also can't rap my head around this idea that a loving God would let mankind go through the suffering we have.
Welcome to this board!
Frankly, I WANT TO BELIEVE. As a JW, I was a devout "believer" for decades. I thought the "science" of evolution was crap. After all, I read all those deeply studied books produced by the WTS (The Evolution Book, The Creation Book, The Creator Book). In only the past few years did I realize all the blatant misquotes and twisted quotes in the WT publications. They lied.
If you have to lie to defend your beliefs, then your beliefs are probably a lie.
I can see no evidence of God's love and concern for mankind. Yes, the beauties of "creation" and the beauty of all things on this planet and beyond are awesome. But is there evidence that it was all created? I'm no longer so certain. In fact, I'm doubtful.
But I'm not doubtful about the fact that there is no evidence of a "loving creator" who demonstrates his love by caring for humankind. I would not a allow a 2-year old boy to be attacked by an alligator, drowned, and saved underwater for a future meal. (Just to cite a recent incident in the news.) This list is endless. Where is God?
Evidently , God helps Serena Williams win at tennis (according to her), but He doesn't answer the prayer of those who have children dying of famine, or malnutrition, or disease.