Transitioning from Atheism to Christianity
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13
Hey friends. Since reemerging into social media, my new faith has been at the center of the majority of my posts. Before June of this year, I was actually an atheist. This transition has been kind of weird for the people who know me and has evoked many questions. The most frequent ones are how I found God and how others can as well.
Now is the time that I reveal my inner hippie. It all started with a mushroom trip. It was the first thing that opened my mind to the possibility of there being more. I finally let down the guard that stopped me from questioning if there was a God. I let myself wonder, and I wondered a lot. As my interest grew, I wanted to shake the feeling. The idea of returning to my old, dull, meaningless life scared me. God had always been a source of anxiety. But my curiosity was too strong and I followed it. The first earnest prayer I ever said was, “Hi if you’re real, could you show me? I don’t really believe in you, but maybe I could.”
The process was months long. I researched and attempted to follow many different belief systems and religions. Eventually, each one faded away and I continued moving. Once I got into the spiritual, new age phase I started following someone on Twitter who opened my mind to reading the Quran and Bible. The way she described the lessons that are taught was unlike anything I had seen before. It wasn’t strict and religious, but beautiful and practical life lessons. I had never seen any religion approached this way, as something to be celebrated because of its words of wisdom.
In the beginning, I downloaded the Quran on my phone and read it every night. I wanted it to work for me because it sounded so beautiful, but something didn’t click. I was getting closer. I toyed with the idea of downloading the Bible app, but I was hesitant. My experiences with Christianity were hindering me. I thought of it as too strict, oppressive, and just bland. I’d read parts of the Bible before and it struck nothing. But I realized if I was truly going to be a new person, I had to let go of old biases and start fresh. I decided to search for God relentlessly, even in places I had looked before. It was that passion that allowed me to see Christianity with new eyes when I finally read the Bible.
Letting go of biases and being open-minded is the main necessity for finding God. He moves and reveals Himself in so many ways that it can be easy to miss if you aren’t fully willing to see them. It’s kind of a scary thing. You have to take this giant leap of faith that involves being vulnerable. If I was going after this and denouncing everything I had always stood for, there was the possibility of feeling silly. There was a possibility of mourning the old self I had identified with for so long. It’s hard, and I had to be okay with that.
There is no step by step guide that I can give you about how to find God. As Zora Neale Hurston said, “two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.”Basically the journey is all your own. Besides reaching out to God and saying “hey, let’s do this thing,” there is nothing else that I can tell you to do besides trust the process. Your process will be unique, personal, and extremely beautiful. So don’t go looking for mushrooms just because you read this, please (laughing emoji would go here if it wouldn’t look so tacky.) Seriously though let it happen organically.
This is the most life-changing thing you will ever do. You will have moments when you doubt yourself, feel stupid, get frustrated, or even want to give up. You will have moments when God feels so close to you that you try to reach out and hug him. In between moments, you will wonder what the heck is going on. That’s how intense it is. I don’t say this to scare you, but to reassure you that everything you’re about to experience is totally normal. I wish I would’ve known my highs and lows were okay during my own experience.
Though I can’t send you off on your journey with a step-by-step guide, I can give you some advice. If there is anything I can tell you, it’s that God keeps His word. Whether you know Him right now or not, it’s true. If you have the urge to seek Him, that means He has called you to look for Him. Follow that gentle knock you feel on the door of your heart because He promises us whoever seeks Him wholeheartedly will find Him. So, no matter what happens, keep searching. Never stop looking. You will find Him and He will embrace you with a love you never imagined.