I didn't come to atheism lightly, nor did I arrive quickly.
It started in middle and high school when I was the Perfect Little Christian Girl (TM). I was a lector/intercessor at my church, I was a part of the youth group, I sang in the choir every sunday, I participated in the Christmas Pageant, I attended Youth shut-in events, I went to a National Youth Event in Indiana, I even served on the highly competitive Diocesan Youth Council for the state of Connecticut and planned youth events for youth in the Episcopal Church.
Some of you might ask, where did it all go wrong?! Or, what changed? The answer is little things. Little changes that built up and became big changes when I looked back. In short, I evolved.
In attending these youth events, I experienced a more Charismatic worship experience where the people around me were so fully engaged in what we were doing (song and worship) that at some events it even had a pentecostal feel and people would 'feel the holy spirit to be saved again'. I never felt that and I always wondered if something was wrong with me. Sure, the music was inspiring, but I never felt "moved". And then, returning to my Episcopal Church, where parishioners recited their parts of the service by rote so much that it blended together into this drone of sound that had no feeling, no emotion, I was left feeling rather cheated by it all. Why were these people at church if they didn't even have the enthusiasm for what they were saying? Why didn't I have the enthusiasm like the rest of my peers? It left a sour taste in my mouth.
I started taking more and more science courses. I loved science, biology specifically, and I struggled with what the bible said about creation and it's 2 conflicting stories and what the data said about evolution. I read essays and thought I found my answer, someone suggesting that 7 days isn't a literal 7 days, it's relative. People who wrote the bible didn't have the capacity to understand millions of years. So I didn't take the creation story literally, but then a niggling thought occurred. If I was interpreting everything else literally but not that part, was that honest to myself? Was that honest to my god?
The answer was 'it wasn't' . I began to question more of the bible. As I went to college I became more worldly. I learned more about what people did in the name of religion, and what religion did to people. From there, I decided that I was spiritual, but chose not to identify with any religion. I did participate in some activities with the Protestant Campus Ministry but was not an active member (though I did enjoy their dinners!).
At that point it didn't take long for me to realize that I wasn't even worshiping a god of any kind. I had stopped being a theist, let alone a monotheist. I had an appreciation of the beauty of nature, but when I looked at it, I more saw the amazingness that was the interconnectedness of biology and ecology and the vast beauty and sheer awesomeness of the universe. I didn't see a creator. I saw nature. I saw DNA. I saw evolution, the big bang.
It was in graduate school when I finally identified as atheist. It's been a long and winding road. If ever there is evidence of a deity, I am open to changing my mind, because I am a scientist and that's what scientists do. I deal in facts. I do not deal in faith.
In other news:
I'm definitely moving to a new barn, I'll likely be giving my notice on Jan 1st (via email since I'll still be in CT at the time). At least one barn has plenty of openings, it's gorgeous and has a good indoor and several people have offered options, for which I'm eternally grateful. Gwyn will be fine, and Jim and Cortney will be coming with. She'll definitely be well taken care of while I'm gone and I'll be around to monitor how Desiree handles things for the month of January.
I had my 12 week appointment with the midwife yesterday. We tried to hear the heartbeat but it was a no go and I am super bummed. I was really hoping to take a video so I could share it with family, because that would be amazing, but it wasn't to be. I do have a prescription for an ultrasound so I might be able to 'fill' it while in Michigan or Connecticut, but otherwise I'll have to do it as soon as we get back to Washington.
Cortney drove me and Eric to the airport, so I got to hug my pony before we left. It was 9pm and she was already down and nesting in her shavings, so I ended up waking her up for an apple and two oranges. She didn't seem to mind ;D
The flight was uneventful to Detroit. I realized it might be preferable to sit in the aisle as I have to pee so much, and last night marked the first official use of "I'm Pregnant..." *sweet smile* to get my way. It totally worked. *evil grin*
It was a good thing too, I was up frequently enough that our seat mate would have had his sleep disturbed. I didn't sleep as much as I had hoped and was exhausted coming off of the plane.
We got to hear the latest on family drama (we're getting to go to yet another drama filled holiday funeral, as MiL's father has passed away) involving everyone, including my SiL and HER boyfriend's family. It's sad when you can see that she's getting involved in a family that's going to treat her the same way her paternal grandparents treated her mother. Wake up Elyse! Wake up!
Eric and I were dropped off at the condo his mother has so she can stay closer to work and we promptly passed out. Elyse and her boyfriend Brandon came and picked him up so Eric could go and work on Brandon's sister's car's brakes (how's that for complicated?) I got to hang around and wait for the ATT technician to show up and replace the cable box. My MiL will be here to get me in about an hour. At least I have internet and tv now.
I'm still exhausted but I don't want to sleep more, just so I can fall asleep tonight.