Think back to the night before your fifth birthday. The feeling of shear joy and excitement for the next day rushing throughout your body as you lay in bed waiting for tomorrow and a whole new age to come. You can’t sleep right? I was there once. However, the night before my fifth birthday I didn’t sleep for a different reason. That was the night my father passed away. He died of a heart attack. He was forty years young.
I may have only been five years old, but I was well aware of what death was. My older sister had died when I was three in a car accident. She was eight years old. At a young age, experiencing loss of many around me, I began to question what I was taught about God. I was taught in Sunday school Christian beliefs. I knew of God, and he loved us. I knew of heaven and hell. When you are only five years old and two people that close to you have already been taken, you begin to question.
I went on with my life believing in God and reverencing the Bible’s teachings. My sophomore year of high school though, my best friend died in a car wreck. How could a God that loved us so, take people so young? And how could he leave me in life without a father, an only child, and with no best friend? I was fifteen, and I knew God could not be real.
I stopped going to church. I didn’t see the point, because I didn’t believe in it. I became lonelier than I was before. I could tell something was missing, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to admit to myself there is a God, and me denying his existence is the cause of my problem.
About the age of 17, I found a girl that caught my attention. I fell in love with her. She took me to church. Before I went to church with her, I felt better about my problems and myself. But, once she took me to church and I saw all the loving people, and what they believed in, I knew He was real. I knew there was a God. I can’t explain the feeling of fullness inside of me, but it was great. God is real, and He does love all of us. Sometimes He has to put us through hard time to show us His love. But I believe in Him. I praise His being.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.