I remember it like it was yesterday. The first time I ever doubted the existence of God. I was sitting in my Physics class in high school, and suddenly became overwhelmed with doubt. It was so strong that I had to go to the bathroom to have what I now know was a panic attack. It was a peculiar place for me to be as I grew up with a really strong faith.
I loved going to church as many times as I could, and reading the Bible. I was very vocal about my faith and didn’t care who knew I was a Christian. But something happened that day. That day I almost stopped believing. It was a scary place. The things that I had been taught and believed my entire life were now called into question.
For weeks, I wrestled with this feeling. I didn’t tell anyone because I was embarrassed and ashamed about what I was going through. I just kept it all to myself and spiraled into a vat of fear and anxiety.
Questions popped in my head,
“Is God real?”
“If he isn’t real what will happen when I die?”
”Would I really just not exist?”
These questions plagued me on the inside as tried to keep up a normal facade on the outside. I spent countless hours praying, asking God to give me a sign that he was real. Over the course of the next year, I went back and forth about whether I believed God was real. I believed just enough to not do anything too crazy, but I also doubted just enough to question my existence.
If God wasn’t real that meant that I had devoted my life to nothing, and missed out on experiences that I otherwise could have partaken in. If God wasn’t real, I no longer needed this idea of grace.
I mean how could I? I would have based it on a counterfeit story I had been raised to believe but that still would have been a lie. I stopped going to church as often, which was easy because I was in college and could make excuses. I stopped spending time with the Lord.
It wasn’t until I had a pretty scary experience that I decided that I needed to stop being lukewarm. Either I was going to trust or I wasn’t. Coincidentally the day after my decision, I invited my roommate who was a Chinese International student to church. What was more interesting was that my church had been doing this “always be ready to share the word” thing so they would call random members up to give a 3-5 minute inspirational message.
Yeah, you guessed it. I was the person that Sunday. I got up and talked about trusting the Lord. No one knew the journey that I had just gone through to get to that place. That literally the night before I had just re-committed myself to God.
The crazy things is….no matter how many times I walked away from him, he was always there waiting for me to come back. He never stopped pursuing me. He never let go of me. Even in my weakest moments, God still gave me strength. Having that season where I doubted God really strengthened my faith.
I have been through the valleys and climbed mountains to get to where I am today. My relationship with God is all the more stronger for it. I lean and depend on him more easily now because I have a better understanding of what my life would be like if I didn’t have Christ.
I know the thoughts that would run through my head and the questions that would plague me. I found time and time again that Jesus was the answer. This was a leg of the race I’m running that was full of obstacles, a place where I wanted to quit. But, I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad I decided to rest in God and persevere for the rest of this journey that we are on.
I believe that in my lukewarm time, it was really a time when God gave me grace upon grace. When he protected me and guided me back to him. When he restored me.
So many times, Christians doubt but don’t feel like they truly have a safe place to share their doubts and fears. If you ever need someone to share your struggle with, feel free to contact me. I will listen, encourage, and pray for you. You are not alone.