A Skeptic’s Salvation: Finding God in the Struggle

Before I trusted Christ

I was raised in a family of 5 with married parents, younger sisters, and by all measures, a privileged wealthy household. This upbringing was by no means a Christian one as my parents weren’t Christians, but we were given children’s Bible storybooks. So I knew some stories in the Bible, which I understood as fairytales. As I got older, reaching the age of eight, I began to realize how broken my family was. My parents had an awful marriage, with fighting that went on all the time. Getting drunk all the time was also the norm for all the adults in my life, and we basically lived at pubs.

My parents then separated when I was ten, and my sisters and I were raised by my mom. I could have been described as quite a problem child at this point in my life. I was so full of rage all the time and took this out on anything and everything. I broke things, verbally abused my mom, ruthlessly bullied my sisters and other kids, and staged stunts to get attention from my mom who was always working trying to keep us afloat. No matter how hard I shouted, insulted, cried, or staged, nothing I did could get rid of this rage or fix the brokenness within myself or my crumbling family. To make matters worse, at the age of 11, my life continued to nosedive. A year after my parent’s divorce, my mom had a car accident and due to her resultant surgery became paralyzed. My rage continued to get worse, and I was continuing to spiral out of control. I remember turning to my kid’s Bible and with my basic understanding of God, I sought help from Him. I couldn’t understand why God let this happen to me and why he wasn’t fixing everything as I prayed for.

Shortly around this time I was introduced to the world of science and grew a great passion for it. There seemed to be an understandable explanation for everything, including why God was not fixing my life. The answer I thought was that he just obviously didn’t exist, and the Bible stories were just as I thought, fairytales. My belief or lack thereof continued to grow stronger as I got older and entered high school, continuing to struggle. My rage was still in full force and the life around me that was crumbling sparked other issues such as developing an anxiety disorder. I intensely struggled to do basic activities such as going to shops and school. Only after 16 years of life, I already felt like I was at rock bottom, all because my cosmic luck ran out.

How I trusted Christ

Where my relationship with God began and my life turned around was in my grade ten year. I became good friends with Nathan Lumsden, a regular, who was in my class and it turned out was a Christian. We then later started dating. This was surprising as I didn’t exactly have a good image of Christians in my head. I thought they were either brainwashed, didn’t believe in science and therefore were stupid or both. This created a confusing battle in my head, where I thought this guy was really smart and we had many of the same interests, and I knew he was a logical thinker but on the other hand, how could he be a Christian then? Luckily, as good friends as well, we debated and argued about our contrasting beliefs regularly, never coming to a verdict or agreement. I think I knew the relationship would come to an end eventually but for once my cosmic luck was looking up and I didn’t want to let go of something good. This soon changed when Nathan realized it wasn’t a good idea to be dating someone with such different beliefs. So as the Christian-hating God denier, I said I would try to become a Christian. At that point, I wasn’t sure why I so readily said this but looking back now I can see that God used the brokenness in my life and softened my heart to allow me to readily wrestle with God.

And so I wrestled and argued, and went to a Zeal camp, and cried, and prayed. And one day while I was thinking in the shower, as you do, I realized I believed that God existed. This opened up the floodgates in a sense, and I started going to church regularly, even though I really struggled going out. My understanding of God, the Bible, and Jesus grew greatly. My relationship with God grew. As I came to understand who Jesus is, I began to understand that I finally had a complete and whole family with God. For once in my life that rage and anxiety I felt for so long died down. I’m no longer angry with or blamed God because I know that His anger towards how I’ve thought of Him and treated Him is way more justified than thinking He is to blame for all my suffering. And in His kindness, even though I unrightfully hated Him, He still reached out when He had no reason to when He was justifiably angry with me. He began a relationship with me and to ensure I can have a face-to-face relationship with Him one day, He let His Son take on that anger I deserved. An unbelievable gift that I did nothing to deserve and can never deserve.

Since I’ve trusted Christ

That was nearly five years ago, and it’s been incredible being able to witness the change God has worked in me. I used to struggle to be able to go to church, never mind standing in front of you now. God has enabled me to stand in front of the church and read and pray, serve in so many areas. The anxiety I once felt, I realized was something far from God. What people thought about me stopped having such a hold on me because I’m no longer the main character in my life. The anger that gripped me just as strongly began to melt away as well. I still struggle with them, but I know I need God to rely on to get through these emotions. This passage was a great help in understanding this: Read James 1:20-21).

Although my life is by far better now than it was before knowing God, it is still difficult. Seeing people, especially my family, lose interest in me because they think I’m brainwashed or stupid has been really hard. I no longer have science as my God, but I’m still a skeptic with how God has done things and need to be humbled and reminded that God does not do His will within human parameters. So, you may be sitting here and struggling like I was with how broken you or your family is; you may believe that science may explain away God, or you may have rage or anxiety that rules your life. So, if you’ve seen yourself in my story, I challenge you to take up your struggles, as I did, to God and wrestle with Him or to keep asking the questions you don’t have answers for and seeking God. And if you don’t know what to do, I’d suggest coming to church where you can ask your questions or get involved where you can.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5