I was proud to be an atheist.
My parents had never been too religious. With little emphasis on religion in their upbringing, faith was an insignificant part of my growing years. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe in God, I just didn’t care for a God.
As I developed my own ideas, I started to scoff at the idea of a supreme divine being. If God was real and so amazing, why would there be suffering? Explain that to single mothers whose kids are dying from starvation. Explain that to the millions of Jews who had their life taken away from them during World War II.
If God was omnipotent – all powerful – why would He allow such things?
Additionally, I didn’t need a God. I’d been doing okay without a God. So why would I need to change that?
Then life hit. Troubles hit me in waves, one after another, and so intensely that I slowly lost sight of who I even was. I was unable to cope with all the issues that were piling up and I knew I couldn’t handle it alone for long.
“Why don’t you try and come to church? See what God has to offer,” a close friend of mine said one day. Out of politeness I agreed to consider it, but what really went through my mind was “What could God possibly do?”.
I continued to lose more and more control of my life, until one Friday night, after things took a particularly bad turn for the worse, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was angry, frustrated and so, so lost. In my despair I found myself calling my friend and asking, “Can you take me to church tomorrow?”.
To make my way to his church, I had to take an hour-long train ride to Pasir Ris. As I glanced up from my phone to check where I was along the way, I saw a huge banner on one of the buildings: JESUS LOVES YOU.
Just a coincidence, I thought to myself.
When I got to the service, worship had just begun. Something was different about the atmosphere in the hall, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it.
When You walk into the room, sickness starts to vanish … Every hopeless situation ceases to exist …
I could feel a trembling deep within as worship songs were sung, and I started tearing up; I was trying so hard not to cry.
I could feel something, someone touch my heart, opening its shut doors. I felt it profoundly, but I was still sceptical. So I said in my head, “God if you are real, give me a sign. Have someone give me a Bible and pray for me.”
Nothing happened then, but at the end of service, my friend brought me to speak to his cell leader. His cell leader sat down next to me and proceeded to introduce himself. “Oh wait,” he said suddenly, standing back up, “Let me get you a Bible.”
My heart stopped for a split second.
And at the end of our brief conversation, he offered to pray for me.
I remember walking out of church that day feeling as though something in my heart had shifted. Perhaps it was then that I started feeling God move in my life.
Perhaps God had opened my eyes and ears to hear Him calling for me. Come to me, Sueyu. I wanted to know more about Him, so I started reading the Bible. I remember one verse standing out to me: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
I decided to attend a few cell sessions with my friend, and during one meeting, we were sharing about our difficulties. After each sharing, someone would offer a relevant verse as encouragement. Mine, given by my friend’s cell leader, was Romans 8:18.
That was the day I acknowledged that God was not only real, but that I needed Him in my life. My eyes were opened to see His unconditional love for me and how He had been lovingly pursuing me all this time.
Our Father is a great, great Father. And my testimony of His goodness does not end at Him saving me. He has saved me for something greater than I could ever imagine.
I’m still proud that I was an atheist. Because it reminds me of how grand God’s love is, that He loved someone who didn’t even believe in Him. Because it shows how strong it is, to melt a heart of stone.
This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway.