[ESSAY] What's a Good Ex-Christian Girl to do? Pray.
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This period felt like a roller coaster of fear, resignation, hope, will, relief and surrender.

Then came the moment when I had to share my personal practice of meditation and prayer for the first time in many years in those intimate circles where close friends and families make our case for salvation to the mysterious forces of life. Where we pray.

There was scarce room for criticism in those fragile seconds where we each grasped any familiar totems, words or symbols for protection. My reason was humbled and my heart provoked to find a language to participate in a way that felt true to who I am. Right alongside the appeals to “Father God” and “in Jesus' name,” were my own humble entreaties to “the Creator” and “universal life force.” No one kicked me out for heresy and we all encouraged one another to believe.

In those earnest moments when faith is called upon to shield a loved one or conjure protection from disaster, there is a brilliant light of humanity – devoid of judgment and intolerance, and readying us for wonderful miracles like my cousin's unexpectedly positive response to surgery and dramatically improved prognosis. He is now getting healthier every day and well on the road to recovery, which I constantly thank the powers of life and nature for allowing. These experiences have led me to the crossroads of loss and renewal. I have been challenged and redefined in a way that speaks to my heart. Perhaps that is the voice I was waiting for.