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By Marina ~

I'm a 23-year-old woman, and I was raised in an Orthodox Christian home. My parents fast, pray, and go to church occasionally (my mother, though, has cancer and she is unable to go and my father is very busy with his work), and even though they have struggles and difficulties they have never lost their faith.

I was given the Bible at a very young age and for 2-3 years I used to preach and praise the Bible to friends and relatives. I never understood the real meaning of the words but it was very fascinating to me.

As I grew up older I have started to feel that something's wrong or just didn't feel right. Some of the verses clashed with my code of ethics and some didn't make any sense at all. The Old Testament seemed to be inspired by a sociopath who wanted people enslaved, and despite the New Testament being slightly better, failure to obey God's will and living life in sin would be punished eternally.

I asked these questions to myself:
  • If God gave men free will, then why does he let people perish if they don't follow him? 
  • If God sends us here, then why does he forbid all earthly pleasures such us having fun,sex-masturbation, making money and countless others? 
  • What's the meaning of sending us here in this life when it's just temporary and sinful? and 
  • Why doesn't God answer my prayers?

I asked many times God to show me a sign that he is real and... nada... Some things I thought were God's divine intervention were just pure coincidences or natural (things like losing something, getting over a break up, feeling relief after being depressed).

I wanted to know the truth and I'm still searching to this day. I came across various websites discussing both sides of the coin, but I'm still confused.

What really scares me to death and prevents me from abandoning my faith completely is fear of hell. There are a bunch of people who claim to have gone to hell and then back. Their stories have had many similarities. (Bill Wiese, Mrs K.Baxter, Angelica Zamprano, and few others). I wish and hope they are liars or victims of hallucinations, but these people devoted their life to spreading the stories of their experiences and the Word of God. I'm sure many here will respond with a " they just do it to sell books," but not all of them sell books or have websites that need donations.

If any of you have proof that these are just propaganda I will deeply appreciate really drives me insane.

I have asked God to show me a sign that these things are real but it's like talking to the wall. I will probably continue to pray but up to a certain point I will stop if I don't receive the answers to my concerns.

I will update my experience (or lack of) after some time... I really hope that I will get past this stage soon.