Fallen Faith

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
this story is about a boy who has very orthodox parents and struggles with his faith. something that occurred in his life has made him question his faith. there are people who come into his life who are able to help him and people who understand what he has been through. this short story is in the point of view of the main character and is written through journal entries.

warning:
this story may be offensive to people of the christian faith. nothing in this story is meant to hurt or offend anyone. there are also graphic scenes that you should be wary of. i hope you enjoy this story and sorry in advance if anyone takes offense to anything that is in this story.

Submitted: August 02, 2016

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Submitted: August 02, 2016

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Backstories

Protagonist: Matthew Carmichael  

Matthew Carmichael was born on December 27th, 1998. He was born in Alexander, Maine, which is a small town. Matthew’s parents are Elijah and Grace Carmichael. His parents are Christian and extremely religious. From a young age Matthew could remember reciting scriptures from the bible, praying before every meal, and waking up at 5:00 A.M, every morning on Sunday for early service at church. Religion was an important part of Matthew’s life, because it was the only thing  everyone in his family could agree on. God  was their lord and savior. Matthew has an older brother, David. David is away on a missionary trip in Japan and has been there for two years now. David and Matthew were close when they were younger, but as David grew older he drifted away.

 

Matthew is tall and has a slender body with bright green eyes. His eyes shone with life but underneath they were as dull as could be. He goes to a prestigious Christian Academy high school with more judgmental eyes than you could count. Everything that was not perfect was frowned upon. The Headmaster was known for being the holiest person alive. People were so intimidated that they held their breath as he walked by. Having to walk on eggshells at school and deal with his orthodox parents, Matthew stayed secluded. He woke up every morning, prayed, went to school, prayed again, came home, prayed, prayed for being alive to pray, ate dinner, prayed, and went to sleep but not before praying. This cycle went on for 17 years of Matthew’s life. Matthew did have friends but the only thing they would talk about was the bible of course. Along with clarifying any misconceptions that would occasionally come up in conversation. His parents were not involved in his life as well. They were always at brunches and dinners with the deacons and deaconess of the church. Grace and Elijah are the worship leaders and they spend majority of their time in the church. Recently Matthew has not been to church as much as he use to. Everyone thinks that church is this holy place, but in reality there are as many imperfections as there are sinners. From a young age Matthew was a joyful little boy. He played with children from the church and he even was in Boy Scouts. Matthew never told his parents or anyone for that matter what happened to him at church. The place where you are suppose to preach the gospel and be covered by the grace of God.

 

Ever since that day Matthew didn’t feel normal anymore. He questioned his faith and everything he was raised to know. God wasn’t with him when he needed him the most and that impacted Matthews’ life. He doesn’t want to rely on anyone because he knows they would only judge him including his parents. His feelings contradict his religion and Matthew doesn’t even know if these feelings are true. Waking up every morning putting on a fake facade is starting to drain Matthew physically, emotionally, and now spiritually. It’s Matthew's turn to face his reality and not worrying about those who are around him.




 

Ally: Headmaster Joel Francis Foster

Joel Francis Foster was born on August 13th, 1961. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the Headmaster of Devotion Christian Academy. Joel has never known his parents. He spent his adolescent life in a local orphanage. There were many people who took care of him and showed him the love his parents never did. The other children in the orphanage were not as accepting as the adults were. Joel was often teased and picked on by the others. There was a man in particular that could make Joel feel better and that was Steven Tyler. He was the leader of a church and would take Joel with him everyday to escape the brute from the children. Joel loved going to church especially with Steven. That’s how Joel was introduced to Jesus Christ. From that point and time Joel knew he wanted to become like Steven. He saw how much of an impact he had on church folk and the community. Steven was Joel’s role model. There were times when Joel would think about his paternal parents and wonder if there was something wrong with him. Then he would just pull out his bible and read scriptures and that would always make him feel wholesome. As the years went on the children in the orphanage started to mature and didn’t tease him anymore. Joel tried his best to recruit the other orphans to join the church but they were not interested.

 

Church was where he could feel at peace. There was no doubt that Joel was going to open his own school. During his adulthood he was able to attend a Christian university and graduate with all honors. He went back to the same church and found Steven and decided to shadow him to start his career. There were so many good times spent inside of that church and then there were strange times. Steven was very friendly especially with the younger congregation. Occasionally Joel would notice children enter and leave Steven’s office. They would always leave differently than they entered. Joel not once  questioned Steven that day.

