As the fog started to lift on my evangelical beliefs I realized how alone I was. My entire immediate family for the most part were in the fold so to speak and I thought this was the only version of Christianity to believe in. If I cant buy in anymore I guess I am an atheist/agnostic.
There were many nights over a period of 2 years I stayed up reading and thinking about how or what I could believe. There were nights of anger when I beat a sugar maple tree in the back yard with a bat. There were also tears when I realized all the time I wasted in a heretical church.
Fortunately, I tired quickly of the new atheists books since they were just as circular as the evangelical authors. After a visit to a Catholic church, I started reading church history and pre reformation theology. I started to realized how nuanced Christianity is and how hard good Orthodoxy is to nail down.
We all have dark nights of the soul but that was never acknowledged in my past. I had to allow myself to let go of ally my old comfortable beliefs and actually say I don't know sometimes. I had to teach myself to be mentally ok with ambiguity on theological issues . I had to realize that I could no longer hold others responsible for any issues I was still hanging on to. Now I was out on my own and I had to be a man and resolve things.
All of the nights of loneliness and rage were what I needed to get the motivation to confront my shortcomings. No longer did I have an excuse to isolate myself from other people. I had to also learn to operate without an opressive amount of negativity in my life. Now that I had worked through issues at work and left the old church I could redirect this negativity in a positive direction.
I no longer feel lonely or unhappy with my life anymore. I stand up for myself and don't let people use me any longer. Sure some friendships have faded away but I am meeting new people with whom I can relate with better. Most of all I don't feel despair when I realize I can't keep up with the law in the bible.
From a Lutheran perspective the law points out our sin and where we fall short. The gospel is revealed in church every week with Christ focused homily, worship and Eucharist. Now church every week is a temporary reprieve from the rigors of daily life. The old churches version of the gospel was focusing on the law. This make the everything tiring and put me into terrible dispair. Which was good since the flip side of arrogance wouldnt have got me out of there. I would have just fit in better...