorted out what they think for themselves and that’s what it’s really about.

If you’d like to write me, I’d love to hear from you!

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  • Hi Clair
    I came across your blog through one of Dave’s posts. Your journey away from the church makes fascinating reading for me and I wanted to respond as an unbiased believer; because I get the sense that you haven’t met many of us yet. I am probably a 1 on the Dawkins scale but I also think that everyone has their own journey and that there is no correlation between heaven/Nirvana/God realisation/whateverwecallit and that strength of faith. Being true to our hearts is the only real thing we can do. I love God because I feel that He loves me unquestioningly and guides my life. I cannot explain that experience to someone who doesn’t feel those things. They are uniquely my reality. It would be like trying to explain to someone who has never experienced a burn what a burn feels like. Ultimately people who don’t believe in God don’t believe because they don’t feel those things, if they did they’d believe. One feels, the other doesn’t. Both want to justify their response and try to use the mind to do that.
    As humans we have a fundamental need to be right. But what if we’re all right in our own way? On the right path regardless of the realities of those around us. Whether Jesus was delusional or not, he is a true example of that. If we can walk away from judgement, acknowledging what we feel (whether that is through feeling God’s presence or through feeling the lack of God’s presence) as our truth and not worrying about anyone else’s truth then the world will be much improved.
    Ultimately the only thing we can do in our lives is be true to what we feel in our hearts. It’s wonderful that you’re doing that. This will be an expansive and life changing journey.

    • Clair

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment Margaret I’m so glad you’ve arrived at a place respecting other people’s experiences and 100% confident in your own.

      I was a bit confused with the follow up comment (which I couldn’t put up, it was just too long, sorry) sharing the “Professor, Student, Brain” (http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-31622.html) story which seems to suggest faith is a logical, well-reasoned alternative, rather than something just based on experience as you say above.

      Have you ever googled official atheist responses to that story (which I admit I have already seen a number of times during my two decades as a believer)? If you haven’t, I’d really recommend it. I’d recommend googling most opinions and facts you hear actually, if only to increase your already wide and generous understanding of the experiences this world offers its citizens.

      My personal response would go along the lines of something like this one:


  • ockraz

    Howdy. I came here via your Disqus comment on the NRO essay about HBO’s ‘Girls’…”The author completely missed the point about Girls when she asked whether it was supposed to be reflecting life or promoting a vision.”

    I don’t know what the point is either. I clicked through to see if you revealed it. Ep 2 struck me as full of unsubtle advocacy. In an interview Dunham said the script for that ep was based on a play she wrote in H.S, and I thought, “that explains a lot.”

    It bothered me so much that I barely finished ep 3, and then I just lost interest in watching the show. So far I’ve learned nothing more about the purpose of ‘Girls’, but your blog has piqued my interest. I’m an atheist with concerns about atheism’s role in the culture and I’m passionate about secular philosophy, so I’m going to look around a bit.

    PS: What’s “a set belief system / c*#t.” -typo?

    • Hey Ockraz, welcome! As a girl of this age group, to me it’s clearly a reflection of a culture. Not for everyone obviously but it’s struck a chord with many young women because of how real it is.

      I linked to the article that comment relates to above! Thanks for pointing it out! 😀

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