I stopped believing in God about two year ago.
It happened the summer after I came out. You could say that God's parting gift to me, before He died inside my mind, was to allow me to forgive and accept myself as gay that winter prior. But the death of God that summer came as a result of finally being willing to accept that I had questions. If I want to be honest with myself, and I do, I started questioning the validity of the Mormon Church back in high school. But I was afraid of the natural outgrowth of that line of thought (loss of family, loss of friends, loss of faith, etc.). I had even dared ask if God was real. But those questions were buried in fear and left forgotten in some dark corner of my mind, just waiting for the day when I was no longer afraid.
When I finally allowed myself to doubt the existence of God, it was met with such fear. Suddenly the whole world was emptied before me. There was no supreme Sculptor behind the craggy mountains and wide desert around me. There was no sense behind the religions of the world. There was just randomness and madness in the world. Those feelings welled up inside me and brought on a sense of dread. No God meant the world was doomed to never being redeemed from its awful state of existence.
Such dreary thoughts, right? Right.
But then something wonderful, something precious happened. I felt like I was freed. Freed from some monstrous tyranny that had caused so much pain, sorrow, and despair in my life. Suddenly the dread that I had felt at the thought of there being a lack of a sculptor that carved the mountains was transformed into a profound sense of wonder and awe at the forces of nature and the sheer beauty that exists around me. It was as though the sky took on a deeper hue of blue! Everything seemed to have a deeper richness of being than before! I realized then that I was seeing the world around me as it was.
It was beautiful!
Since then, I still have moments of sorrow for not believing in God. There are days where I want to believe that some great Judge will right the wrongs that I see around me. That some great Father will gather up the homeless, heartbroken, and rejected into his arms. That some Mother will nurse those that cry out in pain, sorrow, and despair. That some Being knows all of me personally, distinctly, and lovingly. That the darkness of the unknown is pierced through with Knowing by the Divine.
It is in these moments that I envy the believers. That I briefly wish to be counted among them.