An 18 year old male questions his faith, and is reassured.
For most of my life, I have been a devout Catholic. I’ve been baptized, had my First Communion and Confirmation, going through all of the rights a Catholic would have gone through at this point. Over the past few years though, things have changed dramatically, and the spiritual side of me seems to fade away from time to time. I don’t attend Mass as often as I should, and haven’t been completely adhering to the Laws in the Bible. It is mostly because, over the years, the things I’ve seen and experienced have led me to greatly question my faith, namely the big one: how can God exist when there is so much suffering in the world? I couldn’t understand how God could allow people to suffer as much as they do, when they’ve done virtually nothing to deserve their pain.
I felt myself drifting away from religion altogether, which, strangely enough, didn’t bother me all the time. Every now and then, I would feel that I needed it to return, but it was usually just a passing thought. This predominantly happened around the summers of grades 10 and 11, when I was going through a particularly torturing (almost literally) time with some “friends” from elementary school. Anytime a person wants to hurt themselves, that is really the final way of showing that you question God’s existence.
Even after getting through these events, and moving on to better times, I still wondered how a God as good as He is proclaimed to be can allow things like this to happen to decent people. What I came to realize, though, is that the saying “it’s always darkest before dawn” can indeed be true. Those rough 2 years led me to find some great friends in grade 12, and since then, for the most part, things have been much better.
Things like this, or even smaller instances, such as two friends resolving a potentially “friendship-destroying” dispute (which has happened a couple of times now) have given me new eyes for religion. I am still not as devout as I once was, nor do I fully accept God’s existence, but instances in my life such as these have given me new hope that maybe God is really there, and that in the end, He will take care of everything. If anything, even if I don’t fully believe, I no longer doubt God’s existence, and am more open to Catholicism than I used to be.
Like previous responses, this contributor needed his own form of personal validation to be certain of his belief in God. When one is taught religion as a child, we are generally taught that God is great, almighty, and capable of doing anything. Eventually, as one gets older, they may discover that bad things occur. This may cause one to doubt and have a lapse in their faith. Like the story of Jacob who wrestles the angel and ultimately prevails, if one wrestles with religious doubt and uncertainty, and finds a reason to succeed, one’s faith will ultimately be stronger.