I Used To Be An Atheist
If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you have probably come to discover I am a woman of faith. If you’ve read my blogs or have been around me, you have probably heard my story of how I discovered my faith. My life belongs to Jesus Christ and I will never hide that from anybody, but it hasn’t always been that way.
I grew up around God and church, but never understood anything that was taught to me in regards to Christianity. As I got into my teenage years, I had lots of different struggles, as most teenagers have. I got to such a point of depression that my faith in God started to dissipate. I had so many doubts. So many questions. And quite frankly, could NEVER believe in a God that I couldn’t see. I saw the world around me in all its brokenness and vastness, and came to the conclusion that there was not a God that created all of this.
But it is truly amazing how my depression, which caused my atheism, was the one thing that propelled me to discover that God is real.
I was desperate and hopeless, so I searched. I prayed. Hard. I cried out to God, wanting to know if He was real. It’s amazing how as I was doubting His existence, I was searching for Him. It reminds me of this verse:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
God wired us for eternity. There is something in each of us that longs to be loved, longs for purpose, fears death and loneliness, and has questions about life after death. I have discovered that each of those things have found an answer because of my faith in Jesus Christ.
I totally understand the perspective of people thinking I could just be a bible-thumping, Jesus freak. I understand because I used to be that person thinking that of Christians! I used to mock Christianity, cursed God, and used to hate church with a burning passion. But it is just incredible how God can take my past, forgive me, and give me a new life in Him. In the words of the Apostle Paul: “By the grace of God, I am what I am.”
Being a Christian is more than just reading the bible and going to church. It is about KNOWING Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t talk to God, that I don’t sense His presence, or that I don’t sense He is speaking to me in the quietness of my heart or through the power of His word the bible. This is all possible because Jesus Christ was resurrected- He lives now and forevermore!
The same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me. And that spirit is of the living God. This God is all things love. It’s what spurs me on to love other people. It’s what compels me to be kind. It’s what gives me the ability to be at peace with life, gives me joy, and gives me patience with people. Once again, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “by the grace of God I am what I am.”
As my days go by, my faith in God gets stronger. I have been following Jesus Christ for just over 6 years now. In these past six years, I have still doubted His existence. I have questioned His goodness and ultimately the bible. I have been terrified to follow Him, and scared out of my mind to walk into my future following Christ. But as I seek Him, He is faithful to guide me and help me through all my fears and questions. As I choose to obey His ways, He gives me the courage to follow Him even though I may lose my life in the process. People commend me for who I am, but in all honesty, don’t commend me. Commend God. Who I am is not who I was. Who I am is all thanks to the love of God that has transformed me from the inside out- in the words of Paul, “by the grace of God, I am what I am.”
As I seek God, study scripture, learn from teachers and pastors, hear life stories from people who are following Christ, listen to Christian scientists and philosophers, I am convinced more that life from a theistic point of view is what makes the most sense. It’s what we were made for. Does everything make sense when you follow Christ? No, not at all. I will live with unanswered questions for the rest of my life. But, things do make a whole lot more sense with God in the picture.
Besides my own life, I have witnessed people be changed and transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen broken hearts healed, people set free from past mistakes. Guilt and shame melt away. I have met people who have forgiven people who have done unimaginable things to them. I have met people that have had friends and family murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ, but yet still keep following Him. With all this said, no matter what the cost, persecution, or mockery, following Jesus is worth it because true freedom is found in Him, and heaven is only possible through knowing Him.
I used to be an atheist, and I must say, I am so thankful I’m not anymore.
“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…”
1 Corinthians 15:9,10a