I can't pinpoint when it started. Like my ability to remember things, my faith in God has diminished with age. Perhaps both are related to getting old. I don't know.
What I do know is that my faith, fostered first by a staunchly Catholic mother, has only recently been in question. Through all those years when I didn't go to church with any degree of regularity, I still held strongly to a belief in God. I even maintained a strong, unhealthy dose of guilt for not going to church regularly.
We baptized the first two in England in the Anglican Church. When I found out I was pregnant with Youngest, I upped the ante. I found an Episcopalian church run by an amazing priest, and I started attending regularly. We baptized Youngest in that church. And we started attending as a family nearly every Sunday, particularly pleased that they had introduced a children's service.
It felt wonderful to be back in the fold. But then the kids "aged out" of that service and it wasn't enough, so I switched to the 9 o'clock service, a family-friendly one without the grand pomposity of high services. Slowly, I let the older two and their dad out of going, and soon it was just me and Youngest going every so often. Until we mostly just stopped, partly due to the priest retiring and partly due to apathy and partly due to, I see now, a dwindling faith.
I used to pray nightly, even having my own set mantra in place to say before asking Him to take care of specific people in crisis.
I don't anymore. It feels artificial. It feels...not true.
Doubt has crept into every crevice of my mind and heart and, if I were to believe it exists, my soul as well. I will die and that will be that. Within 75 years, maybe less, everyone who might remember me will be dead. And it will be as if I was never here. And there is no there. "There" is nothing. Dirt. Decay. Energy force joining with other energy forces but no memory of who I was and what I had done and who I had loved.
I don't want to feel this way. I truly don't. I want to be a believer again. But I don't know how.