I realized that I have actually always been a deist, and always will be a deist.
This is important because I have been in a crisis of faith for almost a year now. In July of 2008 I really started doubting the existence of God. In fact, I was pretty sure that there could be no God. The part of my model of the universe that was held up by faith had been blown away.
My model had always been predominantly built on scientific facts. Most of my "path" was on solid ground. There was a very small gap that faith had to span, but the banks of that chasm had shifted and the span had collapsed.
I had to rebuild, but the material I had once used was not strong enough anymore (a modified Catholic catechism with no Hell, no Devil, the bible as allegory, sin and evil as shortages of goodness, God the creator, the Holy Spirit as the spirit of God with us, Jesus Christ as a physical manifestation of God, heaven for those who mold their souls into something compatible with it, the universe and mankind as creations with a purpose, the supremacy of Love, the authority of the church handed down from Christ, the ability of God to perform miracles, and the ability to communicate with God through prayer). I searched and am still searching frantically for material for which to build my bridge of faith. I may use some of the old material yet.
What I have realized as I searched for material to build my bridge is that deism is not material from which the bridge is built. Deism is the tools, knowledge and skill with which I have always, and will always build my bridge, or bridges.
This goes hand in hand with thinking skeptically (or free-thinking), but where skepticism is negative, deism is positive. Skepticism helps sort out the bad material, but deism helps build good material into something useful.
This is very comforting. There is a storm raging in my soul, but no matter how bad things get, I will always be able to build that bridge because I will always have my deist tools.
Well, that's one less thing that I have to worry about.