As a child my mother took me to church each week and helped me learn the stories of the Bible. She provided more insight, more explanation, and answers to the many questions raised when I didn’t understand how a giant whale could swallow someone and yet he could still tell his story. I wanted to believe in a powerful God that could heal my hurts, cure my ills, and be a pillar of strength for me when I faced hardships. As I left childhood and began on my youthful exploration, I found I had more questions than answers. My mother, a woman seemingly secure in her faith that there is a God, allowed me my questions, and encouraged me to find my own answers.
During my early teens my father left, and I learned the hard way that all of our prayers are not always answered. I wasn’t sure there was a God, and wondered if there really was, why He allowed the idealistic prayers of innocent children were left unanswered. I didn’t feel a presence lessening my pain, nor did I find strength in my faith. More than anything, I had questions. I no longer felt awed by the stories I remembered from Bible School. Instead, I wanted to find out why so many people believed them when there was really no proof. How can people believe in something that they can’t see? Do we blindly see something that isn’t there simply to make us feel better?
I do not consider myself a true believer; however, I am not an atheist either. Some consider me unable to take a stand, unable to commit one way or another. However, as an agnostic, I consider myself hopeful. My journey is not over. It is a continuous search, a continuous evaluation and re-evaluation of how I see the world. A hopeful atheist? Maybe. I really want to believe there is a grand plan to my life; that all things happen for a reason, and only happen to help me grow stronger. I have no evidence at this point to prove there is no God, so I continue in my quest for answers. I am content to be considered agnostic because it means I have not lost my curiosity about religion and the possibility of a supreme being. I am open to hearing other’s views and have no pre-conceived ideas. Some may call that an inability to take a stance, but I call it freedom to explore so many possibilities. This I believe: the quest for answers is the most enriching journeys one can take in life.