Why I’ve Given Up On Religion


I haven’t blogged in about 3 weeks and I sincerely apologise. My hiatus has had a domino effect on the other writers on the blog and it has resulted in a lack of content. I AM SORRY. I’ve been…busy. Too busy to write, to think, to reflect, to sit down and collate my thoughts in coherent manner. It has been go, go, go for the past few weeks and this blog, my baby, has suffered as a consequence. Now, at this point last week, I was tired, burnout and ready to run away with myself to another country. I would run with bae, but if you read my last post, you’d know I’m a single pringle. What’s really funny to me is the way that so many have tried to convince me that I won’t be single forever and I will eventually get married. Hilarious. I appreciate y’all though, you believe in my buffness and character way more than I do.

Anyhow. Back to the matter. I was mash up, basically.  A mess. Stressed. Trying to do everything but feeling like a failure because I didn’t feel as though doing anything brilliantly. I am a pedant, a borderline perfectionist. I accept that nothing will ever be perfect except the God I serve, but that doesn’t stop me from beating myself black and blue trying to attain a standard for everything that I do. I’m all or nothing: in life, in love, in everything. But if you’re doing 5999588 different things, being all or nothing, you will eventually feel like you have nothing more to give; worse still, you will feel like nothing.

I came back from Uni determined to serve in my Church and to help alleviate some of the problems I had become aware of before I had left. Those problems still very much existed but my hostile, pointing-the-finger nature had changed (we thank God) and all I wanted to do was help. My heart was in the right place.  I look back and I smile at my 21-year-old self, a young woman, still very much fragile and broken yet determined to give of herself. (Lol, this is sounding like a eulogy, init?) Fast forward two years and there is no Youth department in my Church that I don’t operate in. This means that on any given event day (or weekender as the case may be) I am singing, acting, performing, hosting, organising, leading, teaching and running around trying to make sure things are running smoothly. Most summers this is okay; I always feel slightly stressed but I love it. It’s addictive, really. I love being busy, having a checklist, running through it and getting the job done to that weird-almost-but-not-quite-but-as-close-as-I-can-humanly-reach-perfect-standard.

This summer has been a bit different because my Theatre Company, YiA, are putting on their first play in a Theatre. I’m not sure why I thought I could do the above, be a blogger, a friend, a sister, a daughter and a mentor, without feeling stressed and overwhelmed. But that’s how I’ve felt for a significant part of this summer. What’s worse is that I’ve found myself going through the motions of life without being fully present. My faith and my journey with Christ don’t have the same vibrancy that they once did. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still praying, still reading the Bible (ishish – some days are better than others) but I’m not moved in the way that I once was. I’m not brought to my knees; I’m not blown away. I’ve been so caught up trying to do God’s work that I’ve been doing His work more than anything else – including being present with Him. My Church work has become a job, with God as the employer that I only communicate with to update or if I require assistance. As you can imagine, this is crazywrong. Church work isn’t like the work we do for The Man; it’s different from a 9-5. It is far more demanding and draining but there is a peace, a joy and a satisfaction that comes when it is completed because I know that my Father in heaven has given me way more and He deserves everything I’ve given, and then some.

I lost sight of that. I was just tired. I guess I still am.

So I’m quitting.

Well, I’m taking a break.

I’m going back to the drawing board. I intend to speak with my 21-year-old-self and ask her what she wanted when she threw herself into Church work. I need to refocus. I need to seek God. I need to meditate. I need to rest. I’ve always found it strange that people drew this fancy and arbitrary line between their relationship with God and their religion. I just thought it was their way of making their faith seem sexy and more attractive. But I think I get it now. I’m very religious. I tick the boxes that a ‘good Christian’ should – my work in Church speaks for me. But that relationship, the reason I started, the reason I do what I do…well, that’s a bit vague and foggy at the moment. Until it becomes clearer, I’ll be taking a back-seat.

Except here on the blog – I’ll be letting you all know how it’s going!

I hope you’re all good by the way, and if you’re not, drop me a message. I would love to hear from you!

Lots of love,

J xxx

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