 

Adversary: Priest Abraham Jenkins

Abraham Jenkins was born on October 31st, 1971. He was born in Alexander, Maine. His mother was Ava Jenkins and his father was Peter Jenkins. Abraham’s mother was not in his life. She left one day and never came back. That put a big toll on his father which resorted him to drink. Peter would get so drunk every night he would abuse Abraham; physically, emotionally, and even sexually. Abraham could remember his father beating him and then sending him to his room. At exactly 11:58 P.M. his father would enter. Abraham always stayed silent and stared out of his window, watching the glistening moon. He could hear his father’s belt unbuckle and his zipper unzipping. “Make papa feel good,” was the same thing he heard before it happened. Tears streamed down his face as the bed creaked. The door shut and he heard the fading footsteps of his father. As Abraham grew older he met many people throughout his life. Mostly because DHS finally found the abuse within his household. From there Abraham has been in and out of different foster care centers. At the age of 10 Abraham was adopted by a family of three. His new mother, new father and his older brother. Abraham was able to get a new family but he was never able to completely forget his past. That was baggage that he would carry for the rest of his life. The family was very strict and religious. Abraham was now on a schedule and had to follow rules and do chores. This was very different for Abraham and sometimes too much. Eventually Abraham became accustomed to his new lifestyle and he has become friendly with his older brother. Surprisingly they were able to get along. They spent a lot of time together and became really good friends.

 

The past of Abraham caught up to him and not in a good way. He has devoted his life to Christianity but to a certain extent. Abraham’s mind is still stuck in the past, replaying all of the memories that he wants to forget. He portrays to be so holy in front of everyone when he is the most damaged person. He often spends time with his worship leaders Grace and Elijah as well as Matthew. Being a Priest comes with great difficulties, but being a broken Priest comes with greater difficulties.


 

January 1, 2015

 

Journal entry 1,

 

I’ve been in my room for two hours now. I decided not to go to the annual New Year's party at church. I can’t be in the same room as him and pretend that everything is fine. I hate who I’ve become. I am so confused and I don’t know what to do. I can’t take it anymore and praying is not working. God wasn’t there when I needed him so it doesn’t matter now. I thought writing in this journal would make me feel better about everything but all I feel is worse. I was expecting revival this year but I’m sitting in my own misery. I don’t know what to say anymore. I hope that I’ve interested you with my life. I think I’ll just go to sleep. Have a good night and don’t let the demons bite.

 

~ Matt


 

January 8th, 2015

 

Journal entry 2,

 

Sorry for not writing you in awhile, this is new to me. There was so much that happened in the past seven days. My mom volunteered me to help Priest Jenkins clean out his office. I don’t know why, he is the tidiest person that I know. I think it is just an excuse to get me to talk to him. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been in a confessional. I don’t trust him, not after what he did to me; and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I tried to get out of going but of course she kept going on and on about how helping is what God wants us to do.

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

 

I don’t understand the purpose of prayer. It’s not like they are ever answered. If my parents found out I felt this way they would baptised me until I couldn’t say “I Love God” anymore. Anyway back to the last seven days. Like I said on the 3rd my mother practically forced me to help clean Priest Jenkins’ office. It was weird because we were the only ones that were in the church. He asked me to move some boxes from his office to the storage closet but I really didn’t understand why he couldn’t do it on his own. The boxes for one were not heavy and the storage closet was only like three doors down from his office. Anyway, I placed the boxes in the closet and then I felt someone breathing on the back of my neck. I turned around and there stood Priest Jenkins with a smirk on his face. Memories replayed in my mind. That was when I knew it was time to leave. “Um, Priest Jenkins I think all of the boxes are placed in storage. If it is alright with you can I leave?” He stared at me with those oh so holy eyes. “That’s fine, oh and thanks for all the help. Matthew.” I left and was suppose to come straight home but I felt a little rebellious that day. I went to my friend Jonathan's house. He was the only non religious friend that I have. It was a funny story how we met. I don’t want to bore you with that story today, so I’ll save it for another day. Long story short we watched TV MA movies and ate a whole bag of cheese doodles. The whole bag and I loved every bit of it. I know when I get home I am going to be in a rude awakening; so I’ll just enjoy these last few minutes. Not worrying about church, my parents, and most importantly Priest Jenkins. I’ll see you tomorrow and hopefully I won’t be in too much trouble.

