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The Mystery Of The Gospel

Also entitled, "The Day I Stopped Believing In God"

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The Mystery Of The Gospel

I had just walked across the street from the soccer field back to the school. I turned around and saw the cars rushing, passing each other, going fast over the crosswalk where I had been moments earlier. “It would be so easy to jump in front of one of them,” I thought, looking at the cars. “I could jump, and this life that I’m stuck in would be over.”

I didn’t jump that day in 8th grade, but as I walked back to the locker room to change, I reflected on the state of my life. I hated every minute of life, and no one seemed to notice or care. I had always been told there was a God and that He cared about me, but I sure didn’t seem to see it. And that day was the day I stopped believing in God.

***

Today, I am a strong Christian, and I have seen God work in my life and through others around me. My faith is one of the most important things to me, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.

But I haven’t always been this way. It’s not easy to talk about either. I’ve been raised in the church my whole life. I couldn’t outright abandon it. So I didn’t tell many people, if any, that I had stopped believing in God. Even when my parents read this, it will be the first time they hear it. But I feel like this is something we need to talk about.

So let’s talk about it.

***

Words about God are heavy. The God I had heard about created people who He knew would die without Him, and sent them off to hell without so much as a second thought.

The God I kept hearing about would put people through hard times, but nothing more than they could handle. When I’m sitting in my room alone at night, crying because the world seems to be coming down at me, it sure seems to be more than I can handle.

How do I sing about the goodness of a God who did not seem to care about me? A God who left me floundering around in the confusion of life with no help?

I couldn’t do it anymore. If I was surrounded by people who followed God, and this was how they acted, the final straw snapped, and I wanted nothing to do with God.

***

Eventually, I came back, believing in God, even though it sometimes made no sense. The cry of the man in Mark 9:24 became my daily mantra: “Help my unbelief.” I crawled back from agnosticism, knees bloody and hands torn.

When I look back on that time in my life, I realize that my agnosticism was a blessing in disguise. That the God I had believed in before was a monster, undeserving of my praise and love.

I’m so glad I stopped believing in that monster. And I’m so glad that monster wasn’t real.

What I had thought was the end of my faith was really only the beginning.

When I stopped believing in God, I found Jesus. And in Jesus, I saw a clearer picture of God than I ever had before.

***

In Jesus, I met the God I had been so angry at and afraid of. I met Him and saw His love for me and His love for all those He created.

In losing my childhood religion, I found my faith and it changed my life.

No matter how many times I tried to leave Christ, His gospel pulled me back, calling to me with it’s story of restoration and forgiveness. The gospel calls to me, and I cannot ignore it. I have found it in the most unlikely of places, and in ways that no one would expect. The reality of the gospel has changed my life, and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

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