2020: Deconstructing My Faith, Dealing with Depression, and Discovering Honesty

The Buildup

Asking the First Questions

  • Question 1: Original sin. One of the seemingly foundational tenets of my faith — the concept of “original sin” — was first on the stand for questioning. Original sin refers to the idea that since the “fall of man” in Genesis 3, every human being is born with an evil/sinful nature and is deserving of judgment and wrath from God. This idea was at the root of so much of my self-hatred, and I could no longer ignore it. I had a choice to make — I could start questioning and risk going down the “slippery slope” of doubt, or I could shove down my questions and risk being depressed for the rest of my life. For maybe the first time ever, I chose myself. And I started questioning.
  • Question 2: Hell. Quickly after breaking down original sin came questions about hell. Did God really send people to eternal conscious torment if they didn’t pledge allegiance set of beliefs or say the magic words (sinnner’s prayer) that only Christians have gotten right? I was always taught “God is love” but it was quickly followed by “….but he’s also just!” as an explanation for hell. For me, the idea of God being love and sending people to eternal torment could no longer coexist.
  • Question 3: Substitutionary atonement. This is a big one. Why did God need to kill Jesus in order to forgive us? Why couldn’t he just forgive? The idea that God had to have a blood sacrifice like a pagan deity demanding its subjects kill their children to avoid his inevitable wrath was suddenly not adding up. Since I was already doubting original sin, I had a lot of questions about if and why Jesus had to die.

George Floyd

As I marched in a Black Lives Matter protest, I was completely shocked to feel that somehow I was closer to God than I had ever been.

Settled in Uncertainty

  • Family/friends who already know about my journey: To all of you, I love you, and thank you for loving me unconditionally while giving me space to be honest.
  • Friends I haven’t seen in a while: I value the role each of you have played in my life. If this article has piqued your interest, I invite you to explore whether you have questions of your own in your faith journey.
  • Friends who resonate with a similar journey/feel exiled for asking questions about faith: There is light in the midst of deconstruction and mental illness and questioning. I’m here to offer space and friendship to you, not the answers. Feel free to reach out at abigail.j.womack@gmail.com — I would love to connect!

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Ice cream lover. Dog mom. Registered dietitian. Downtown HTX city dweller.

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Abbie Joy Womack

Abbie Joy Womack

Ice cream lover. Dog mom. Registered dietitian. Downtown HTX city dweller.

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