I lost God about two summers ago. You could say that religion peaked in my life that year, but I guess it doesn't make sense that I lost God the more I dove into Christianity. If I had to choose somewhere to begin the story of my fall from grace, I guess I'd have to start with my childhood. While most of my friends fell asleep to "Goodnight Moon," my father and I shared a different bedtime routine — "The Children's Bible." After five years of that book, practically every person from Adam to Zechariah became ingrained in my brain.
So, I accepted God for a while. It wasn't until my family moved to Georgia that I began to want God more. So my little fourth-grade-self begged until my father finally agreed to drive me around every Sunday until we found a church that I liked. I ended up settling on a super well known church nearby. My dad was upset that I didn't enjoy the "black church" that we visited, until he realized that for the life of me, I could not understand their dialect.
I got involved, became a good Christian girl and memorized my Scripture. A million "therefore we are the ambassadors of Christ" and four years later, I found myself on the hospitality team for a week long youth retreat we held for churches all over the South. My job was to greet campers with a smile, give them tours and be available 24/7 for anyone who was lost or just wanted someone to talk to. There were always people who seemed to hang outside the general group, and my job was to draw them in and make them comfortable.
It's crazy how a simple "Whatcha doing?" on a Monday afternoon could turn into eating behind food trucks together on Wednesday to sneaking out at 2 a.m. on Friday to have one last tearful conversation before they headed back to whatever state they came from. I spent most of the week walking up to complete strangers and just starting conversations. I loved every second of it. Running around socializing, talking with people from Tennessee and sneaking peeks at those hot high school boys from Florida.
On the last day of this retreat, we were in small groups when I brought up how hot some of the retreaters were. All I got were looks of disbelief and silence. An entire group of girls, and no one said a thing. It was like I said a forbidden word. I thought it was weird, but then it got weirder after group time. My team leader pulled me aside and had a long talk with me about how ungodly it was to think about guys like that at my age. For the first time since fourth grade, I thought of church as an ugly place.
After the retreat, I began to notice the other faults in my church. I heard my lead pastor say, "I discovered the formula for gay people." Yeah, right then and there I decided that it was my cue to leave. After weaning off the Sundays with "I have homework" and "I stayed up late last night," I was able to escape their God.
I wouldn't say that I hate God altogether. I still think I have a soul, and I still value that super friendly Christian greeter attitude, which to this day still helps me socialize with strangers in line at Starbucks. But even though I value certain Christian beliefs, I truly can't bring myself to commit to it.
Now, I find myself parallel with the earthly god, Elon Musk. It's a simulation centered faith. We both believe that we're just complicated simulations put together by an experimenting god. I'm actually that glad I lost God, because to be honest with you, if you were to compare how happy I was at different points of that week-long retreat, you'd find that I was happier acting on my own personality. I enjoyed carrying organic conversations that came naturally, rather than be limited to the guidelines that God set out for me.