When I was 19 my dad told me that he no longer believed the faith he had raised us in was true. Before that experience I was completely confident that God existed and that Jesus died for me, but for some reason my father’s doubts really shook me. I started wondering how I could really know if anything was true. I still wanted to believe, and I still felt like I did, but at times I would experience painfully intense doubts and concerns about my faith and my relationship with God. I developed depression and anxiety and felt like my life was falling apart right around the time I thought I was supposed to be figuring things out.
Finally, one night, for the first time in my life, I wondered if God were real. That was by far the scariest moment of my life. I called some spiritually strong friends for strength, but no one answered. I remember going out onto a balcony to get some fresh air, but instead I was subjected to incredibly loud music being played across the street. At the time I was doing a service project in South America and there was this car with a sound system on its trailer that was absolutely blasting music. I couldn’t think, and going inside barely made a dent in the volume of the music. I remember praying and saying, “if you want me to know that you’re there, if you want me to hear you, how can I when I can’t even hear myself think?” Within seconds of that prayer the music started to get quieter. Over the course of the next three or so minutes, the music got quieter and quieter until it stopped altogether, and the car drove away. I can’t think of a reasonable explanation for that. I felt that God wanted me to know he cared, and I felt like he was there and listening. I wondered why I was going through those trials and I hoped they would stop.
They didn’t stop, but they have gotten less intense. I still have doubts and concerns sometimes, but when I pray, I feel the Lord’s love. I know he’s aware of my suffering and he’s grateful for my attempts to be faithful. When I feel like I can’t take anymore, I reach out to Christ and I always feel his presence strengthening me. He’s teaching me patience, and I’m doing my best to follow his example.