Continued from here.
After my father died unexpectedly when I was 16 years old, I walked away from my faith for 11 years. I questioned my faith to its very core, including how I could even know that God exists. After all, I cannot see Him or touch Him, so how could I be sure that He even exists?
My answer to that question today is simple: I have no other explanation for the amazing transformation that has taken place in me … a transformation that has been so profound that numerous people in my life have noticed and commented upon it. Let me give you a snapshot of the “before” and “after:”
|Intense self-loathing||Self-acceptance, even of my many quirks|
|Binge eating disorder||Healthy diet and exercise with a steady, healthy weight|
|Judgmental with a potty mouth||Compassionate and accepting of people exactly where they are & absence of profanity|
|Control freak||Patient and much more comfortable in dealing with change and the unknown|
|Extremely self-absorbed||Progressively more focused on deferring my own preferences to others|
|Constant complainer who was driven by intense emotions in the aftermath of child abuse||Progressively choosing gratitude over grumbling by choosing to focus on the blessings rather than the problems|
|Very bitter and unforgiving||I have fully forgiven everyone who has ever wronged me, including my childhood abusers.|
|People pleaser who avoided confrontation at all costs||Assertive person who truly does not care what other people think of me, as long as God loves me.|
|Rebellious, manipulative, and distrusting of authority||Trust that God is in control, and I submit to authority out of love for God.|
People with my history of child abuse and aftereffects of suicidal urges, self-injury, eating disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, insomnia, etc. don’t experience the level of transformation that has happened to me, even after years of therapy. I was told in therapy to be realistic about my therapy goals, and the changes I have undergone would not have been “realistic” … and yet they happened. I have no other explanation other than that there is, in fact, a God who is more powerful than my brokenness was.
I can relate to the man who Jesus healed of blindness in his conversation with the Pharisees:
A second time they [the Pharisees] summoned the man who had been blind. ‘Give glory to God by telling the truth,’ they said. ‘We know this man [Jesus] is a sinner.’
He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’ ~ John 9:24-24
You ask how I know there is a God. My response is simple: “One thing I do know. I was broken, but now I’m healed.”
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace scratching her head and saying, “I don’t know.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]