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Testimony of an Ex-Atheist
By Darren "Daz" Gedye
I grew up in a non-Christian home. My father is an atheist and my mother was a backslidden Christian, due mostly to marrying my father I suspect. Anyway, I grew up an atheist. I never went to Church or Sunday school, stayed in bed till lunch-time on Sundays, and hated Christians who I thought were all stupid.
When I came to adolescence I went through a really hard time due to circumstances that I won't bore you with, and I decided life would be easier to bear if I cut out all feelings and contact with other people. I was eleven years old.
I spent the next decade working at achieving that goal and also trying to find a meaning for my life. I went through a stage of fads, where I would be fanatically interested in some subject, and then drop it when I found that it did little or nothing to feed the hunger in my soul. I didn't have many friends at high school, and those I did associate with decided I was the person most likely to initiate a global holocaust.
I dropped out of school after failing my University Entrance exams, and got a job as a chemistry technician with the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. With the money came independence. I left home, was living in a house by myself, going to a job where I spoke to no-one, and going to night school at the local polytechnic where I did the same. I had achieved my goal: my life was empty of any emotions or meaningful contact with others. - It sucked.
The second year I was at night school I noticed a guy in my class was trying to talk to me. He'd been trying for the previous year as well, but I was too messed up to even notice. Luckily he was the patient type. He was a Christian and he invited me to go to an evangelistic outreach with him. I nearly punched him out. After that he tried just to be my friend and not try any heavy evangelism on me.
As I grew to trust him we started talking about life and stuff like that. I realized that a lot of what I had been told about Christians when I was growing up was not true. I started asking him questions about his beliefs and he answered them, but had the sense not to push it any further.
After a couple of years of this I realized that his worldview made more sense than mine did. I started reading a Bible he gave me and one night alone in my room it dawned on me that it was all true and I was the world's prize idiot. I hit the floor and asked Jesus to take control of my life.
My Mother has since reclaimed her faith so my family is now divided down the middle; my mother and I are Christians, my father and brother are atheists. Becoming a Christian didn't solve my problems, but it helped me to understand them and it opened the way for God to start healing me from my past.
After a few years I started going to Bible College at nights to learn more about God. I did that for two years, but then the pressures of trying to hold down a full time and demanding job, go to Bible College at night, and help out in the Church and its youth group got too much. I dropped out of Church for a couple of months and failed my subjects at Bible College. I wanted to do something with my life for God, but I didn't know what.
After a long struggle and a fair bit of soul-searching I quit my job and applied for the Youth Intern position at my local Church. I have switched from doing a Diploma of Biblical Studies to doing a Ministry Internship Diploma, which is a much more practical course. I am trying to do less studying of God and more following him. So far I am enjoying it, but I know following God is a lifetime journey. I still have a long way to go.
As an aside, my friend from polytech is the most effective evangelist I have ever met. He has never been to Bible College or had any formal training and he says I now know far more theology than he does. But he has a love for God that still amazes me.
Darren "Daz" Gedye's homepage
Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light
The above article was published in Darkness to Light
and posted on this Web site in 1996.
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