What Would Teal Do?

comments 13
the godless side

My husband (we’ll call him Silver) has left Christianity along with me, but his journey has been one of freedom, and mine, of grief.  At least it has been for the first several months.  Not being able to take our closeted status anymore, we decided the other day to tell some good friends where we stand.  Terrified of their response (though they were the perfect ratio of close enough to care but removed enough from our situation not to be terribly offended– they have no horse in our race), but desperate for the freedom confession provides, we sat down on couches in their living room and told them our journey into atheism.

One of the results of this conversation was my realization of how different of places Silver and I are presently in.  Label both as atheism, sure, but we seem worlds apart from each other.  We spoke with one another about this on our drive home, and he described it with the perfect analogy:

 “Christianity is the nest.  You follow me everywhere.  So, you watched me jump from the nest and fly.  And you did too.  But instead of flying, you fell.  Now you are laying on the ground, wounded, with a broken wing.” 

Also describing it this way, “Like a butterfly cut of of its cocoon, you were cut out before you were strong enough to fly.”

 As much as I describe my journey as being my own, and that Silver provided a safe place for me to question my own thoughts, it would be false to say that his change in belief didn’t influence mine.    In fact….. I think I am just far to influential period.  I have always believed whatever I believe in any given moment because it was taught to me by someone that had credibility in my life.  This reality is probably true for everyone to an extent, but thinking for myself is an incredibly difficult task for me.  I may be able to solidly analyze any given subject or idea, but I do it through a lens borrowed from another.  I subconsciously think, “What would _____ think about this?” And then I proceed to adopt his/her viewpoints, or what I think they would be, in my mind.  I allow myself to far too easily be discipled.

“What would Jesus do?”

 I feel acutely aware of my current total lack of identity.  Who am I?  What do I like?  What do I believe, about, anything?  Though I quickly turn to the perspectives of those that currently have credibility in my life, my mind is silent with any original thoughts.

 I have never, ever, had moments of “What would I do?”

 What an entirely foreign concept to me.


The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


  1. A wonderfully honest post. I think you touched on a very important concept: credibility and authority. Is anybody worth listening to? This is a good question, and it deserves an answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great. Like the first comment said. Very honest. Recognition of your state of mind is something I believe most people never attain.

    As far as securing yourself and becoming comfortable in your new shoes goes. I suggest reading the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, etc.

    Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard a couple of their podcasts (I think, my husband’s the one who likes to listen and I just overhear 🙂 and I’ve read Dawkins before, but it’s been awhile. Any specific recommendations? …I run the risk of just “becoming their disciple” next, but I also believe that more information is always better and I probably would find camaraderie and a sense of normalcy from them. Thank you!


  3. Oh, I identify so much with your journey! I was raised Christian, and my entire self-concept was wrapped up in its doctrine. It is a very dangerous religion, in that it teaches us to imitate and adopt the beliefs of another. It literally instructs us to deny our own needs and wants! I’m just beginning to figure out who I am when I’m standing outside of everything. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. It is heartbreaking at times, and becoming lost is part of the process. I have faith that at the end of the day, being honest with ourselves and others is of utmost importance.


    • Thank you for your encouragement and empathy as you relate to me! There was a lot about Christianity that I loved, but now outside of it, I see so many things that are totally messed up — one of them being, like you said, to deny one’s own wants and desires. “Die to self,” it said. And although that was never to be taken literally, it can mess up any person that already has some self-hate issues. How are you doing now?


      • Ah, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Dying to ourselves, like so many other Biblical teachings, is a beautiful though, but it leaves us with not much to build upon when we move outside of the box of religion. I’ve had good days and bad days, and sometimes feel like I have myself all figured out. Right now I’m feeling very lost, and have sought counseling to help me figure out which thoughts are “me” and which are just a regurgitation of who I think I’m supposed to be. I admire your courage in telling your family where you’re at in your journey! It must be incredibly freeing! I’ve been open with my mother about mine, and it certainly helps. May you find even more courage and confidence as you walk this new path!


  4. Pingback: I don’t believe in God, but I believe in this word from him. | teal tomato

  5. Tricia says

    “What would I do?” That’s unfortunately a question that many people refuse to ask. I tend to do the same thing: become a disciple of whatever I’m interested in at the moment. And trying to reconnect with my younger, uninhibited self is harder than I thought it would be.

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Nice information, thanks to the author. It is beneficial to me now, but in general,
    the effectiveness as well as significance is overwhelming.
    Many thanks and all the best!


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