I Wish I Could Believe -Days 5 & 6

I really wish I could believe in God. I just can’t make myself do it. I have tried.

I have tried to feel things when there was nothing to feel, I have prayed with no results, I have asked for answers and guidance and nothing happens. This is basically what I did the entire time I was an active member of the LDS church. I spent that time lying to myself and others about my belief. If there was a God would he think that was an acceptable lie? Give me and A for effort? Would he believe in “fake it til you make it?”

I’ll admit that when given this challenge my first thought after “awesome” was “maybe there is a God and this is how he is trying to get to me.” Then I laughed at myself. I don’t actually doubt my lack of belief even though it seems that way; its just it would be really great if there was a God. Kinda like it would be really great if there really was a Santa. Then if I just started believing in Santa and wrote him a letter he would actually bring me what I wanted on Christmas morning.

When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2007 I wasn’t scared until the night before the surgery. With every major surgery one of the possible complications is death and I was understandably worried something would go wrong. I wrote letters to my kids to explain (as I hadn’t told them what was going on) and one to my new husband about how sorry I was and with directives on what to do if something bad happened the next day then I cried myself to sleep. I did not pray to a God I didn’t believe in but it would have been great to have that to fall back onto; to give me the feeling of reassurance that so many say they get from God, to believe that If I died that my children would be ok; that my husband wouldn’t be emotionally catatonic after another death-too-soon in his life.

Since I have started immersing myself in the Christian lifestyle I have been watching for signs of a creator. I have prayed that this God would show himself to me. I have been listening to Christian Radio as suggested by my best friend’s father. I don’t feel any different listening to it as when I listen to any other music I do not know the words to. I have been praying for myself; praying for things for people (not material things but more for action in their direction). I have been trying to change the way I think. Leaving the sarcasm behind that, as pointed out by one commenter, is quite prevalent in the Atheist community. I am reading some Christian non-fiction and reading the bible (I am currently on Matthew 11). I am actually trying hard to understand what I read and put real thought into it.

While I was in the shower this morning I asked for God to show himself to me if he existed (though I didn’t mean at that exact moment). It hasn’t happened yet. I sure wish I’d get a sign but I don’t believe I will.


10 thoughts on “I Wish I Could Believe -Days 5 & 6

  1. Don’t give up hope just yet. You have only been doing this for a few days. It will take time for him to answer your prayers. You will absolutely know when you have that moment when you just believe. It may come in a comment from somebody or the lyrics of a song that hit home. For me I was just cleaning my house when all of a sudden I had an epiphany that my entire life I had been blessed and that the person I always went to for strength was God. It was then that I realized for myself that I was in fact a believer. It will not necessarily be some huge ordeal that he brings you through or some grand gesture that you should be looking for. It may just be a simple heaviness that is lifted from your heaet at the moment that you realize he has always been there. I challenge you to look back on your life and think about the good and the bad things that have happened and the results of those situations and ask yourself if that was something that could have been the Lord answering a prayer you didn’t even know you asked for. All those times you “thanked spaghetti”…Christians thank God 🙂

  2. Hi Dy-Anne, I sure do appreciate your honestly and vulnerability in this post. What would it look like to you if God did show himself to you? And that is a genuine question, not a snarky or sarcastic one.

    It’s obvious that you are making a real effort to do what you think you should do, to do the things that a believer does. I would be lying if I said I’ve always seen the answers to my prayers. Anyway, I appreciate you.

  3. Hi Dy-Anne. What an Interesting post!

    I thought you might find the following links of interest. The guy in the first one echos some of what you related. I found him very candid, and much more articulate than I am. The second is an excerpt from Ravi Zacharias at a forum in Seattle taking questions from the students. I chose one to provide you the link, but you will find several others in the sidebar from the same venue. I think I’ve learned more about the application of logic from him (and Dr.William Lane Craig) than I did in college. 🙂

    I noticed the first and last sentences of your post read:

    “I really wish I could believe in God. I just can’t make myself do it.” and
    “… I don’t believe I will.”

    I never thought much about the difference between ‘faith’ and ‘hope’ before last year.
    As you may/may not know: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” http://www.biblestudytools.com/nkjv/hebrews/11-1.html

    Faith is active – – it is like a transmitter – – operates in the present
    Hope is passive – – it is like a receiver – – operates in the future

    The Word of God talks about:: “… the measure of faith God has given you.” http://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/12-3.html

    So we individually have a sufficient measure of faith to span that gap (of doubt).

    I really admire that you can see the value in sacrificing something. It’s my view that God appreciates our recognizing His sacrifice. No greater love ……………:)

    Much peace.