 

~ Matt

 

\January 9th, 2015

 

Journal entry 3,

 

Hello friend, I told you I was going to write to you the next day. I also told you I was in a rude awakening when I got home yesterday, which did happen. I’m grounded and not just the normal you don’t get to use your phone and stay in your room grounded. I can’t go anywhere besides school, church and home. I was grounded before but only once and it was because David and I spray painted our dog at the time, Trixie red. We were in so much trouble that dad didn’t even know what to do. He just took the dog from us and we have never had a pet since. Anyway since I’m prisoner in my own home this is the perfect time to talk about Jonathan. It was three years ago when we met. It’s the funniest thing ever. I was walking home from church, of course, and then I saw this kid at the playground laying on a bench. I know you may not think it is strange for someone to be laying on a bench, but he didn’t have any clothes on and he seemed to be sleeping. I went over to him and did the Godly thing and tried to make sure he was alright. Well, he was stoned. All of a sudden he was laughing hysterically and then he called me his aunt Betty. I couldn’t just leave some stone naked kid on a bench in a park, so I took him to the church. And don’t ask how I got him there. That is a whole nother story on its own. Anyway I knew there wasn’t going to be anyone there because I was the one who was last there. As soon as we entered I set him down on a pew he started shaking like he was going through an exorcism. I didn’t know what was happening I thought he was going to some type of withdrawn, so I tried to approach him and he jumped up and yelled “Why you would bring me to such a place? Of all the places in the town you bring me to a church? Geez, for all of that you could have let me die on the park bench.” I was so stunned that all I could do was stand there. All I could think was “Is this guy serious?” Then he walked out of the church. But mind you he still didn’t have any clothes on. I think he noticed that too because within  twenty seconds he came back. “Um, do you think maybe you could give me something to wear?” I smirked and walked in the back and gave him a blanket and then went to the box in the storage closet where we keep extra clothes for the homeless or for people who need them. “Thanks. Bathroom?” I pointed to the left. He just nodded. He came out of the bathroom and I asked him “What were you on?” “Stuff,” was all he said. “Look, God can heal you from any and all of your problems. All you have to do is-” “Don’t you start that holy ish with me! I don’t need some goody two shoes “Christian” telling me nothing. So look, thanks for the help but I have things to do.” “Wait, what’s your name? I’m Matthew. Matthew Carmichael.” “Jonathan. Just Jonnathan.” Ever since that day we have been good friends. I don’t know how myself. He is the only non religious friend that I can truly say I have. He is the only person that I told what happened to me to. He is the only one that I trust. Anyway, I have to go my mother is calling me for dinner and it’s my turn to pray. Yay me another day another prayer.

 

~ Matt



 

January 15th, 2015

 

Journal entry 4,

 

Today was the first day back to school. If you didn’t know, which you didn’t my school likes to take a month off for winter break. They say we need to spend that amount of time to repent for our sins and honor God, like we don’t do that everyday. The first day back after the break was draining. They made us recite three passages of the bible. It was starting to feel like a cult but this is the life my parents wanted my brother and I to live. Mr. Parker, the English teacher assigned us partners and we have to create a project on how much we love God, basically. Not really, but we have to find misconceptions of the bible and then use the bible to find out why those misconceptions are actually proven. I honestly don’t understand the project, why can’t there be other opinions about Christianity. It seems like we always have to prove that what we believe is true when in reality this is not everyone’s truth. That’s why I like Jonnathan. He is the most atheist person I know, the only atheist person I know. Throughout the whole day I just stayed to myself because this year I can’t take all of these people who think the are so holy. I was upset with the partner that I was paired with. Kevin, he is one of those annoying Christians that make you tune them out after awhile. He thinks that he is a disciple and everyone in the school makes him believe he is one. He preaches that God has sent him to save people's souls. I particularly didn’t like him because, really, of all people why would God choose him. No offense but I would envision someone, I don’t more, suitable. Maybe someone like Headmaster Foster. He is the only one that has the same dislike for Kevin as me. He notices his little facade and every time Kevin start talking his mess he sends him into his office. And that is not a place where you want to be unless it is for good reason. I’ve only been in that office twice and the first time it was because I won some award. I was so scared when I first went but I actually like the Headmaster. I think we have some sort of connection, but not in some freaky kind of way. I just know that there is something. Anyway, Kevin made it final that I was basically in charge of the whole project, meaning I was doing the whole thing. It’s funny how a disciple can’t even do his own work. I’ve had enough of being used and that’s exactly what I told the teacher. And that can explain the second time I went to the Headmaster’s office. That time too is for another story, but I will say Headmaster Foster and I maybe good friends for now on.

