Sure! I typed this up for another forum awhile ago
I was raised loosely non-denominational Protestant. We didn’t go to church regularly but if we asked to go my mom took us, and the baby-sitter we had most of our early childhood was very religious (7th day adventist). I had a very hard childhood (my father was extremely abusive in all ways) and I completely turned my back on God when I was around 14 (after briefly being “born again”) I went through a lot of religions trying to find one, Wiccan/paganism mostly. A year or so before we decided to convert I also went to a Tibetan Buddhist center quite a bit (which I loved, and there’s a lot of parallels with Catholicism). Dh had been raised without religion until his father died when he was around 12, then his mother started going to a very fundamentalist Baptis church. Quite celebrating Halloween because it was “the Devil’s day” and handed out Chic tracts, all of that. So dh became extremely anti-religion, especially anti-Christian because of the drastic change in his mother. It got worse when she was diagnosed with cancer and she died when he was 16. I think he felt like religion robbed him of his mother and took advantage of her when she was extremely vulnerable.
I was always pretty spiritual, I never really truly believed there wasn’t a God. I was just very angry and I also had my self-worth demolished by my “father,” so I think in many ways it was defensive. I felt that no one, not even God could love me, and it was less painful to say He didn’t exist than to accept that He might not love and forgive me.
Our second daughter’s birth was very traumatic. It was supposed to be a peaceful homebirth and I ended up with another c/s. She had seizures and we found out she had had a massive stroke at some point during the pregnancy and suffered severe brain damage from it (she lost just over 50% of her brain mass). With our history, you’d think it would’ve cemented for us that there could be no God (or at least no loving God) but really it had the opposite effect. I remember being in the NICU with her when she was still sedated from all the medication, I hadn’t even been able to hold her, and they were preparing us for the possibility that if she lived she might be in a persistent vegetative state her entire life. It’s hard to describe, but while on one hand I’ve never felt so alone, I also just had this strong under current of calm and assurance and I just knew that we would be okay. Once I was sitting by her and an older nun came up (it’s a Catholic hospital) and didn’t say anything, she just smiled and placed her hands on my head. I never saw her again but it was exactly what I needed at that time. It was confusing to me at the time, but during her stay, I really felt the presence of God and angels and I know it’s the only reason I made it through those two weeks without losing my mind.
A lot of things that might be coincidence but seemed like divine intervention to us happened. When my labor had stalled out after over 2 days of labor and our midwife urged me to go to the hospital (she had also picked up quite a few decelerations in Riley’s heart beat) the local hospital, which is usually pretty empty, had no room. So we had to go an hour away, which was a blessing because the local hospital is small and has no NICU, while Home Hospital has one of the best in the state (had she been born in our town, she would’ve had to been life-lined and her brain damage could’ve been even worse). We normally live paycheck to paycheck, and within a week of her being born we literally had thousands of dollars come our way so dh could take more time off of work and we could still pay our bills (she was in the NICU for two weeks). 2500K of this came because 2 days after we brought her home, dh took a different way home than normal (he had taken our oldest daughter to get some videos) and got pulled over for speeding. They found he had an old warrant (failure to appear in court when he was 19, which is another story) and arrested him. He was taken 2 hours away and of course I was an emotional wreck. My baby had just come home from the hospital and now my husband was in jail. Thankfully it all worked out and he had that large chunk of money from when he had had bond posted years ago.