I Went to Bed a Christian and Woke Up an Agnostic

Today, I’m excited to have my good writing friend, Jenny Snow share on my blog. Jenny has a heart for people and for God. I hope you are as moved as I was as Jenny shares some of her spiritual journey with us. 

I was raised in a Christian home with three siblings and loving parents. We played sports, camped, fished, and went to church. Through life’s ups and downs, I prayed, read my Bible, and tried to serve God. With all my heart, I loved the Lord.

Then one summer night, before my senior year of high school, my world flipped.


Jenny's globe

I went to bed a Christian. I woke up an Agnostic.

Was there a God? I didn’t know. What if I had just imagined him? Miracles and prayers answered—coincidence. Myself—just a product of millions of years of tiny changes in biology. Had I spent my life on a fairy tale?

And if there was a God, who was he? Jesus? Allah? Buddha? Someone else? For the first time in my life, I wasn’t sure. Anxiety crept through me, twisting my insides into a stranglehold.

I drove to work, the beauty of the morning sky seared my heart. Not created? Just molecules? How desperately sad. And yet, I had to know the truth.

FaithI remembered snatches from the Bible: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” So I began my search. If the Bible was true, I would find God. If there was no God, I would find out.

Determined not to ruin anyone else’s faith, I told only my best friend, my parents, and my pastor.

My best friend promised to pray and loved me the same. My pastor supported my search and asked if he could pray for me. I agreed. Hands on my shoulders, he prayed. I silently joined. Are you there God? Give me a sign.

My hands tingled. But it could’ve just been my body’s reaction to the moment.

My dad talked with me about his experiences with God. I remembered the story of my great-grandfather who was healed as a baby. My mom also shared. I marveled at her peace—her surety. It was like a blanket of comfort that filled the room. Could I hang my faith on their testimonies alone? I needed more.

Reading my old journals, I recalled specific prayers answered and revelatory dreams that impacted my life. I considered miracles I’d witnessed. Could they have been imagined?

I studied world religions and read the Bible with a sense of urgency. It seemed almost the only relief from my anxiety.

I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (renowned philosopher, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, and former atheist.) The logic astounded me. Could it be so simple?

CS Lewis with quote

An Alpha Class I attended impacted me greatly. For weeks, I ate dinner, listened to video-talks by Nicky Gumbel (former atheist, pioneer of the Alpha course, and Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton church in London,) and discussed the questions of life and Christianity with the people in the class.

Little by little, over months of study and searching, I became convinced. God exists. The Bible is true. Jesus is God’s Son, he really walked the earth, and he’s the only way to heaven.

I believed.

But my story isn’t over.

The months following were so sweet—like a honeymoon. God seemed to bend over backward to confirm his truth to me, to let me feel his presence. Many of my lingering questions were answered, and I enjoyed peace—genuine peace of both heart and soul.

ReadingOccasionally, a doubt would attack me, and I’d reread my journal of miracles, prayers answered, and God moments. I’d remind myself of the truth I knew and trust Him all over again.

One such day, June 13, 2001, I was troubled again. Despite believing, ambiguous feelings of fear and doubt had returned. I asked God to give me a prophetic word. I knew he didn’t have to, and I’d still trust him if he didn’t, but I desperately wanted him to speak to me in some way other than the Bible.

After work that day, I received a letter in the mail from my former church. It was a transcript of a prophetic word a visiting preacher had prayed for my youth group more than three years earlier. He prayed for many of us individually, me included. The letter summarized what he prayed for each of us. Highlighted in yellow, mine read, “Jenny-a leader, will bring her friends, has wisdom.”

I held the letter in my hands. My prophetic word. Why would someone on staff mail a prophetic word from more than three years ago to someone who no longer attended their church?

 Because God had decided to grant my request before I’d even asked it.

I was humbled. He’d been so gracious to me, even with all my doubts. I felt like Thomas, to whom Jesus said in John 20, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I’d missed out on the blessing of believing without having to have miracle upon miracle. Even so, he’d Hope & Faithbeen patient and kind.

And now?

 I know. I know HIM. And no person or thing can separate me from his love.

You can know him too. I pray that you’ll seek the Lord with all of your heart. If you do, you’ll find him.

Has my story encouraged you? Do you know someone who needs it? Please feel free to share.

P.S. Want to seek God, but don’t know where to start? Read the Bible, pray, and attend a Bible-believing church. And my extra tidbit? Read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and sign up for an Alpha Course.

Jenny SnowJenny Snow is a wife and mother of three who writes about life, love, romance, and relationships. Her story, “Lost,” is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her stories, “First Step Home,” “Undercover Crush,” and “Unexpected Encounter,” are published in Splickety Love Magazine. And her story, “Sweet Sentiments” is published in Family Fiction’s The Story: 2014 Anthology. Connect with her at www.jennysnow.net, www.facebook.com/jennysnowauthor, and www.twitter.com/jennysnowauthor.




5 Responses to I Went to Bed a Christian and Woke Up an Agnostic

  1. Jenny Snow October 1, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog, Henry! It was such a blessing.

  2. Henry October 1, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    It was an honor and blessing to have you, Jenny.

  3. Diane Bohannan October 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, Jenny! Great blog!

  4. Jenny Snow October 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Thank you, Diane! I’m so glad you liked it.


  1. My First Guest Post - Jenny Snow, Author - September 30, 2015

    […] Today, I have the privilege of guest posting my story, I Went to Bed a Christian and Woke Up an Agnostic, on author Henry McLaughlin’s blog. I was thrilled to be invited to share, and I would love to have you stop by. What is the biggest faith crisis you have ever faced? How did you get through it? Come join the conversation at The Official Website of Henry McLaughlin. […]

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