Tonight has been declared "Second Saturday" on my hall, and most of my friends are treating it like a second shot at the weekend and are pretty smashed. My very stoned and drunk friend asked me tonight when I started believing in God in a stunning non sequitur. I sat and thought for a minute (which wasn't actually noticeable considering I was the only non-high person in the room because I don't smoke - yay healthy lungs!), and I finally came to the conclusion that I simply always have.
There was no beginning of believing in God for me. I grew up in the church and in some way or another it has been a constant presence in my life, but beyond that, God has been an even more constant presence. He's just always been there, like stuffed animals, or my love of blankets, or air. Believing is a part of me. I can't imagine a world without something greater or without that little voice inside guiding me. In part, it has always been instilled in me, but it's also been a constant personal proclivity to believe that somebody out there has our backs. Otherwise, I honestly don't know how I'd get through the day.
Being an atheist seems awfully brave to me. I have to admit, I admire their fortitude to press on in life, even without some faith in something higher. It seems awfully difficult to me to go through the day without that comforting knowledge that someone out there made you and loves you, someone with a heart that is not humanly fallible, whose devotion has literally shaped our existence.
One of my good friends at school is an atheist, and he's been helping me deal with a lot of my major church issues with such tact and kindness that I am forever grateful to him. And always he reminds me that I'm a good person. I don't usually think I'm such a good person; I feel like I screw up an awful lot, but knowing that I have someone who can see the good in me, even somebody who doesn't believe in God, but who can recognize a piece of His goodness...it's a powerful thing. Everyone needs someone to see the best of them, and I've been blessed with innumerable people who do that for me every single day, even when I'm at my worst and I'm obnoxious and whiny and obsessive, and especially when I start doubting myself.
Thank God for friends, both the friends who pose questions and friends who sit with you while you struggle through them.