“Why Atheism & I Parted Ways” -Haydn’s Story
Haydn grew up in Norman and is a friend of Redeemer through some of our members and through the Tuesday night soccer group. He graduated from Norman High School the spring of 2014. Though Haydn didn’t grow up knowing Jesus, it was during his time in high school that Christ revealed Himself to Haydn and began calling him into the family of God. This is the story of how God used the local church and everyday Christians to connect Haydn to the truth of the gospel. This is Haydn’s redemption story.
Growing up, my family was in and out of church (mostly out), so I never really had the chance to hear and truly get to know who Jesus was. I always thought he was just a character in a book; that he was just a representation of this “God” that I didn’t believe in. The major reason Atheism & I were homies in the first place was because I couldn’t believe, considering all of the bad in the world, that this loving God actually existed. I would ask myself, “If this God is so great why do I suffer so much?” Seeing my friends that I knew as “Christians” curse and start smoking weed in the 7th grade was another reason why I thought that Christianity was simply a game and church was just a social event. In the 8th grade I played a lot of Xbox, and I would play online often with my friends Alec & Nathan. Every time we were all online, we would get into heated debates about creation vs. evolution. After about the third discussion I started to realize that these guys really believe in and love this guy they call “God”. I began to realize that maybe this isn’t a game. It was the first time I witnessed Christians standing up for their faith. From then until the beginning of my junior year of high school, I was lost and confused. I didn’t know what to believe or what to do. I began drinking and smoking to keep the pain to a minimum. I realized that if I thought the world was such a terrible place that there had to be some kind of example of good. But what was that example? I had become a character from a song by The Script—“I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing -â€ just prayin’ to a God that I don’t believe in.” I was praying for Him to take away my deepest struggles even though I didn’t even believe He existed; makes sense, right? My buddy Kalen had been trying to get me to go to youth group all summer before junior year, and my mom wanted me to go to church so I could live a good life, but of course I always had an excuse not to go. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and started crying at a party that I decided to give this church thing a shot. I went to help set up a VBS with a friend at a church. The church made me want to stick around. The people acted like a family. I felt truly loved and accepted by someone in this world other than my family. It’s hard to pinpoint, but during a worship time, I had a realization that life wasn’t a game and that Jesus was real. I knew that Jesus was accepting me for who I was. After talking with the youth pastor and working through some things, I was baptized in November of my junior year. Since then my life has taken a 180 in a great direction. Realizing even after all I had done that God still loved me was life changing, and I will never go back to the lifestyle I lived before. Jesus is no longer a character; He is my Lord and Savior.