I believe in things I cannot prove. I believe that if you find a penny, heads-up, you’ll have good luck. I can’t prove that luck is attributed to that little piece of copper, but I believe it is. I believe in fate, and that everything happens for a reason. Mostly, I believe that there is a higher power watching over us, pulling strings. However, it was not always this way. I used to believe that if something could not be proven, there was no way it existed. Going away to college effectively changed my mind, though not in the way you would expect.
My two best friends from high school and I were self-proclaimed atheists, and we were proud of that. Looking back, I realize that we were actually highly insensitive; the “leader” of my group of friends would actually go as far as to tell some of our Christian peers that they were stupid for believing in God. I would laugh along with him, thinking the things he was actually saying.
We graduated and came to the University of Illinois together, beliefs intact. I began to feel alone when I got to school and I experienced severe homesickness. I was on the phone with my mom almost constantly, and I even ruined my cell phone because I cried into it so much. I was talking to my mom one afternoon in early September, and I remember being almost totally consumed with loneliness. I was so close to packing up my things and leaving the U of I forever. I voiced my concerns to my mom, and she gave me the speech that changed my beliefs completely. She told me to never feel alone, and that even though my family was not there with me, there was someone who was: God. She told me that God is always there, watching, protecting. He is there to listen to our prayers whenever we need Him to.
I hung up the phone when our conversation ended, only feeling slightly better. I decided to go out on a limb and pray, asking God to please help me feel like it was the right thing for me to be away from my family at school. I felt slightly ridiculous as I prayed; I realized I didn’t really know how. Was there some certain format you had to take in order for God to even consider your prayer? Was there a magic word you had to use for Him to even listen to you? I decided to just wing it.
I prayed every day after that, asking God to give me the strength to overcome my homesickness. Feeling consistently better, I began to wean myself off the phone, put on a positive face and hang out with my new friends more. I never felt lonely anymore, because not only did I have God, my newfound strength had allowed me to make friends on my floor who were always there to talk with me when I missed my family.
I still “converse” with God, though I don’t have to as often anymore. I am no longer the close-minded person I was in high school, and I really don’t hang out with my high school friends anymore. I realized that there is more to this world than proven chemistry equations and physics formulas. If you believe in something, why should you have to prove it?
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