You hear about religious people having a crisis of faith when they begin to doubt the existence of God. So I guess for a long-time atheist like myself, it must be a crisis of non-faith when I begin to doubt the non-existence. Yeah, I'm going there. And no one is more surprised than me. I was strongly on the fence even as a kid. We were a moderately religious family, went to church regularly (Episcopal), did Sunday school, said bedtime and mealtime prayers. But I was always skeptical and by the time I was a teenager, I was firmly in the agnostic camp. By my mid-20s I was an avowed atheist and that has never wavered. Until now. Like most of the atheists I know, I studied religion a lot. I went to various houses of worship with friends or alone, to experience what they had to offer. I took classes. I read. I wanted to deeply explore what it was that people were finding. Other than a brief flirtation with nature-based spirituality, which appealed to my sense that true peace and tranquility come from nature, none of it resonated with me. I could see the beauty and comfort of ritual and community, but the actual belief eluded me. And then I reconnected with the boy I loved as a teenager, the boy I'd always loved, the one who I'd held in my heart for 40 years. And I have to say that I am seeing and feeling the hand of God in all of it. It's not that I believe that some white-haired guy in a robe is looking down benevolently on me and saying, "bellalou, I'm going to specifically direct the events of your life." But it does feel like the entire universe has moved in profound ways since the day we reconnected. Ways that feel entirely out of my control but also feel like a path is being deliberately spread before me. I have been looking for public defender jobs in California since before I graduated law school (2016). I have NEVER seen so many listings as I have since I got back from my visit back east. It's not just a few - it's over a dozen. That's one thing. And they all want to interview me, or at least a lot of them do. But it's all kinds of things. The timing - if this had happened a few years ago, I would have still been in school and it would have been a terrible time to even think about a relationship, a move, all of it. If it had happened a few years later, I'd be settled into my career (and far enough away from taking the bar that taking another one would be incredibly daunting) and relocating would be a lot harder in terms of disengaging. You could (and I would have not too long ago) put all these things down as coincidence, or the result of me working toward them, or luck, or chance, or whatever. But there's also the stuff I can't even put into words, like the feeling I had when I was out there with him that we were - and I have no other way of putting it - being gently held in a pair of hands, together. And even though I'm now 3000 miles away, I still have that uncanny feeling. So yeah. I haven't yet reached the tipping point of absolute belief. And I may not. I may tip back to absolute non-belief. And I seriously doubt that any belief on my part will translate to an adherence to any specific branch of religious belief, be it Christian or otherwise. But I'm starting to think there might be something out there after all, something that puts the balance in the world and sees that those things that are meant to be come to be. Crazy, huh?