Someone recently asked me when I had experienced my crisis of faith. My answer was about a dark period in my very early 20's. But, I've been thinking about it further, and I am not sure if I ever had a crisis of faith. I never had that confirmation of the spirit that people talk about. I never really felt God's presence in my life. I never experienced anything I considered to be miraculous. I never had any emotional warm fuzzy feelings surrounding a "spiritual experience" (at least not any that I didn't attribute to hormonal fluctuations.) I tried to have faith. I wanted to believe in God and I threw myself whole-heartedly into the gain-a-testimony-infinite-loop-trap. I followed (almost) all of the rules. I magnified more callings that a young woman should ever have. But, the testimony never came. So, during the very dark period when I was 20-ish, I gave God sort of an ultimatum. The deal was that I had done everything I could think of to get a confirmation of His existence with no luck. And, I found myself at a point in my life when I really needed His guidance and comfort. So, I told Him that if He was there, I needed to know it and that I felt I had held up my part of the bargain. So, if He couldn't be counted on to comfort me in my darkest hour, I was going to stop trying to believe and just embrace atheism. That's what I did.
But, is that a faith crisis if my problem was that I never really had faith? I had hope, so maybe it was an hope crisis? Perhaps an existential crisis? I have tended to think of it in more positive terms, as an awakening or more appropriately, as self-realization/self-acceptance and embracement of the finite nature of my existence. I only started to think maybe it was a "crisis" after I had heard almost everyone else describe their experiences in that way. Thoughts?
What I do know was that, when I finally gave myself permission to stop searching and trying to believe something for which there is no evidence, I felt that warm, peaceful feeling. I don't attribute that to anything other than whatever tangled mess of biochemical signaling that occurs in our brains when we experience the emotion we call relief.