~ Matt


 

January 30th, 2015

 

Journal entry 5,

 

It’s been almost two weeks since I last wrote you. There is a lot to catch up on. I’ve been in the Headmaster’s office about six more times since the first two. Surprisingly he is a great person. I knew there was this sort of connection we had. Is it weird that the “principal” of the school has a relationship with one of their students? Well I don’t think so. Besides Jonathan, he is someone that I can talk to. He is very insightful especially when I told him about the complications I was having involving my faith. He was very understanding because he said that he went through a similar situation when he was younger. For some strange reason I am starting to have these weird dreams. I wanted to ask my parents about it but I knew they wouldn’t listen and shoo me away, so I just decided to write a letter to my brother. Even though we have drifted apart, we still are brothers.

 

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Dear Dav,

I know that we haven’t been close for the past four years and I’m sorry that I didn’t say anything sooner. I miss our relationship that we had. How we could talk about any and everything. You know how mom and dad are, that’s why you left. I’m having some trouble and I need you. I need your support and I need your brotherly love. I think I may be falling from the “Christian” mindset. I don’t know if this is something that I want to commit to anymore. I feel that I am living the life of someone else. I want to be my own person and I don’t want to be mom and dad’s puppet anymore. Anyway, enough about me. How is Japan? How’s Susam? I didn’t tell mom and dad about the missionary thing not being real either. I’m not a terrible person. They still talk highly of you and make it seem that, what happened to you didn’t happen. I just can’t wait until you come back. I need another person in my life that is not some extremist Christian. Oh yeah, Headmaster Foster and I have become close. He’s a cool guy and I think I’m going to introduce him to Jonathan. I can’t wait to see how that goes especially knowing how much he hate church people; but I think it will be different this time. Headmaster Foster is a lot different than everyone thinks, well anyway just come home soon and tell Susan I said hi, I can’t wait to finally meet her. Did you ever figure out a date you were going to tell mom and dad? I wish you luck and have as much fun as you can because when you get here you already know it’s all of going to end.

Love you,

~ Matt


 

February 1st, 2015

 

Journal entry 6,

 

It’s communion Sunday and I am literally bored to death. For some reason ever since I sent that letter to my brother I stopped caring. Like yesterday my mom once again said that she volunteered me to help Priest Jenkins. I was so fed up at that point that I told her no and left. I spent the night at Jonathan’s house and just showed up to church today. I almost didn’t come today, but I have too much respect for my parents. I decided to sit in the back rather than my usual seat in the front. I think this is the day I will tell my parents and this is the day I am going to make them listen. I could see my parents staring at me from their peripheral. I swear if looks could kill. I was put out of my misery with this repetitive service. Every communion it is the same spiel about finding acceptance and get acquainted with God. They practically force people to walk to the alter. Twenty minutes before the service ended I left and I made sure that my parents saw me. I want them to notice that I was changing; but before I could reach the doors of course Priest Jenkins stepped in. “Oh look, Matthew has decided to rededicate his life to the lord. Let's give him a round of applause as he is ushered into my office.” I was completely and utterly shocked. Why would he do this? I had no choice but to follow the deacons and deaconesses into the office. After church service I sat waiting for the Priest. He came in and closed the door, I didn’t feel too comfortable so I stood. “So Matthew, you want to rededicate your life. Let us pray.” “No, cut the act you know what I was trying to do. No disrespect but what do you want?” “You know what I want.” With that he grabbed my arm which caused the rack of pencils and pens to fall. Before I could react someone entered the room. Thank god. I used that time to quickly leave the office and vow to never and I mean never enter that room again. I sped out of the church making sure to avoid my parents and went straight home. I need more time to think about things, so I may not tell my parents today. Maybe tomorrow I will see Jonathan after school. I’ll write you soon. In the meantime have a good day!

 

~ Matt


 

February 7th, 2015

 

Journal entry 7,

 

His letter has finally come. I know you are wondering what happened when I came home after my little tantrum but that is not important at the moment. I finally have David’s letter and I can’t wait to open it.

