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From Atheist to Admirer: From Hate to Love

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I grew up in a bronrken home, but who didn't? A rare few for sure. My mom by ex and dad lived together as a married couple. I am thankful for that blessing, even if at times I couldn't appreciate it back then. They lived and loved each other the best that they knew how. They quarreled and had a but my biggest hurt in those early years was not that a

My mom was more of a secular woman. She had knowledge of God and upheld certain morals, but chose to embrace the world; My dad was Christian and still is. He knew and intimately loved God. He wasn't perfect but was living Christ by the light that was shining upon him. As one can guess, their aspirations for us were colored through the lenses of their world view...their value systems.

My mom was the "aristocrat". She was well-bred, educated, nurturing, and creative. She taught us home industry: cleaning, cooking, baking, embroidery, community service, etiquette, and artistic presentations. She could sew and crochet too, but I never had an interest in those things until after her death. She was very respected as the neighborhood hostess for many hungry young "bellies". Teaching was an art for her and she impacted many lives. One thing that she left with all was the importance of being literate in as many things as possible, especially reading. We learned how to pursue and achieve our multiple ambitions, despite levels of poverty.

Dad is a good man who values honesty and taught me by his actions

the importance of integrity and consistency in all I do. He taught me to be a peacemaker and that though I have rights, only fight for the ones that are vital to building lasting relationships. He is a craftsman who never shooed us away when he was working on mechanical or electrical projects. He taught us it was ok to get our hands "dirty". While he was a little more rough around the edges, he loved playing the guitar which made worship time when we were young children more vibrant. He enjoyed being out on the ocean, and I believe all his children developed a love for the ocean because of him. Later, I found out that His love for the ocean was connected to his faith experience as a growing Christian. He shared the importance of having a deep and committed relationship with Jesus. He taught us the vitality of being prepared for His second coming and being an active participant in the preparation as well.

Despite this dichotomy, I trusted that they wanted the best for us.

Sounds great right? Within that mix were alcohol and tobacco addiction, insecurities and trust issues, long work hours, thwarted dreams, favoritism, regrets, and more that soured the home experience and blighted my belief in God. I felt empty and longed for something better.

As a teen, I drifted even further when the safe haven of church life became marred as leaders lived double lives and laity followed suit. Was God really real?....

Did He care about me? Was He just an absentee Landlord who plays with humanity as puppets on a string? If He loved me, us...why did so many evil things happen to innocent people? Why did my life have to be such a struggle? Why did "Christian" adults live double lives that made me confused about God and the contrasting Christianity revealed in the Bible. Was God mighty to save and transform lives or was this just a sad game or cruel movie?

I became very jaded and developed a hard shell to buffer any perceived threat. I stopped going to church for months and would venture out again, then I would withdraw for months tired of what I saw in the church and tired of looking for "my lost coin".

One day, I was sitting on a New York City Metro-North train, heading to work when life's futility hit me like a ton of bricks. I told God that if He really exists, and is not an absentee Landlord, nor some fairytale, then show up and prove Himself or I was going to walk away from Him for good. The sincerity of my soul's cry... the deep hunger for His presence and love, broke through the thick layers of the heavens; defied the limitations of gravity, and traveled swiftly to the Heart of God. He heard me, a little nobody without Him, and spoke to me in an inaudible but oh-so-audible voice: "Remember the blue Bible that you no longer read. Go back and read it...starting from Genesis, and I will show you myself on every page."

That blue Bible no longer had the covers... they were torn off from years of wear and tear. The covers had long found home in the trash can and have most likely been incinerated. Who could have known they were blue and who would have known that I still had the remnants? I was so intrigued that I obeyed the voice...I did it because I must have believed enough to be obedient to the gentle command.

I started from Genesis and God began to paint His picture on my mind. I grew to love Him and stayed in love with Him. I knew him more intimately and I began to admire My Maker, My Savior, and My King. I have had tough trials, beautiful experiences; unexpected disappointments, and mountain-top victories...I have blundered and I have gotten up by His grace... but I never again questioned His love or intentions for me. Like Job, I esteemed His Word more than my necessary food (Job 23:14)

I am no longer an atheist but a strong believer and admirer of the God who put all heaven at risk...all he owned at risk, and consented to die a death that could have been permanent, to save an undeserving but extremely expensive and valuable sinner like me.

Oh, how He loves you and me. How can I remain an atheist in the face of such unbelievable love? How could I ever again doubt that God cares for me? Guess what? He cares for you the same...just let your soul cry out to Him and He will be right there to fulfill your most sincere need. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Perhaps, You like me, resented God for "abandoning" you in your childhood, or even your adult years. You may have been raped or abused, or just feel as if you do not "belong" Maybe you had some devastating or not-so-devastating experience that made you an atheist? The way we view God in our childhood or adulthood colors all our life experiences. The spiritual family legacy that we receive from our parents, whether they are Christians or not, affects our view of God as well. Not until I dealt with my past experiences and accepted God for who He really is, did my wounds begin to heal.

This acceptance helped me to be more open with my parents. I spoke with my parents, especially my mom about things that bothered me growing up. She didn't make excuses and that was very helpful. As difficult as it was to say certain things to my parents, it brought great release. Why?

The conversations brought understanding and forgiveness. I accepted that my parents weren't perfect, but they loved me and my six siblings the best way they knew. I knew that though, they never said it back then, they loved us, but didn't always express it well.

I learned that God loves me too. Even though bad things happen in this world, and life is sometimes unfair, my God still loves me and you too. Do you vacillate between love and hate? How did you or do you deal with thoughts of abandoning God today? Some days will be rough, but if you give God a chance, He will make a world of difference. I am praying for you. We hope to listen, reason and encourage you on this journey of allowing a relationship with God to heal you. What do you have to lose?

Share your comments to encourage someone along the way. Why? Someone needs your testimony to be brave.

***Responders please remember to be kind with your words.

Song to Encourage: I Gave My Life For Thee (Beautiful African Acapella)

Previous Blogs: Center Stage

Upcoming Blog:

Is it Possible to Get Back the Time I Have Wasted?

(You cannot afford to miss this personal testimony. See you next time!)

I pray for you a wonderful day

in the love of the Lord!

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

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