By Neal Stone
All good things, must come to an end.
This was the title of an e-mail I sent to my former pastor back in 1998. It would be one of many exchanges. In this e-mail I would try and explain how I was waking up to things and seeing life differently outside of God and church. He just couldn't understand and treated me as I was lost to the world and being deceived.
I have fought many battles in life and sadly most were started by believers in God. All my life I was taught to put my wished and desires aside and focus on others. Forget what I wanted and seek to be a servant of others. Help others but screw yourself. I was a dirty rotten sinner who deserved to burn in hell.
When I think back it was really a bad thing coming to an end, but then my e-mail title “All good things...” had a hidden meaning.
I knew in my heart that there had to be more to this life than wasting away as a Christian and seeking to fulfill someone else will and I ain't talking about Gods.
I spent my whole life inside the box and all I could see was for walls and nothing beyond. It wasn't that I couldn't see clearly, I was just taught not to look. At times I was even threatened if I even thought about doing something outside of church or with non-Christians. I would go to movies and feel ashamed.
No Jesus, know Peace... Know Jesus, no peace... But then in 1998 I got my first place on my own. Just me and no one else. It was then the breakdown would begin. At 33 yrs old I realized my life was nothing and I had not lived at all. As the darkness lifted from my eyes and I began to see past the walls and see what was out there my life started to change. At first it was for the worst as I had to define who I was as a person and this led me into a downward spiral as I became a person I did not like. Mostly because of th bitterness of the truth as well as my desire to rebel a little and spread my wings. I became a real jerk. At this time my teeth were broken and rotting due to a gum disease that runs in my family. I was 130lbs with bad teeth and not very well liked or desired be anybody. I would cover my mouth when I spoke or laughed. It was a sad state of life I was in.
Eventually I would work through this. But not till after I lost a few friends and broke my heart a few times. I would go through a range of emotions as I began to experience life and learn things I should have learned as a teenager. Yeah, at 33 yrs old I was mentally 15. All because I was sheltered and “protected”. My parents never prepared me for life. They actually expected me to live with them for the rest of my life as one of their kids. I had to teach myself life skills that should have been taught when I was growing up.
I won't go through all the details of my darkest period in my life. But feel comfort knowing I made it through and became a better person. It was at this time I would share e-mails with my former pastor titled “All good things...”.
The title actually comes from an episode of Star Trek the next generation. The final episode where Picard is yanked back and forth through the present, future as past as I too have been dealing with.
It was in the end when he faces Q that he was able to save himself and others by seeing all the possibilities and beyond the box. I related to that final scene as I too finally in my life have seen the possibilities of what I can become and in so doing I saved myself.
It is now ten years later and I now live happily married to a good wife, a great home and a nice piece of property and not to mention a great smile thanks to a decent job with medical/dental benefits. I even have a great job now. My life is restored and I have gone beyond what has been expected of me. I plan to keep going too. :) Did I mention our two cars and motor home? :) I will admit my life isn't perfect but it is nowhere near the hellish crap it was ten years ago. I went from poor and alone to healthy and with lots of friends and co-workers who look up to me. I get to be that co-worker people love to work with and enjoy seeing coming because I will somehow brighten their day. :) ROCK ON! I am always told 'You rock Neal!” and so “Neal Rocks!” has become my tag-line which is funny as my last name is Stone so it fits. LOL
The only sad part is all my Christian associates who are sad because I place value on these and not on God or treasures in heaven.
All my life I was taught to focus on the things of God and that its OK to be poor, single with a dead end job and living with your parents (at age 33) as long as you were serving the Lord. I feel so sad for people who still believe that crap.
All good things do come to and end, but other good things can follow if you seek them out. Being an ex-Christian doesn't have to be a bad experience nor does it mean I live a life of horrible sin as I was also taught in church. As hard as it can be, you can move on and become a better person.
I now many reading this story have had hard experiences because of similar things happening in their lives. Don't let it get you down or make you bitter. Prove the Christians wrong and show them you can be more joyful and happier than they are.
No Jesus, No Peace... Know Jesus, Know Peace... WRONG!!!!
No Jesus, Know Peace, Know Jesus, No Peace... CORRECT!!!! Just go to any church and look at all the people who have no peace in their lives. It amazes me the chaos Christians live with.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)