Why I stopped attending church

I don’t believe someone can “organize” my faith

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Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

“People who have stopped going to church are “church hurt” and you should not associate with them.” — Unknown

Isn’t that one of the dumbest things you have ever heard? Well, yes, I was told this and I believed it.

I was raised in church. I was raised Baptist. As I got older, I joined a nondenominational church. I felt it was my duty to go to church. I felt obligated to go. I was taught that if I didn’t attend and serve it was a measurement of how much God loved me and how much I would be blessed. Therefore, I was faithful in my service at the church. I went to church every Sunday, and stopped talking to certain friends and family because they did not align with my beliefs. I served in the church diligently. Whenever the church had an event or activity, I was there. I even waited for the monthly church calendar to come out to schedule my calendar. This is how devoted I was.

Then something happened…

Control had set in

I would not say it was “one thing” that happened. It was a series of things that I noticed over the years. I refused to acknowledge them because I was so concerned about God loving me and I needed something to validate that love.

The final straw that broke the camel’s back was after I got divorced the second time. I left the church altogether. It just seemed to be too burdensome for me. I wanted my life back. I wanted my time back. I wanted my friends and family back. I wanted myself back. I had turned into someone else as my best friend told me. I was NOT the same Marla.

After I left, I had many talks with friends who were there before I joined the last church. They told me how judgmental I was and how I did not want to be around them. I sincerely apologized for this behavior. I would never want to treat anyone like that because of “religion.”

Why I left

After I got divorced I wanted to be free from everything. I felt like I was in bondage. I felt as if they, the church, were controlling me-and they were. Hindsight is 20/20.

I realized my gifts and talents were never appreciated. I was always looked down upon. I wasn’t accepted into certain groups that I wanted to be in. People who were my friends in the church are no longer my friends now.

Since I stopped attending church, I have had the best time of my life. I feel closer to God or Higher Being. I often get asked if I still believe in God. Yes, I do believe in God/Higher Being. However, at the same time, I don’t judge those who do not like I used to.

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Everyone matters

I believe we are all on this earth for a reason and a purpose. Everyone may use their gifts for different reasons. However, I believe that God/Higher Power loves all of us. I do not believe that God picks and chooses certain people to love because of their sex, who they’re married to, the color of their skin, if they’re married or not, and the list could go on. You don’t have to go to church to be a good person.

Since leaving the church I view the world differently. I don’t need someone to organize what I believe. I don’t believe in organized religion, and I have accepted that it is okay not to do so.

Also, there is no such thing as “church hurt.”

Marla J. Albertie, is a Certified Life and Career Coach, Author, and Blogger at www.theworkingwoman.co and owner of the Truth Speaks Group, LLC,a multi-media company dedicated to helping the working woman discover work-life harmony and not work-life balance. Marla loves to read, is a concert and comedy show junkie, and a cruiser for life. Follow Marla on Twitter @tspeakscoaching and IG @Tspeaksgroup

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