A Break from the “Christian Bubble” is What My Relationship with God Needed

I have lived practically all my life in what many like to call the “Christian bubble.” This means being enveloped by Christian teaching and Christian people, rarely interacting with secular society. From Pre-Kindergarten all the way through graduating college I have been in private Christian schooling, so most would say I’ve lived my life in the bubble. That would be fairly accurate.

I have loved growing up in Christian environments. I’ve learned so much about God and his Word, and I have been able to learn from many Christian examples and developed close friendships with other believers. I particularly loved the atmosphere at my college, William Jessup University.

But there has been side-effects.

The side-effects haven’t been what some people might expect: a compulsion for rebellion, hyper-conservative indoctrination, or a lack of knowledge about the “outer world.” But there has been a dangerous outcome otherwise: apathy.

I’ve realized that I have developed a large amount of social pressure towards Christianity over the years. This social pressure reached further than just a pressure to portray a Christian life. It was even a pressure to be internally genuine. A pressure that had developed at the back of my mind telling me “If you are not reading your Bible and praying daily, that is unacceptable. If you are not excited and passionate about God, that is unacceptable. More than that, you will likely end up going to hell.”

This summer in particular, I felt exacerbated about my subtle but continual decline of interest in Christianity and closeness to God over the past three or four years. I reached a point when I honestly stopped trying. Through my growing disinterest I had lived with a disturbing motivation at the back of my mind, “If you don’t at least try to read your Bible, you’ll be going to hell.” And at one point, I stopped listening to that voice. It seems ironic to say that my first step towards growth was to stop reading my Bible and stop caring, but that’s what it was. I had to let go of unhealthy motivations in order to develop the right motivations.

I have gone through the phase of letting myself not care for a couple of months, and now I’m beginning to care again. I find myself actually looking forward to church on Sundays instead of seeing it as an automatic routine. Now I crave listening to worship music as a way to seek encouragement from God, instead of guilt-tripping myself to put it on because “that’s what Christians do.” I find myself recognizing tangible areas of my life in which I need God’s help and direction, and seeking guidance and connection through prayer and scripture.

I’m beginning to experience a sense of freshness and rejuvenation in my relationship with God, but I don’t have it all figured out. If you’re struggling with a cycle of apathy and guilt, there is no one solution that will strengthen every person’s relationship with God. But don’t give up. Know that God knows how to get you back on track, and don’t ever forget that he loves you and forgives you through all of it. His invitations to relationship are not filled with guilt-trips.

In Christ’s love,

Megan

3 thoughts on “A Break from the “Christian Bubble” is What My Relationship with God Needed

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  1. A mentor of mine once said that in order to become an adult, you have to divorce your parents. I think for people like us who were raised in the church, we have to do the same thing with God. We have to figure out “who am I and what do I want?” And that can be a bit hard to do with Divine Bossypants always telling you how to be a good Christian in the back of your mind.

    God wants friends, not slaves, but in order to become his friend sometimes we have to walk away and become enough of a person on our own that we have something to contribute to the friendship, and so we can actually choose that friendship of our own free will rather than because its how we have always been. I went through a process a lot like that.

    I’m sure there are other ways, but this way is very real too. And you know what? It doesnt scare God one bit. We can walk as far as we want, because if we ever truly knew Him, then He is with us every step. He knows that this is just part of the Friendship, not an end to it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It is an important part of the process that those who have grown up believing often have to face. Sometimes we have to go through multiple phases like this and it can look different for anyone.

      I agree that God wants our true, autonomous selves. I like how you affirmed that “wandering” does not mean an end, it’s a time when God never leaves. I also like how you pointed out that this process of growth allows us in turn to have a more developed authentic self to offer into relationship with God.

      Great thoughts, thanks for sharing!

      Like

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