1. who is this?

My name is DeeDee. I’m a 34-year-old archivist, writer, fangirl, genealogist, recovering theist, and nerd.

I was raised Christian by parents who loved me, encouraged my intelligence and curiosity, and still love me no matter what. I can’t overstate how grateful I am for that.

I accepted Jesus as my savior at the ripe old age of six following a church service about hell. My mother came into my bedroom to find me crying and saying, “I don’t want to go to hell!” She took me to my dad, and he helped me confess my sins and ask Jesus into my heart. I’m not sure what sinning I had to feel sorry for at that point in my life, but there you have it.

I believed that the world was 6,000 years old. I loved the Bible – read it through, memorized verses, reread my favorite stories all the time. I had questions, too. Why was it fair that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? Why was it right to stone a man’s entire family for something that he did? Would God really send people to hell if they had never heard of Christianity? The answers never satisfied me, but over the years I managed to rationalize them in my head.

With the intention of being a professor of religious literature, I majored in religion in college, throwing myself whole-heartedly into the study of Greek and Hebrew. I loved the languages. I loved talking about theology. I loved the history behind it all. I loved everything about it. I still do. Over those years in college, I also learned that it was okay to believe in evolution. I decided that hell was a metaphor that couldn’t possibly be a real place. I learned the complicated history of the Bible, and more and more of its contents moved from the realm of the literal into the figurative.

By my mid-twenties, I was what some would call a “liberal Christian.” By my late twenties and early thirties, I was more of a deist.

Finally, I reached a point where I realized that the god I believed in was such a “nothing,” he might as well not exist at all. But my heart couldn’t accept that. I wanted to believe in God – wanted to believe so desperately! It took my heart several years to catch up with what my brain had long ago accepted.

But once I did finally admit to myself that I no longer believed, I found my sadness and reluctance replaced with overwhelming relief, peace, and confidence.

Letting go of God took me many years. Some people might say that it took me way too long. But when you’re raised in a loving environment, when you focus so much of your life on loving something, when the idea of heaven is so bright and alluring, religion is something that’s braided into your psyche so deeply that it can’t be ripped out swiftly and suddenly. For me, the freedom of atheism could only be reached by carefully and slowly loosening threads that were woven into every aspect of my life.

People do change their minds. People do listen to evidence and opposing viewpoints. Sometimes they just need time. Sometimes they need a long time. There are also people who will never change their minds. This blog is intended for both kinds of people, for whoever is interested in reading it.

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