Do we know what it means to be struck by grace?
It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the Saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.
It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual . . . It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.
quoted by Holloway, Richard (2012-03-01). Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt (Kindle Locations 1668-1674). Canongate Books. Kindle Edition.