If there is one thing I miss and hate at the same time - it's the constant self-reflection and guilt found in the fervent Christian walk.
Hate because I could never quite accept who I was at that moment: pray more, love more, forgive more, worship deeper, .. the constant inner turmoil! I find it strange - yet not so strange - that the day I left Christianity, the day I ceased depression and suicidal ideation. I'm sickeningly happy, happier than I've ever been.
And yet something tugs on me when I see the deep convictions found in Christian blogs, journals, prayers, and sermons. What does the atheist have but his or herself to encourage improvement? What presses me to love my husband deeper but my own desire to do so? The Christian believes in an outer Good and Perfect being that calls them to be "holy as I am holy." Holiness being this completely unobtainable property.
But yet this creates a life long tug-of-war between the overflowing mercy of God's Grace and the call to "take up your cross" and follow Christ. One day the beleiver may be standing strong on verses that speak of their sonship and adoption into the Chosen People, and the next day mulling and cutting themselves over verses that require higher standards than they could ever reach.
How can a human being endure such constant warring? Does God really wish to do this to His people? Is this even desirable? Do we have a choice if He indeed exists?
I can say as an Atheist I've become who I could never accept I was/am, and yet inside I still hear the voice saying egotism and cynicism is not right and holy and there is something higher to reach. But yet - if I was only who I am now before I could have fought and won so many more battles. If I accepted the strength I have, the egotism, the out-spokenness I wouldn't have lost so many friends with my shyness and inability to speak my mind because of my belief that this was how God wanted me to be.
But is Atheism the answer? I doubt it. Yet if someone could surely help me see an alternative to this Holy Guilt and turmoil I'd be glad to hear it.