Being an atheist…and my decision to be an atheist came from [the fact that] scientifically I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything about an eternal being. I didn’t feel like there was proof on it. I asked a lot of people, “What makes you believe?” I never felt like I could get a concrete answer from anybody. I was such a fact-based person. I had to have the fact and the proof, and I wasn’t getting it. There was a lot of proof about events in the Bible that occurred. We had archeological digs that found things. I’ve been to museums where you could see examples of the widow’s mite. There was real tangible proof of historical facts that were in the Bible, but I could not wrap my mind around this eternal being. I thought in my heart, this was a true heart issue, “This must just be weak people who need hope, and this is a way to cling to some sort of hope. They aren’t able to go through life and think, ‘This is all there is to life.’” That’s how I viewed it.
Really, the proof is what happens inside of you. Having that relationship is the proof. I understand now that it’s hard to express that, especially for those who grew up in the church. In college, some of the people I talked to said, “I believe this because this is what my dad taught me, and this is what I hear every Sunday.” They couldn’t take it to that next level and say, “And this is what’s happening inside.” I guess it’s a little bit of book knowledge and a little bit of experience that kept my heart and mind closed off to that possibility.
You can search for every book that you want and look for every fact that you want. I can tell you I found a lot of facts that support the Bible, and I found a lot of proof that supports the Bible. For people to say, “How do you know that Jesus walked on water, and how do you know that [God] parted the Red Sea, and [did] all the miraculous stuff?” If we looked at the Bible as a whole and saw how grace and mercy are woven through it, and really understood what it meant for Jesus to die on the cross and why he died on the cross for us, we would be able to open our hearts to that understanding of what it means and what it is to have Jesus in our lives, and that it’s not something you have to have so many facts for. Once you do have Him in your life, you’ll be able to see, on a daily basis, so many more things that do prove His existence.
Obviously, everyone who knew me for twenty-seven and a half years knew me as an atheist. They knew [of] my stone throwing. The Lord impressed upon my heart to create a Facebook page. I didn’t want anything [to do with] an online social network. I then felt impressed to reach out to people who knew me in elementary and high school. I have connected with a lot of people and so many that were surprised to see my walk and to see my status updates every day. I can’t tell you how many prayer requests I’ve gotten through that. People want to hear my story and my testimony. I have been able to lead a few people to Christ through that. It’s been awesome to say, “Hey, look what the Lord has done for me,” and to be able to display that in such an open media network then to have some actual atheistic friends come to know Christ. I was even asked to officiate over someone’s wedding because of my walk. He was an atheist before. He told me it was because of my walk and seeing the difference in me that made him start seeking God further. It was so powerful. It almost makes me cry now. It’s been a blessing. We just can’t contain it. We have to share. We have to let people know about it.