Today’s guest post comes from Eva Leppard of The Aspirational Agnostic. I’m excited to share her post about her search for faith because, no matter what our religion or where we are with it, I think a lot of us have doubts and questions, and it’s important to me that this be a place where we can be honest about them and thoughtfully discuss them. Enjoy! –Tamara
Being raised as an insistent, dyed-in-the-wool, no-holds-barred atheist does set one up for some personal angst when one (ok, me) realises that she wants to discover God.
A road to Damascus moment would have been the ideal scenario, naturally, and I could have been loud and proud in my conversion and with my new and absolute understanding of the entire scope of Christian understanding. A nagging, uneasy feeling that I needed to begin a search and I wasn’t going to be able to relax until I’d discovered “something” is a whole lot less easy to explain or indeed to begin a conversation with.
I was raised to tolerate and respect all beliefs. Except Christians. Here, I understood that the best policy was to back away, smiling. Any interaction would instantly cause an infusion of bigotry, a passionate defence of biblical literalism and an instantaneous decrease in IQ points.
So deciding that I wanted to believe in God was a bit of a shock. And, to be brutally honest, a bit of an embarrassment. The first words that I said to the minister when I arrived at church on the first day were, “Hi, I’m Eva and I don’t think that I believe in God.” He was surprisingly fine with that, and I soon found out that I could continue to say “fuck” and drink wine and know that evolution isn’t a myth (seriously, don’t mess with me on that one), so things were definitely looking up.
The internet is both a blessing and a curse for the aspiring Christian; I have been in equal parts freaked out by the sheer amount of opinionated, bigoted claptrap promulgated in the name of Jesus and thrilled and inspired by the wonderful people seeking to do good in the world, trying to bring the message of Jesus to life. I’ve been able to find myself a neat little comfort zone where I can read about what people are doing and how people are changing the world, and where I can sit on the sofa and go, “Wow, that’s amazing! If I really believed in God, then I would TOTALLY do that.”
Because I haven’t had that road to Damascus moment, have I? I haven’t had that supernatural experience which would force me out of my (very, very small) comfort zone and make me get out there with the poor and the needy. Until that happens, I don’t really have to force myself, do I? If God truly wanted me, he would make it abundantly clear. No room for misinterpretation.
But then, there’s that little voice. That still, quiet voice that won’t shut. the. heck. up. That won’t let me close the book on this experiment that hasn’t ended in certainty, or proof, or absolute conviction.
The voice of God wouldn’t be a still, quiet little whisper, would it?
Eva blogs at The Aspirational Agnostic. She is currently spending a disproportionately large time asleep, given that she is pregnant with son number four and also works as a high school teacher. She spends her remaining free time looking for God. He’s being very difficult to pin down.
(Editorial note: I didn’t Americanize Eva’s spellings because I think they’re fantastic.)