I was born into a solidly Christian family. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles…Southern Baptist to the bone, every last one of them. And yet, despite the constant example of faith around me, I faltered for many years.
High school was a rough time for me. My boyfriend was several years older and got me involved in drinking and drugs. My parents divorced. My solidly Christian family continued to pray for me, but by the age of nineteen I was on the road away from Christianity.
A few months before my twenty-first birthday I met Jeff. He came from a Catholic family, but his experiences with a strict, legalistic church left a bad taste in his mouth. He had no desire to return to his religious roots, which only reinforced my pull from faith. We dated for two years and then married, all the while ignoring offers from friends and family to visit churches and Bible studies.
I spent our first years of marriage in college, majoring in Biology. For three years I listened to professors speak of everything—everything—in atheistic terms. One would think as I stood on that precipice of doubt, those lectures would have pushed me over the edge.
Instead, it just wobbled me. My professors had given so much scientific “proof” for the nonexistence of God, but it only made me doubt their tenets. What they told me didn’t seem to hold water–with every proclamation of evidence, they presented a hole that needed covering–and over the next few years I struggled with the logic of how a world as complex as ours could have formed with no Designer.
And then my son was born. Jeff and I both began wondering if we should look for a church. For the sake of our son, of course. We didn’t follow through with a search though, making excuses Sunday morning after Sunday morning. But the need to finally put my doubts to rest knocked loudly in the back of my mind. I began to pray for God to send me “proof.” He—if He truly did exist—had created me, after all. He’d given me a scientific mind and should be willing to prove Himself!
I searched online and in bookstores. I tried everything to dig up scientific information related to the Bible and God’s existence. All the while I continued to pray for “proof.”
No such proof came. I found nothing to help me decipher the conflicting information presented by my professors. Yet the desire to believe they were wrong refused to leave. Finally, I gave up and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know for sure if You are there. I don’t understand why You won’t show yourself with proof. I suppose I’m going to have to simply believe You are there regardless.”
The next day I went shopping for a gift for a family member at the local Christian bookstore. I hadn’t set foot in there for as long as I could remember. As I headed down the aisle, a display caught my eye—a rack filled with books on the subject of Creation, all offering a scientific viewpoint!
I devoured the book in a few days. Then searched the bibliography and ordered several of the books referenced. While online, I checked out the sites the author had recommended. How, oh, how had I missed this wealth of information before? I’d spent so much time searching and found nothing—no books, no websites—yet here they were in abundance!
I’d prayed for proof, and God answered. But only after I offered the faith I’d been withholding for so long. He then returned that faith to me stronger than it had ever been.
“…science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle…”
–Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles