My grandmother is an atheist. Who else has an atheist grandmother? Usually I think of grandma’s going to church every Sunday, but not mine. Why this is, I may never know. I didn’t find Jesus until I moved across the country, and because she is hard of hearing it is hard to talk to her on the phone. The Holy Spirit is putting it on my heart to witness to her, and I’d appreciate your prayers in having her open her mind and heart when I mail her the letter next week. I wanted to share with you some of the letter. It is a bit scatter brained, but surviving on coffee and chocolate and no sleep here, what can I say.
I wanted to write more about my faith in a separate letter. I am not sure where I should start, nor if I have enough memory to accurately give an account of my entire story. However, I will do my best. The purpose of this letter is simply to tell you more of who I am, and who I have become. It is difficult for me to get enough time or even find the words to speak when we chat on the phone. Alas, I have found another, more convenient, way to communicate. What can I say; I prefer writing to speaking any day of the week.
Growing up, I was a troubled teenager. I have encountered enough situations to be diagnosed with PTSD by a psychologist. These were my demons, yet I have overcome them. I have not had to endure the struggle of being widowed at 28 with two children like you, however. Often times I wonder what my grandfather was like… did he like to read? Did he go to church? Did he have a favorite food? Did he have a nickname for my Dad? If you know these answers, I’d love to have you share them with me.
Anyway, back to my story. I have believed in the existence of God since I was a child. However, as a teenager, I “fell away” from the church, as they like to call it. I did not see the logic or purpose in religion and therefore did not participate in it. I think this is where you may find yourself today. I abused alcohol, up until my early 20’s, despite working a full-time job and going to school. When I became pregnant with *****, there was something inside me that knew I had a responsibility to this life that I brought into the world. Not only a responsibility of taking care of this life, my precious son, yet a responsibility to find where I truly stand with God, what I believe, and why. I needed to stand for something, either for God or against God, and not be “lukewarm.” “I don’t know” is not a sufficient answer when children have questions. So started the journey. I started going to church, and found out that every denomination worships differently. They all spoke about Jesus. I had questions! Who was this Jesus? I joked that I was Jewish because I did not think Jesus could be the son of God. Boy, was I ever wrong.
It took me three long years of study. I read several books, including the entire Bible. I read books from Atheists and Christians. I read history books, philosophy books, and theology books. I majored at a college in Theology (though my minor is in Christian Counseling). I wanted to know EVERYTHING I could about this Jesus character, so I could disprove he was the son of God, and therefore somehow disprove the relevance of religion in my life and my family’s life.
Well, there was too much science and logic to prove that Jesus Christ was indeed the son of God, and further, that God does exist. If you would like to know more about science and God, I have attached a pamphlet. If you would like to know more about the historical and scientific proof of Jesus Christ, I have mailed you a book called A Case for Christ last year, please read it! It is an amazing book, written by an atheist and Ivy League college graduate. Did you know that there are over 300 prophecies, also known as predictions, that were predicted 2,000 years before Jesus was born—and JESUS HIMSELF fulfilled them two thousand years later?! This is true, and so fascinating. Jesus is not only found in the Bible. There are secular accounts of Jesus in valid, scientific, and historical documents that are used worldwide by scholars. There are more controversial things, such as the Shroud of Turin, that dates back to Jesus’ time and has an image of his face in blood. It is said to be the cloth that was placed on his face in burial. I would love to travel and see it sometime. These facts are what swayed me.
I also thought about the larger picture. God made matter; God made the Big Bang, God created the earth. Nevertheless, why did God send Jesus and why is Jesus so important in understanding God? Well, it all starts with humanity. Humans were made in God’s image to be good, to be moral, and decent. Satan and his evil ways have touched this world. There is crime, cancer, hate, murder, and society is becoming more consumed with money and looks than helping others. Why does God allow this to happen? Because God loves us, he gave us free will to choose Him. We can be atheists if we want! On the other hand, we can be Christians. It is up to us. True love gives free will; true love cannot force itself on anything. Thus, God gives us free will. However, because of the fallen world and our sinful ways, there is only ONE way out of eternal life in Hell after death. That is believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Jesus, a perfect being, was born of a Virgin Mary. His ministry was only three years long, yet he is still spoken of today. In fact, did you know our date system is because of Jesus? B.C. stands for “Before Christ” and used to be the dating system, which ended at 1 B.C….and then worked its way up from 1 AD and now it is 2016 A.D., which stands for Anno Domini, which means “Year of our Lord.” Jesus Christ did and does exist. Ask anyone about the dating system you use today.
Moving on, Jesus had eyewitness accounts of miracles, healing, preaching, fellowship, parables, and most importantly, love. He said if anyone wants to come to God the Father, they must do so through Jesus Christ. Was this man Jesus a lunatic? Not so much. He was very intelligent. If he were a loony, he would not have had so many followers back then. However, mob mentality took over when those who conspired against him wanted Jesus to be put to death. If he was just a crazy person, why would politicians and kings put this man to death? They beat, tortured, and murdered him, nailing his 33-year-old body to a crucifix, a wooden cross. At the hour of his death, the world turned dark for three hours, and there was a giant earthquake. Scientists have found writings about the sun eclipsing and a giant earthquake around the time of Jesus’ death, which further fascinated me. Jesus the Christ, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, had to die because God loved us so much, he gave his only begotten Son to die on the cross so that humanity, mere humanity, may have eternal life with their Creator. Does that make sense? One day it all clicked.
Now, I have my ups and downs in life. Well go through happy and sad seasons, this is normal. However, being a Christian means peace in my mind and heart. It means I do not care about money, status, or clothes. It means I am happy with whatever I have. I see my duty as taking care of my children, and helping others in need, whomever needs help. I will pull over and give food and money to homeless. I donate when I can. One day, the world will die, and there will be nothing left. Does it matter what kind of car we drive? No. Will it matter if we choose to rely on God, loving and appreciating the Creator that we have not seen? Yes. It is hard to have faith and hope in what is unseen. However, we know that what is seen will perish and what is unseen is eternal. I want to share this with you because one, I love you. Secondly, because I want you to understand that Jesus died for all of humanity, and he died for you too. He wants you to love him, and even if you do not want to, the opportunity will always be out there. Once I started having faith, little things kept happening, which I think is God’s work in my life. I have found hope and friendship, including support during difficult times from Christians. There is everything to be gained if you have faith, even just a pinch of it. Try going to a Lutheran Church some Sunday, or the local Catholic Church. Even a nondenominational Christian Church has weekday and evening services. I am sure Marvin would drive you. Churches have transportation for elderly, and they are happy to pick you up at your house and take you back home as well. Let me know if you are interested in this service, I would be happy to set it all up! And, if you know the answers to my questions about my dad’s Dad, I’d love to know. Anyway, I love you and I hope you are OK with my long-winded letter. I told you I like to write.