"I rejected everything that I could not rationalize scientifically."
Anita Miller is a logical person. Talk to her for a few minutes and you will instantly see her love for math. And computer science.
She is a logical person, after all.
Her resume is impeccable, too. After spending decades in D.C. developing large-scale computing systems for big-name companies like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, she moved to New Mexico to start her own company that focuses on information sharing systems and cybersecurity.
Raised in the church from an early age, Anita remembers being “baptized right on schedule.” When she graduated from high school, Anita and her friends all chose to attend Abilene Christian University together. While studying for her undergraduate degree Anita followed all of the rules. Did all the Christian things. And lived the Christian life that she was taught to live.
Then she went to graduate school.
Anita immersed herself in mathematics and computer science. Her life revolved around logic, proofs, and algorithms. “I started to believe only in things that I could rationalize,” she says. “I began to think that my parents’ religion was not logical, that its concepts could not be proven and that I should rethink my decisions.”
The more that Anita studied math and science, the more questions she had about her faith. “I convinced myself that evolution was much more logical and explainable than creation. I decided that the life-after-death concept was not a rational concept and was just a fairy tale to make survivors feel better.
“This was my logic.”
Anita is honest, though, when she remembers rejecting her beliefs. She says that it was more than the questioning of her parents and upbringing. It was more than rebellion against the
things that she had been taught as a child. “I rejected everything that I could not rationalize scientifically,” she remembers. Faith is illogical. And it doesn’t belong in a life focused on logic, proof and algorithms.
In 2013, now living in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area, Anita spent some time with friends. And when they started sharing about their different beliefs, Anita began to get annoyed and
uncomfortable. But then something shocked her. Something that she wasn’t prepared for. “I found myself being surprised that these intelligent, logical-thinking, normal people clearly believed in God,” she says. Being around logical people that also had faith prompted Anita to return to her roots, to her foundation. “[The discussion] lead me to reread the Bible one more time with an open mind, just in case they were right.”
“As I read, I found the teachings to be profoundly moving, transformational” Anita remembers. “Quotes like ‘faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,’ reshaped my perspective.” Other passages about faith started to make sense, as well. Verses like Hebrews 11:6 ("Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”) and Hebrews 11:3 ("By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible") intrigued her. “I was empowered by the idea that I was saved by faith, not by works.”
Anita also started to see herself in the scriptures of the Old Testament. She saw a humanity in the Israelites that reminded her of her own life. “I saw myself when I read about the Israelites wanting to do things their own way, even when God was visibly doing miracles for them".
“I even began to think about death differently as I read references such as God telling Moses that he would be ‘gathered to his people'. What a lovely thought!”
"Montgomery is a force-multiplier for my faith in God."
"Friends telling friends about their beliefs can be extremely influential."
After living an independent lifestyle for so long, Anita
quickly realized that the Christian lifestyle was not one what she could lead on her own. After looking for a churches online and around the city, she decided to make Montgomery her home. “I found everyone to be friendly, caring and supportive, but not pushy,” she says. And the more she was a part of the community, the more she grew. “I immediately felt a significant increase in the pace of my learning and the degree of personal impact I felt. I was reenergized every Sunday.”
“I continue to be humbled and inspired by the many deep
thinkers and sincere Christians from Montgomery who are now my friends,” Anita says.
Anita’s story shows what Proverbs 27 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
It makes sense that God would use logical and intelligent friends to sharpen Anita, one of their kind.
God works in mysterious ways to call out to His people.
But for Anita, His ways were very logical.