New Year's Eve, I was at home getting ready to go out and my mom was watching a Lifetime movie on TV. The movie was about a Christian mother and her homosexual son and the mother's struggles to try to "cure" her son against his wishes. During the movie, I told my mom, "Movies like this make me wonder how you and Dad would react if [my sister] Kim or I were to come out as homosexual, or if we changed our religion or something." She responded, "Well, you basically did. You never go to church anymore, and I wish you would." And that was really all I needed to push me to the next level. I just came out with it--"Mom, that's just it. I am not a Christian anymore. I don't believe in any of it."
She looked at me with disapproval and said that it was my choice, but that I should go to church with her and my dad and read The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. She said that I was "missing out" and that going back to church would fill my needs. She doesn't understand that I'm not missing anything in my life by not believing in God. I hope understanding will come in time.
Today, the secular Meetup group I belong to had our monthly meeting and I went. I came home a few hours after my parents returned from church and my mom asked where I had been, and it was refreshing to be totally honest with her. Rather than say, "Out for coffee with friends," I told her about the group and the new friends I've made there. She was again disapproving as she asked if we all don't believe in God, and I can't help but get the feeling that she'd rather not know such groups exist and that her former missionary daughter belongs to one. My mother has said in the past that she thinks non-Christians don't belong in this country...her beliefs are being challenged now that she has one living in her house.
I have not told my dad yet. I'm sort of hoping that my mom will tell him for me. If she doesn't, I will eventually. I will say that it feels really good not hiding anymore.
As for my Josh McDowell project, I'm not getting very far. I started reading the first chapter of Evidence a few weeks ago and have not picked it up since. I think I should start with Answers to Tough Questions and use Evidence as more of a reference. Right now I'm reading Dan Barker's book Godless and loving it. His story is very similar to my own.