  4. Dy-Anne,
    I found out about your post from another group I subscribe to on facebook. I’ve read your posts each day with intrigue. Thank you for sharing this experiment/journey with the rest of us.
    Admittedly, I do not intend to “convert” you with what I am about to say. However, since we’re being honest, can I just say that I am an ordained Christian minister, and in my heart I am thoroughly convinced of the Creator’s existence and active love toward humanity I have seen those “signs” you are looking for (although I don’t always understand why some things , many things, happen and don’t happen the way they do).
    That being said, and speaking directly to your struggle with believing, there are days when I find it absolutely toilsome to believe. I ask myself, “Is this all a joke, a myth, a hoax?” Now, in the end, there is something deep within that is stronger than my doubts. My point simply is, please don’t be too hard on yourself at this time because you struggle to believe in a God you are not even sure you believe in.
    Here’s where I make my shameless plug for Jesus, and I know you’ll understand that I must. I challenge you to go through with the 40 days of lent experience, because I do believe that those who seek truth will find truth. One way or the other, if you finish this, I have a suspicion you will not be the same person by day 40. thanks again for sharing this experience with us.

  5. Dear Dy-Anne,

    Hello, it’s me again!

    Your latest post touched my heart. You are still very much in my thoughts. I hope you don’t mind these continued posts from me. I’m just so glad that you are allowing us on this journey with you. 😀

    You mentioned the word “feel” a couple of times. I will speak of some of MY feelings and will begin with the disclaimer that everyone may not “feel” the same way that I do. Actually, though, all feelings aside, it ultimately matters what God has said on whatever issue is being discussed, rather than what our own feelings are. Now, having said that, I still need to say that, yes, feelings are involved in Christianity and any spiritual matter. (OK, is that muddled enough? I hope you get my drift.)

    Personally, as a Christian, I have not had any big miraculous sign or sudden, supernatural feeling come over me. Perhaps others commenters on this blog or elsewhere have. I am not here to debate that point and do not deny that it can happen. What I do want to say is that searching for God and finding him can be an intellectual thing that can eventually lead to an emotional thing.

    I told my husband (remember “Bob”?) a little about what your latest blog concerned. He told me basically, “It’s all about studying.” Maybe that’s what the verse that I mentioned earlier from Romans 10 means: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” You’re doing that right now, Dy-Anne; you’re hearing the word of God by reading it and by listening to it.

    Bob also said that it takes time. It took him over two decades, but I don’t think whatever you’re searching for will be that illusive. Bob had no Christian background at all; all he knew was that he thought Christianity was a nice religion and that Jesus was a good person. We just went from there.

    When Bob got really serious about searching for answers, I called a trusted minister in a nearby city and asked for what he considered the best book(s) on apologetics – you know, the books and well-reasoned arguments that try to prove the existence of God (just one form of apologetics, of course). That’s how I became acquainted with Lee Strobel and “The Case for the Creator,” which I mentioned in another, earlier post. I’m sure there are other excellent sources out there, but this is one that I’m familiar with.

    I’m not sure what all you have read in your search, and originally, I thought that the Bible was the best place to begin with Bob. Our first study together was probably 15 years or so ago, and then we followed up a few years after that. Didn’t stay with it. Then, it seemed to me that we needed to go somewhere else other than the Bible first and THEN come back to the Bible when Bob was ready to accept it as God’s word.

    I read “The Case for the Creator” first myself, and then I read it aloud to Bob, and we dissected every single paragraph. I cannot tell how you much we learned. To use a word that I seldom employ, it was awesome. You may already know this; I don’t know; but just in case, let me tell you a little about it: There are chapters on astronomy, biology, chemistry, cosmology … and I can’t think of what all else. It’s pretty deep, and I had to re-read a lot of passages. Many, many of them were very eye-opening.

    In your quest, you may have already read something like this. If so, that’s great; I commend you. Now, I would urge you to read something else of this nature. Your heart and your mind are in a different place now, and you might gain some insights that were illusive before. Bob studied other cultures’ spirituality before he began studying Christianity. That’s where he “was” at that time. But it never satisfied him. Now, he feels happy and peaceful. Yeah, a “feeling,” but not something that came over him immediately. It has been continually growing since his belief blossomed and then since he began the Christian walk.

    Another thing that helped, I think, was that Bob started going to either church services (like you) or to Bible study. During one Wednesday night segment of lessons, at my request, the class studied Messianic prophesies. They are SO intriguing and so insightful. It is historically proven that these Old Testament books were written hundreds of years before Christ, and the detail to which they predict his birth, his life and his death are astounding. I encourage you at some point in the (near?) future to study these passages. This is one of the main reasons for my belief, along with the scientific principles shown through apologetics.

    Now, let me also say that I know that atheists sometimes “debunk” Lee Strobel (“The Case” author). I have read some of those debunkings. But there are just too many things described in there that simply CAN’T be debunked … period.

    The Bible and the apologists don’t have ALL the answers but, then, neither do the atheists … and neither do the non-Christian scientists. I’m a very logical person, and what the Bible and “The Case” (etc.) offer makes sense to me. I hope and pray that someday it will make sense to you, too.

    OK, I have waxed on for probably too long, but since you’re sharing with us, I wanted to share with you. Now, it’s off to another Wednesday night Bible study, where we’re delving into 1st Peter.

    See you later.

    – Sallie

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