For the past few months I have been going to church because of my girlfriend Karen. We were really good friends before we started dating. Karen is a very devoted Christian and as her boyfriend I wanted to get to know her faith and become a believer like herself so I went to church. After six weeks, Karen broke up with me as one of the major deciding factor was because she was afraid that I was unable to convert. She was afraid I would pretend to be interested in Christianity until we got married, which at that point I would abruptly leave the church. I tried my very best to reassure her that would definitely not happen but she would not believe me. I don't truly blame her, as I have dated two previous girls before Karen, both of which were both anti religious thus I also became anti religious as well.
After Karen and I broke up, I told her that I would stop going to church as it reminded me of Karen too much. Two weeks after our break-up, I decided to give Christianity another chance. This was not for Karen but for myself. I was seeking peace as I didn't want my heart to ache for Karen anymore. I found this awesome church with excellent people, and surprisingly some of which are my old high school friends that I haven't spoken to in over 10 years! I started to become very interested in the faith and participated actively during bible study sessions, eagerly looking forward to each worship session, deeply praying to God, and read the bible with an open mind. I guess after the first session I was hooked!
In the past, I worked a lot with children in various jobs and was also a mentor and leader to them. I haven't done that line of work for many of years but I really did enjoy working with children. I've always told Karen that I did want to get teach and lead the children at church, and I felt like I could make a great positive impact at this church with my leadership skills and energetic personality. Thinking about this gave me hope that perhaps if Karen saw how dedicated to Christianity I was she might take me back so I continued to dedicate myself to Christianity up until the end of the summer.
A few days ago I got in touch with Karen. She has refused to speak to me since our breakup and so she doesn't know what I've been doing throughout my entire summer. We briefly exchanged text messages, and she said that she still does not see a future in our relationship. As much as it hurts, I accepted the fate that there is nothing more I can do to salvage our relationship and it was time to move on. I decided to try my very best to forget about Karen.
Yesterday, I went to my usual Friday bible study class and tomorrow is my usual Sunday worship. I originally intended that I would use these two final sessions to say goodbye to Christianity. Every time I think of anything to do with Christianity, I think of Karen. I feel as those two are attached to one another. Furthermore, I have a lot of questions and require a lot of deep Christian guidance to continue my journey. I am only close to a few people, none of which are Christians except for Karen. I am very private when it comes to deep personal issues such as religion and so it is very difficult for me to even talk to a pastor or strangers regarding my questions.
In my previous two break-ups, I was not emotionally effected very much. I am in my late 20s, my first girlfriend and I lasted 5 years, and my second lasted 6 years. As Karen and I were not dating for very long, I never thought it would hurt as much as it did as every part of my life was effected by the break-up with Karen. As a result, I don't know how to move on with my life. The pain I have felt after Karen broke up with me has been significantly more intense then all the pain my previous two ex's have brought onto me. I have been reading online to see how others deal with break-ups, and one strategy is to forget about your ex by removing the things that remind you of them. Unfortunately, for myself, one of these things is Christianity. Whenever I feel the warm surge of Christianity or the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart, I would be thinking of Karen.
I have the type of personality where once I become attached to someone, it will take a long time for me to become un-attached. In my other two relationships, I think it was easy for me to move on as during the final months we were just friends who happened to have history together instead of lovers. In other words, it just became inevitable for a break-up. In the case with Karen, we both really liked each other but Karen still decided that it would be best if we broke up. I guess perhaps why that is why this break up is hurting me so much.
I know that the obvious solution here would be to detach Christianity and Karen, but it isn't that simple for me. Christianity is one of the most defining features about Karen. Christianity made Karen become the girl who I fell in love with, and it becomes un-imaginable for me to separate Karen and Christianity.
My dilemma here is what should I do? I do enjoy going to church and learning more about Christianity, but at the same time doing so reminds me of Karen. I am trying my best to get over Karen by not thinking about her, but I feel that Christianity is one extremely defining feature about Karen therefore in my mind Christianity and Karen are tied together. Furthermore, I feel that I maybe coming close to the end of my Christian journey as I don't have anyone that I deeply trust that I can speak to in regards to answer my Christian questions except for Karen. I fear that as time progresses my heart will harden from Christ without guidance from church and Karen but at the same time I need to find a way to move on from Karen. What should I do?