An Atheist who Found God
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29-12-2016, 01:25 PM
Rainbow An Atheist who Found God
Hello, everyone. My name is Kathryn and I was an atheist for, at least, 15 years. Very recently, I became a Christian. I’ll get into that in a bit. First, I want to provide some background.

So, as young as age 10, I remember really despising the teachings of the Bible. I was very rebellious and vocal in Sunday school, openly criticizing God and stories like Lot’s wife and Abraham’s son. I said numerous times that, if God were real, I would never worship Him. The stories just seemed so inhumane and backwards that I came to conclude that God and the Bible were entirely fictitious and invented by people who thought morality and decent behavior wasn’t possible without religion, so they had to send fear into everyone with stories of Heaven and Hell. I never had any positive experiences with God. He really seemed to not be there at all. I thought the Christians around me were complete morons, incapable of critical thought for believing the Bible, and merely worshiping out of fear. When I was 14, I called myself an atheist. When I was around 15 or so, I read Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. I was very happy someone had put every argument I ever had against Christianity and religion into a book and I walked away for good, pretty much hating religion, but especially Christianity.

Aside from that, I grew up being a loner and a total nerd. Books, computers, science fiction television shows, and card collecting were my life. I did very well in school. I’ve always had a passion for education, learning, and bettering oneself intellectually. I loved math and science (still do). I loved math so much I would ask for extra math homework. I would even beg my teachers to let me skip recess so I could do more schoolwork. Even in elementary school, I enjoyed reading biology textbooks so much more than reading fiction. My dream was to pursue a college degree in every field imaginable and basically spend my life in academia.

So, I went off to college with dreams of studying biochemistry and genetics. I wanted to get a PhD and do epigenetics research. I was really fascinated with understanding how humans differed from one another at the smallest level. I loved this idea that humans are basically biological programs and our code is our DNA. I really wanted to spend my life in a laboratory, in solitude, conducting research that could somehow change everything. That didn’t work out for me though. Although I made great grades and got along well with my professors, early on I started to become incredibly overwhelmed. I felt like I was just mentally breaking down every semester and becoming increasingly unhealthy. I discovered I had Asperger’s Syndrome, now Autism Spectrum Disorder, and, even with accommodations, I was forced to drop out.

This was, to me, the worst thing that could’ve happened. It was my lifelong dream to get a PhD, and, for a while, it was like my world had shattered. I’d never gotten to the point where I just didn’t want to read another scientific article or pick up another chemistry textbook. It was like all of my passion got beaten out of me. A lot of people I knew who were becoming doctors, pursuing their PhD dream, attending top-tier schools, were utterly miserable in college, like myself, and I could see that was the road I was on.

Eventually, I moved on, and became happy I dropped out. I realized it really was for the best and pursued another STEM career. I was also living in this really neat city where almost no one was Christian, surrounded by other really smart people. I had money because my boyfriend had a really good job. There were lots of free activities, neat places to see, fun things to do, lots of shopping, and we traveled. It really seemed like we had everything. But after two years, it began to feel like it was just empty. I wasn’t depressed or anything. I just felt underwhelmed and began to ask myself, “Is this it?”

Then, on my birthday of this year, something completely unexpected happened to me. I had a vision, and I saw the Light of God. I don’t say that figuratively, although I understand if you wouldn’t believe me. I saw God’s Light. It was so pure, clean, and white. It was just glorious and I felt so much truth coming from the Light. Words fail to describe the beauty of what I saw and it was the most beautiful, profound experience of my life. I felt this amazing, amazing peace in my heart as well as forgiveness, love, purity, beauty, kindness. I knew God was this infinite Love and that He was the source of all love in ourselves and in the world. I could see how He stretched on for all eternity and was so much greater than the universe and that He created the universe. Immediately, part of the Bible verse Revelation 1:8 came to mind: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Anyway, after it happened, I fell to the floor and cried so much. It was the first time I ever felt I was lost without God. I knew how wrong I had been about the God of the Bible. I knew there is nothing bad about God and that He is pure and does everything for an ultimate good.

