I grew up in mostly Baptist churches. I don’t remember getting ‘saved,’ it was just something that always was. I got baptized at 8 because all my friends were. I was never really passionate about it, except during and immediately after church camp/retreats/revivals. I was involved in a LOT of church activities, mainly for something to do and to hang out with people. I did youth group, Campus Life, Sunday service, and a school Bible Club (I was even the president for a year!). I attended a Pentecostal church for two years and did every youth activity they had to offer. I loved that church when I attended, because it was a very small congregation (we’re talking 20 people) and it felt like a family.
When my family moved, I stopped going to church regularly because we had been within walking distance of church and now we were 20 minutes away. No one else in my family was as ‘churchy’ as me, so I didn’t have a ride. When I went to basic training, I became very religious again (as most people do in that situation) and attended the base church every week, which extended into my technical training. I attended church, read my Bible every night, etc. I had been at technical training for a couple of months when I missed church for the first time because I had decided to sleep in. I mentioned to my friend Kittie (a Wiccan) that I was feeling guilty for missing church. She gave me a funny look and said, “You were tired. You slept in. Why would you want to do something that makes you feel bad?” That comment hit me HARD.
Several months later, I borrowed a book on the basic beliefs of Wicca from another friend and began learning all I could. I officially dedicated myself around Samhain 2002. For the first few weeks of my studies, I called myself a Christian Witch (mainly because I was afraid to give up the title Christian), but after my dedication, I became a Wiccan, period.
I still fight with guilt and worry regularly. It was so ingrained in me from before I can remember. You’re not worthy, you can never do enough, you can think you’re saved and still go to hell, if your friends go to hell and you didn’t witness to them it’s your fault, gay is evil, women are weaker than men, you deserve to burn for any one sin and God is just granting you mercy, etc, etc. Silly as it sounds, it makes me feel better to read about the contradictions and fallacies in the Bible, because it reminds me that I made the right decision.
I am ‘out of the broom closet’ completely. I am ashamed in NO WAY of my beliefs. I’m seen as the black sheep in the family for it. My mom didn’t speak to me for six months after she found out. She thinks I’m trying to convert both my cousin and my sister into my ‘covenant’ (she doesn’t know the difference between a covenant and a coven). She doesn’t believe that I’m not trying to convert anyone, because the idea that we don’t claim to be the one true path is so foreign to her that she thinks I’m lying. Her idea of what Wicca is boils down to “I asked my pastor about it and he said it looks good on the outside, but it’s really evil.” She thinks Satan is deceiving me. The funny part is, I haven’t known her to attend a church since I was 13 (ten years). She swears she does, but we visit a lot on the weekends and she always works on Sundays.
Enough of my saga. I’m really loving this thread!
BLESSED OSTARA EVERYONE!
Mandy, )O( Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) and Abigail (4/21/11) Loving wife of my gamer boy Michael. Blog link in my profile!