My conversion was a slow one. I spent a long time thinking things over and exploring. It wasn’t like a person shared the gospel with me and I accepted it on the spot. Seeds take time to grow.
I explored a bunch of different religions. I stayed pretty solid in my atheism. I’m a science and logic person. I don’t believe in things I cannot see, experience, or analyze.
READ part 2 of this blog series: Why I was atheist
I felt drawn to explore Christianity. I had explored other religions. This wasn’t much of a different approach. This was a major religion. This was also the religion and its people that fueled my atheism. I thought I could prove it wrong. It wasn’t logical to me.
I had a Christian friend I asked questions to. I had a million questions. I wanted to understand. I was heavily skeptical. I pondered these thoughts for months. I tried reading the bible to understand this Christianity thing – should I choose to be interested in it. I was more interested in proving it wrong. The historical factors tugged at me. Over time, my desire to prove it wrong turned more into considering that it might be right. Could it be true? If it were, why would God want anything to do with me? Months passed and I mulled through a forest of questions and meditation over all these things.
And then things were different. It was November of 2005. I experienced something that I didn’t expect that I didn’t know how to explain. I felt God. I felt his presence. And it was like I met someone. Almost like when you connect with someone’s energy and there’s this cord there you can’t scientifically prove, but it was so much stronger. I’m a facts and logic and science person. I’m not an emotional person. I wouldn’t call myself much of a spiritual person, but I’ve always believed in energy and vibes and auras and intuition. And I believe in those things because I feel them, undeniably felt deep in my core… a connection. This presence… it was God. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t bottle this presence up and analyze it in a lab. The only way I know to explain it is it’s like love. We all know love is real. Not only is it real, but it’s a powerful force. We can feel it. We know deep within us when we love someone. Yet it’s not a physical structure in front of us that we can fully explain. But it’s real. Love is real. And it was like that… that kind of strong, that kind of valid, that kind of real. It was experienced. I felt God’s presence and I knew he was real. It’s that simple and that unexplainable and that powerful and that consuming and that convincing. It is that. It’s real. It’s a force that can’t be contained or fully comprehended, especially as a brand new believer. But with that undeniable presence I felt, I believed.
Once I came to know without doubt that Jesus is real, the decision to follow him was a compelling one. I didn’t know if he’d want me, but I knew I wanted him. I became a believer. I became a Christian.
I believed and decided to follow. To me, that’s what makes a person Christian. I prayed, though I wasn’t very good at it. I tried to read the bible, though it confused me greatly. I did not have a church or go to church for over a year after becoming a believer. Part of me wanted a church and part of me didn’t. I tried to be more Christ-like, though my understanding of him and his ways were very introductory. I stumbled, but I continued the walk. And with time, I grew.
READ part 4: Why I’m still Christian (nearly 14 years later)