After that, I found a bunch of other people online who had such incredibly similar experiences that I was certain I wasn’t losing it. There are tons of videos on YouTube of people who’ve seen God, people who've seen Jesus, people with near death experiences who’ve died and went to Heaven, and people who were miraculously healed by God. I watched these and knew I wasn’t alone. I began to pray to God to prove to me if it was really Him, if He was really there, and to show me the way. I hadn’t prayed since I was, maybe, 14, and it felt very strange and awkward. But, God heard me. So many things have happened since, like feeling total joy, feeling complete lack of fear, feeling like I could die and go straight to Heaven because I felt Heaven in my heart. He’s answered all of my prayers and my life and my heart have changed so much.

Some things still remain. I still love learning, science, and education. I’m still pretty liberal. I still think I’m a critical thinker. Now, though, I don’t believe Christians are brainwashed idiots for believing anymore like I used to think. I cry now when someone says they’ll pray for me instead of becoming absolutely furious at what I perceived to be an unhelpful absurdity. I believe there is an afterlife. I feel I’ve come away with some useful understanding because of this experience and I wanted to share it with you. I would love the opportunity to post on the forum. I don’t hate atheists at all. All of my friends, except one, are atheists. My intention is to be respectful and not cross any boundaries. Given that, I think we could have some interesting debates together. Of course, I’m open to any questions you have. If you’ve managed to make it this far, thanks for reading!
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29-12-2016, 01:32 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Um...Welcome.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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29-12-2016, 01:37 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Welcome.....

Don't expect that we find your experience new, unique, fascinating or even real.......

......

You're new.

This "god" person is old news.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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29-12-2016, 01:43 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(29-12-2016 01:25 PM)PeacefulHeart Wrote:  Then, on my birthday of this year, something completely unexpected happened to me. I had a vision, and I saw the Light of God. I don’t say that figuratively, although I understand if you wouldn’t believe me. I saw God’s Light. It was so pure, clean, and white.

Happened to me on my birthday once too when my brother slipped some microdot into my beer and funny looking mushrooms on the pizza. Anywho, howdy.

#sigh
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29-12-2016, 01:49 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Hello!

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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29-12-2016, 02:00 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
(29-12-2016 01:32 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Um...Welcome.
(29-12-2016 01:37 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Welcome.....
(29-12-2016 01:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Anywho, howdy.
(29-12-2016 01:49 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Hello!

Thank you and hello! Smile
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29-12-2016, 02:00 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Quote:I had a vision, and I saw the Light of God. I don’t say that figuratively, although I understand if you wouldn’t believe me. I saw God’s Light.

Did you get a picture?
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29-12-2016, 02:02 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Oh boy. Another one.

Well, welcome to the forum. Hope you brought your A-game with you.
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29-12-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: An Atheist who Found God
Welcome!

Interesting that the god you were raised with culturally is the exact one who appeared to you Wink
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29-12-2016, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2016 02:13 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: An Atheist who Found God
At least you're not one of those "Genesis is LITERAL! Evolution is a LIE!"-type Christians.

We really don't care what a person believes, religiously. We do, however, care if their religion causes them to exclude reality from their thinking and then come here to try to push that delusion onto us... or into our children's classrooms.

This is an intro thread, so I won't go into it too much, but having read your story I would point out that you openly admit that you have recent (over the course of your life) neurological disorders that have manifested in your adult life. Might I respectfully recommend you consider the possibility that your "vision of pure light" was not a special visitation from the Creator of the Universe but a product of your brain chemistry and/or miswiring?

I recommend you look into the research related to the "God Helmet", as it's often called, in which it is possible to generate those feelings of a transcendent divine presence and other hallucinations by manipulating the brain with magnetic waves.

Meanwhile, welcome to TTA. I'm a former field biologist who studied viral genetics, and my wife (a Christian) works in a genetics lab (mainly working with longevity genes in C. elegans), so it will be nice to have your input and expertise in that field.

Hope you stick around. It would be nice to have another Christian voice around here who understands evolution and that it's reality, not an "atheism thing", an accusation we have slung our way almost literally daily.

Congrats on finding us. Hope you become a member of the community. Smile

Edit to Add: One tip, though. Nobody becomes angry when we're told someone is praying for us. We just don't think prayer does anything magical. You're talking to yourself. But it means you're thinking nice things about us. We become shitty with you when you say "I'll pray for you" as a passive-aggressive way of calling us bad things. That makes the praying person an asshole, and our indignation righteous. Suggesting that atheists think a certain way about religious people is a Bad Idea™.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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