Atheist Questioning Why I Should Believe Although I am not a Christian, I was born-again for the first 21 years of my life. My intention is not to offend anyone with this post. I do not disrespect your faith or your right to believe what you do. I wouldn't be here, seeking your input, if I did. Also, as a warning, this post should only be read by adults. The reason I am posting here? Because I have been an atheist for years now, but I try to be open-minded. I won't lie and pretend that I don't sometimes miss my relationship with God; I do. However, I find it nearly impossible to believe in him anymore, and no matter how hard I have prayed in the past, no answer has been revealed to me. So here I am--not really expecting a life-changing answer, but open to a new perspective, willing to acknowledge a different point of view, if a believer out there has one to offer. Why I am an atheist: As a teenager and a young adult, my relationship with God meant everything to me. Nothing in the world mattered so much. Then, when I was 21, I was raped. In my fear and shame, I told no one what had happened to me for a long time. I admit that I was somewhat angry with God at first, but I was more angry with myself, and I turned to God in my time of need. I felt he was all I had, and I clung to his love to get through it. I firmly believed that he would not give me more than I could bear, that he had a plan for me, and I needed to trust in him rather than question this plan, no matter how much pain I was in. Then, six weeks later, I found out I was pregnant, and this devastated me. I admit that I considered having an abortion, even though it was against everything I had been taught, but I spent a lot of time praying before I made this decision. In the end, I decided to keep the child. I knew abortion was wrong, no matter what the circumstances. I firmly believed that every life was ordained by God and that what had happened to me wasn’t my daughter’s fault. But that wasn’t what led me to my decision to keep her. Rather, God had given me an unconditional love for the child growing inside of me. I began to see her as a blessing, the one beautiful thing that had come out of that pain. My relationship with God remained strong for the rest of my pregnancy, and I prayed daily for the little one that he had entrusted me with. She was beautiful, but she was born unequipped for this world and didn't make it to her second day of life. And it was her death that turned me away from him for good, that made me decide that I could not, and would not, ever believe in God again. It left me with too many questions, and not enough faith to answer them. I turned to the Bible and found no comfort, earnestly tried prayer and found no answers. Then, a year after all this happened, I went to a pastor with my questions. He told me that God was blessing me by relieving me of the burden of a child conceived by rape. But that answer only upset me more. If God had the power to "bless" me by taking away a child that in the end I loved more than anything in the world, why did he not have the power to save me from her ever being conceived in the first place? Why didn't he cause me to have a miscarriage early on and take her away before I had seen her on the ultrasound, before I had named her or felt her kick, before she was whole enough for me to hold? Why didn't he just let her live and be healthy and help me to raise her to believe in him and do good in this world? It just didn't make sense. I loved my child, but if his plan meant she wasn't to be, then he could have saved us both the suffering and never allowed me to become pregnant in the first place. Afterall, I never chose to do anything that would result in a pregnancy--I was forced. The same pastor then told me that God had given his son for me, so would I not be willing to make the same sacrifice and give my daughter if it was asked for by him? The answer is no. Maybe I don't have God's strength. Maybe it's because my daughter's death didn't save anyone. I don't know. All I could take from it was one of two things: Either there was no God, or there was one but not the God we conceive of in Christianity, rather just some benign being who has no control over what he created. Because even if there was some ultimate plan that was beyond my understanding, couldn’t it have been achieved just as easily by not ordaining the life of a child I wasn’t supposed to have or by saving the life of a child that I was supposed to have? After all, what came between only impacted me and her. It didn’t make me stronger, and she was taken away before she could have any impact on this world. I’m okay now, happy even. It’s been over five years. And I honestly doubt I’ll ever be a Christian again. But if there is someone out there who sees things differently, who understands my question and wants to pose a faith-based answer, I am willing to listen . . .