As a baby I was Christened.
As a child I was brought up the Christian way, in a Christian School.
When I got Leukaemia aged 8, my faith waned and a deeply ingrained fear of death took over.
As an adult aged 20 & pregnant for the first time, I joined the Alpha course and tried to open my mind to Christianity.
But the Alpha course just raised a great deal more cynicism for me and convinced me for certain to choose to be Atheist.
I have lived in a strong Atheist mindset for most of my life but believed that Christians are the kindest, most moral people on earth and that Christian’s have stronger values than non-believers.
Age 26, laying in hospital in a critical condition having just given birth to twins and contracted HELLP Syndrome, my fear of death overcame me once more and I reached a state of desperation. You may have read my post titled Love and Despair. I reached out to people of any faith to pray for me and my babies. I even, like I have on rare occasions in my life, attempted something similar to prayer myself. I didn’t know if I was praying to science, to nature, to people who have already passed from our lives, to a subconscious inside myself… Or to a God. But the silent words in my head pleaded to any of the above that would listen to save us and make us well.
I found out that people heard me and people I know well and people I don’t know at all, were praying for us in their religious groups. I feel very touched that those people would take the time to do that, for someone who is so strongly Atheist.
As I sit here today, fit and well, writing this blog post and gazing at my three amazing daughters; I wonder. I know that I am lucky to be alive, and lucky that the twins are both healthy. Lucky to have my husband and my oldest daughter and many friends and family that love me. I am not just lucky, but somehow blessed. I don’t know if fate, destiny, religion, luck or just the genius of science saved us. But something did.
I don’t know if my own beliefs have been changed, I really don’t know what to believe. I have always felt that religion is for people who are too weak to get by on their own, who can’t handle that there is nothing greater out there. For people who need hope to cling to. Whether I was right or wrong, in hospital I became one of those people. I’d hate to live my life certain of one thing and reach the end to find I was wrong about everything all along. If there were a heaven and my children were prevented from it, because I inflicted my own lack of belief on them, then surely I’d go to hell. Because in life or death, that’s what being without my children would be.
I guess that means I have turned a corner, I have gone from being a Christened Atheist to a Christened Agnostic with an open mind. And as an Agnostic, I have today decided to allow all three of my children to be Christened. This will probably come as a shock to my family and friends and a delight to my husband. Being unsure of what I believe is a new feeling to me. It has brought uncertainty, but at the same time, I have never felt so happy and so appreciative of my life and all the things in it.
From the bottom of my heart… THANKYOU to all of you who spared a thought or prayer for us. x x x
Fantastic story. You have obviously been through some tough times (understatement), and as a result you have done some serious soul searching (if you will). There’s an expression that comes to mind that might be fitting: there are no atheists in foxholes. When people experience times of distress it is natural to seek out a bargaining position (often with God) as a means of coping. It sounds to me like you’ve prevailed and though I do not personally believe there is a god, I would agree with your assessment that you are blessed. Life is precious, all the more so if there is only one.
I don’t think you have to worry about the fate of your wonderful children, for if there is a God, why did he make you an agnostic? 🙂
think this blog is brilliant emma. are you part of a church? if not try out st catherines in gloucester the vicar jon is amazin honestly xxxxx
I have been a christian for 32 years, since I was 22. I can say that even if everything I learned about Jesus and the bible was wrong, I have no regrets about living my life this way. I would always choose to live this way. Incidently It was faith that helped me overcome a fear of death. the bible says that perfect love casts out fear, and that God loves us perfectly.
I’m so glad that you and your babies are well.
Wow, what a story! Can I urge you not to give up? Keep on searching….x
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Siobhan C says
I love your honesty. Fantastic blog. Beautifully and honestly written. Don’t give up your searching. I’ve been a Christian for most of my life (with very different degrees of knowing Jesus) and I can say that there aren’t many certainties in life apart from love, and that it ultimately comes from God. Humans naturally want certainty, hence fundamentalism of all sorts (including modern British aethism), and uncertainty can be a harder place to live. I’ve found over my 41 years that its not about a set of rules (religion) or moral code, but about knowing the love of an incredible (and sometimes puzzling) God. That I won’t and cant understand it all, but all I need to do is receive his love, and the rest will follow. And yes, prayer is incredibly powerful and special. So glad you’ve been blessed by it.