I always doubt God. Sometimes, in the middle of sermons or services, I’ll start feeling really weird. Talk to God, they say. Really? We’re all praying to absolutely nothing. Singing to nothing. Gathered here in a building talking to ourselves. And then just as quickly as the feeling comes, it passes.
I have tried to become an atheist before. Really, really tried. In tenth grade, I went through a time where I felt loss and loneliness constantly. Weirdly, I wanted the satisfaction of making someone hurt for me. I felt let go of, and I wanted to be the let-goer. God was my only option, because I couldn’t have brought myself to do anything like to that to someone or something tangible. So I let go of God. I immersed myself in atheism, in science, in reason. I read articles on how to make myself stop believing. But I couldn’t. Honestly, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was up there. So I quit the pursuit of godlessness and just settled for “being angry at God.” I believed he was unjust, unkind, a liar, disgusting, shameful–but I believed he was.
I got over the anger, though I am grateful for it (I wrote a fantastic, ruthless piece of religious satire, for which I will never stop being proud of). But I’m still a doubter. I’ve accepted that I always will be. Maybe I like it a little, because it makes me feel rational. Unsheeply.
So here I am, caught. I can’t believe, but I can’t not believe. Nobody will ever convince me that God is undeniably real. He will never be proven to me. But beneath all the doubt, there’s this sinking feeling that he’s there, defying everything that science says should be true. That’s Christ in me. It isn’t a constant peace, a blessed confidence, or a warm feeling that I’m never alone. It’s a literal, rock-solid presence that cannot be shaken, no matter how much the world and I have tried.