 

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Hey bro,

I’m the one who should be sorry. I am the eldest in this situation. I just didn’t want to drag you into what I was going through. I wanted to protect you from all of the things that I was introduced to. I’ve been thinking about you guys all the time. I know that I am far away but this is something that I had to do, for me. I would have hoped that mom and dad would have gotten better but I guess people don’t change overnight. The best advice I can give you is to just pull through, you only have less than a year left and then you are set free. It is beautiful here in Japan. One day I want to bring you here and I can show all of the best places. Susan is great. I talk about you to her everyday, she can’t wait to meet you. She Is so nice, pretty, kind, compassionate; the list can go on and on. I don’t know when I will be coming back but I will give you my number so you can contact me anytime. Don’t hesitate to call, text, or message me. Don’t get in too much trouble and just have fun and don’t be you for someone else be you for youself. #645-735-7364

 

Your Big Bro,

Dav

 

I’m happy that I am finally able to rekindle a relationship with my brother and he is right. I should live for myself and that is exactly what I am going to do, starting with my Abraham and yes I called him by his first name. He gets no respect from me and I don’t feel sorry about. But first I have to establish a plan.

 

Step 1: Find a suitable friend to be an accomplice

Step 2: Secure a place to stay (Just in case things get ugly)

Step 3: Write what I want to say

Step 4: Make sure parents are in a happy mood

Step 5: Be free

 

You already know the suitable friend and of course that is Jonathan. I need to inform him of what is actually happening.

 

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Step 1: Find a suitable friend to be an accomplice

Step 2: Secure a place to stay

Step 3: Write what I want to say

Step 4: Make sure parents are in a happy mood

Step 5: Be free

 

Step 1 and 2 are complete. I think I’ll just skip step 3. I haven’t seen my parents in about four hours. I think they want to give me the space that I need and I am happy that they are noticing. I need to get this over with, so I walked downstairs and saw something that I could never unsee. It was my mom, dad and no other than Abraham Jenkins. They were together and I mean all together. “Honey, what are you doing here. I thought you went out?” I just left and went back into my room. I packed my clothes and texted Jonathan.

 

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Within two minutes he pulled up and I left the house. “Where do you think you are going? Get back here!” My parents yelled as I left the house. He on the other hand just stood there and smirked. My mother was covering herself with a blanket and I couldn’t even look at her anymore. I hopped into Jonathan’s car and we let. That was the end of that day and the end of Matthew.

 

~ Your friend Matt

 

February 21st, 2015

 

Journal entry 8,

 

It’s been two weeks since the incident and I haven’t even been to school. Joel was so concerned that he came to Jonathan's house. I ended up telling him what happened and he looked as distraught as I was. I never knew my parents were living a double life and with Abraham of all people. This is just too much to take in. All this time my brother and I have been basically brainwashed into being these “perfect” people when the whole time our parents are the ones are the sinners that they always spoke of. When Jonathan found out he was lost for words and that never happens. I guess everything does happen for a reason. I told David what happened and he wanted to fly back immediately. I told him that I was fine and to enjoy his time away from all of the drama. I don’t know how he dealt with it for as long as he did. I am physically and mentally drained. Staying with Jonathan and talking to Joel on a daily basis has helped me understand myself better. I thank them for being my support system when my parents couldn’t even be my parents. I am finally free but I don’t think this is the type of freedom that I was looking for. My problem is that I keep getting confused on what I want and what I need and I learned that from Joel. I just don’t know anymore. I’ll go back to school in two more weeks. That’s enough time to somewhat situate my life. Until then farewell.

 

~ Matt


 

March 2nd, 2015

 

Journal entry 9,

 

I went back home but no one was there. I would have at least thought my parents would be staying up looking for me. I guess I was wrong. Jonathan already said that I can stay with him as long as I need and Joel has even offered his guest bedroom if I wanted it. School is school and David has been calling me everyday to get updates but nothing has changed. I don’t know what was going on myself and I don’t think I will ever understand. Maybe it is something that I am not suppose to understand. All I know was when I looked into Abraham’s eyes that night he seem kind of different. I don’t know what that means exactly but I do know it wasn’t his usual self. For some reason I have the feeling that my parents know a lot more than they let on. There are too many accusations and little to none information. I guess I have finally been granted what I asked for. There’s not much else to say but goodbye my friend. It was fun while it lasted. I don’t know when I’ll write again. Stayed tuned for the rest of my story to begin.

 

~ Matthew


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