(CNN)–Dozens of believers gather on the lawn of a Baton Rouge family after their statue of the Virgin Mary appears to bleed. CNN affiliate WBRZ reports.
Editor's Note: Reba Riley is a graduate of 15,000 hours of Christian education, the Focus on the Family Institute and the Ohio State University. When she isn’t selling construction materials for a living, she’s writing a reverently irreverent memoir about Thirty by Thirty: 365 Days. 30 Religions. 1 Chance to Recover Faith by 30.
By Reba Riley, CNN
(CNN)–At 20, while studying for Christian ministry, I became a victim of "post-traumatic church syndrome."
The how isn’t as important as the what: My soul had grown obese with doubt, and I could no longer squeeze into my religion. Like every good Evangelical Poster Child, I had been raised with Believe-It-All theology (lest God spit me out of His mouth in disgust!), so when I chose to Believe-It-None I became God’s holy puke.
When faith is your whole identity, rejecting it is not unlike swan-diving into a bed of nails. It’s spiritual suicide; you’ll be forced attend a thousand little funerals for your shattered self, each worse than the last.
The pain is so brutal, so intense, that it’s easier to tell yourself lies: Faith isn’t important; I don’t need God; I can partition off my soul with demolition tape and tip-toe around the condemned site forever.
Except that eventually? I couldn’t play pretend.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.