Atheist Finds the Answer to A Life of Joy

Veronica says, “I absolutely loved orchestra.  We're playing Beethoven, we're playing Vivaldi, we're playing Mozart.”

Ever since she was young, Veronica relished being known for her musical ability.  She explains, “People admired my music, my talent.”

She grew up in a loving family in San Francisco.  Both her mom and dad were pastors, so faith and church were the center of their lives.

Veronica says, “My dad's very theological, philosophically sound.  So any questions that we asked, he was never intimidated by.  My mom added this element of wonder to our belief.  God is infused in who we are and He allows us to be who we want to be.”   

But at 12 years old, Veronica would question everything she had been taught.  A split in their church compelled her parents to take a sabbatical, and move to central California.  For Veronica, it was devastating to realize the church wasn’t perfect after all.

She recalls, “When I was around brokenness, it was hard to be around that because I'm like, I don’t want to be broken.  I don’t want to be seen as broken and weak.  I wanted to be somebody who could be admired.  I’m just like, ‘God, can people be successful in Christianity?’”

It also affected her view of God.  She says, “I started to go ‘Wait a minute.  Why would somebody so awesome allow so much division and pain and emotional turmoil?’”

The only identity she felt sure of was being a musician.  At 16 she enrolled in college classes and joined the orchestra.  She started meeting people with different viewpoints, most of which were opposed to Christianity.  Not wanting to stand out, she kept her beliefs to herself.         

She explains, “My, uh, self-confidence was determined by how people thought of me.  Uh, it was really hard for me to be in circumstances like college where they make you feel like an idiot if you believe those things.  Other people's opinions definitely started affecting my own.  And when I started to compare and contrast, I was like, ‘What do I believe?’”

Even more influential was a man she met 13 years her senior.  He was a musician, and an outspoken atheist.  Veronica says, “I was just curious, I'm like, ‘What is it like to not believe in God or not to have these values or expectations upon yourself that you have to act a certain way?  Why do I have to act a certain way?’”

The two started dating, despite her parents’ strong objections.  At 18, she told them she was leaving.

Her father Kenny recalls that moment: “I said, ‘Well, Veronica, if you walk away, that's your decision.’  I said, ‘But we're your parents, we love you, we will not tolerate what's going on between you and this guy.’  That same week that she walked away, we had a minister's retreat, and the pastor of that retreat, his first - his message was about his daughter, a prodigal.  And, uh, so that just triggered to me that she's – she's become a prodigal.”

That same year Veronica went to UCLA on a music scholarship.  She spent the next three years partying, playing music, and searching for the truth.  She had little contact with her parents, who continued to pray.  Veronica’s name was first on the list when their church started a prayer wall.

Her mother Nikki says, “I was not a pillar of faith and I depended on my friends that believed that God was going to bring her back.  And-and so sometimes I'd get really weak, I could tell, you know, I'm like, ‘Oh, this is never going to happen.’  You know, I'd get so tired.”

Meanwhile Veronica decided the only way to quiet the battle in her mind, was to dismiss her Christian faith.  She says, “I remember the moment that I really thought, ‘Maybe this isn't true.’  It was like somebody had died.  It was like a darkness had gone over me.  And I relinquished to it.  I was like, ‘Okay, I’m not going to fight this anymore.’”

After graduation, she broke up with her boyfriend and took a job as a pre-school teacher in Houston, Texas.  Exhausted and irritable most of the time, her only way to relax was yoga and smoking pot.

She explains, “I didn’t have music, I didn't have the ‘intellectualism’ anymore.  I had the partying, but then that was really rough on my body, so I didn't have the energy anymore.  I didn't really have much else at that point.”

Also living in Houston was her older sister, who worked at a crisis pregnancy center.  Unlike veronica, she had held on to her Christian faith, and had joy in her life.  Veronica says, “I started talking to her more, asking her more questions, asking her about God.  And there was just a depth there that started piquing my interest like, this is more than what I heard as a kid. This is a daily walk.  This is something where she's getting refreshed every day.”

Then in March 2015, Veronica was in a bad car accident, but walked away with no injuries.  Her sister pointed out that God had protected her for a reason.  Veronica says, “Then she looked me square in the eye and was like, ‘Do you think it was a coincidence that you didn't get hurt in your car accident?’ And I realized at that moment, that people were praying for me.  And I was like, ‘You know, I'm just going to give it a try.’  It was a very non-spiritual prayer. I was just like, ‘Jesus, you know, if you're there I give my life to you.  I have no other options, you know, do with it what you want.’”

Her sister gave her a book about Christianity, atheism, and the truth about creation in Genesis.  Veronica says, “You start seeing that it's the relationship between God and man and the redemption that's there that you cannot find in drugs. You can't find it in intellectualism, you can't find in your friendships, you can't find in your relationships, you can't find in your family, you can't find in yourself.  And, you know, that was just a big moment for me.”

With renewed faith, she grew in her relationship with Christ.  God showed her that His plan is better than her desire to be part of the crowd.  She says, “God's really challenged that and said, ‘No, that's not – that's not what it's about.  It's about you being you and allowing Me to be glorified within who you are because that's who I created you to be.’  I'm influenced by God and my identity is in-in Christ and how He has forgiven me.”  

When they learned their prayers for Veronica had been answered, Kenny and Nikki shared the good news with a church leader.  Kenny remembers, “I said, ‘So what do we do with the names once the prayers are answered?’  I said, ‘cause Veronica…’  And she's like, ‘Praise the Lord!  Veronica's better.’   So we put Veronica's name up at the very top.  She was the first one on the board and the first name that she had come to the Lord-back to the Lord.”

Veronica married in 2018, and uses her passion for music as a worship leader and children’s minister.  She knows that her true identity and joy come through Christ.  She says, “He created me for a purpose.  I'm here because He loves me.  I have a walk that I'm on and a journey to be finished faithfully. I'm waiting for that day when He says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’  Let me be a good and faithful servant.  Help me be a good and faithful servant.” 

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Right-click on a link below and choose "Save link as..." to save the file

High Definition - MP4
High Quality - MP4
Low Bandwidth - MP4
Audio Only - MP3
Give Now