There was a time when I was scared to death of how my family would survive financially. Being trained in one thing, pursuing one career, and all my experience in one field made me extremely nervous to leave the ministry. This fear was paralyzing. I honestly considered staying in the ministry as a closeted atheist as a means of survival. After all I was pretty good at it, successful even. Would I ever be as good at anything else as I was at preaching?
But thought of faking it everyday for the next 25-30 years just wasn’t palatable. I knew that if I was going to be able to change my mind, then I needed to jump ship while I still has some semblance of youth on my side.
I originally started off setting up a plan to slowly back away from Church work and find myself in a new career. However, as you well know, that got thrown under the bus as soon as the bitch who shall not be named tried to out me. In the long run, I think that turned out to be a positive thing.
During that transition, many of you reached out to me with the intention of helping my family pay some bills. I set up the Patreon account out of demand made by my readers to contribute financially to my family. That money has helped tremendously. Seriously, you have no idea how much your $5 and $10 donations impacted us.
For one thing, it helped my wife realized that kindness and generosity are not monopolized by religion. Plenty of non-believers were not only more generous than Christians, but they were also more understanding. I remember my wife being overwhelmed to the point of tears at that first deposit we made via Patreon. Even as recently as last week, we have relied on that money to make ends meet. While I just received the biggest paycheck of my life, we were so far behind on bills that we had little money left over. Just last week I used the Patreon account to help put gas in my car so I can drive around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to make a deal.
But now, we are caught up. We finally paid of Jenn’s surgery. We finally brought all our accounts up to date. We’ve finally paid off all our late fees. We even paid the mortgage a week early with that last check. And now we are on level footing. We don’t have hardly any money in the bank, but we also don’t have anyone (metaphorically) banging on our door demanding payment.
I get paid this Friday. We will budget our money accordingly. It’ll be tight, but I doubt it’ll be much different than what many of you are experiencing on a daily basis.
Life is beginning to look…normal…ish.
Do we need more money? Yes, but only in the sense that all of you would like more money. We are no longer in the desperate need that we once were. The struggles from here on out are now just typical daily life struggles.
You no longer should feel the need to contribute to my Patreon account. Any money that has already been donated to me this month (May) shall be forwarded to the Clergy Project. There are other atheist pastors out there that need it more than me. I can already think of a few TCP members that I wish I could tell you about. They NEED the money. I have a job. I’m good at my job. Ethically, I should no longer be living off the generosity of others. It’s time I became a giver instead of a receiver.
Work calls. I gotta run. I’ll write more later.