The second child and eldest daughter of Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence shared her personal faith journey in the first episode of her new podcast, Doubting It, which explores the issues of “faith, culture and doubt."
Despite growing up in a religious household, Charlotte Pence Bond, 27, admitted that she went through a period of doubting her faith while she was studying abroad at Oxford University, according to Premier Christian News. At one point, she considered looking into atheism.
"I started reading atheists’ writings and literature. I was close with professors who were agnostic or atheist. I just started kind of trying it out,” Bond recalled. “I didn’t fully turn away from my faith but I wanted to see if I really needed it. Looking back on that year, I looked back over this journal I kept and I noticed in the journal all of the times that things of significance happened and I felt the need to write them down.”
Bond also acknowledged that she was living somewhat of a “double life” and that she was “doing things I shouldn’t have been doing."
Nevertheless, she noted that God was not done with her and that He was not letting her go.
“A lot of times it had been when I would come across a Bible verse or something had happened that clearly involved God and clearly involved another encounter with religion in some way," she said. "What I really realized is that during that entire year, I was running away from God very actively. But the entire year, He was running after me,” she said.
During a plane trip before returning to America, Bond experienced a supernatural encounter with God, through His Holy Spirit, that would change her life forever.
“I just felt this overwhelming presence around me,” she noted. “I really can’t describe it as anything other than that. I felt that God was accepting me back. It was almost this literal feeling of falling into somebody’s arms that has forgiven you, saying: ‘I still want you. I still want you back even though you ran away from me. I still want you.’
"That was really when I completely gave my life to Christ,” Bond shared.
The Vice President’s daughter could not deny the life-changing encounter she had on the plane that day. As she returned to the U.S., she was fully resolved to live for the Lord, even if it meant losing some friends as she left her past behind.
“I lost friends, moved on from relationships and kind of figured out who I was in Christ and who I wanted to be with Him at the center," she asserted.
Bond believes that struggling with your faith is a common experience among Christian’s and in some cases, it is necessary to struggle in order to strengthen one’s faith.
"During this time abroad, that was really a time in my life when I was given the liberty and the freedom and the space to have doubts, to have questions, to wonder," she said.
But, ultimately, that season in Bond’s life made her realize that “Christianity was real and I couldn’t be halfway in ... I couldn’t have one foot out the door all the time.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.