BY MEGHAN REEVE
My faith has become elastic, and I've come to terms with that. I've also come to terms with the fact that not everything is a light bulb moment. Sometimes we have defining moments and sometimes we don't.
There ARE defining moments in my life I don't think I'll ever forget. The moment that I found out my friend Joe died, the moment in the middle of a guava field in South Africa when I got word that I needed to call home -- my mom was sick. The moment of stepping on the plane with shaky legs to the south of Spain and not knowing I wouldn't be the same.
I mark defining moments in my life because I can look back on them and see where I have come from.
As I've sat here and tried to put the defining moments I've had in regards to my faith into words I've been hit in the face with a whole lot of nothing.
I was writing a month or so back, and I wrote the sentence, "My faith become elastic, stretching to make room and shrinking back to hold off on truths that aren't true for me." I remember sitting back and looking at the words that had magically seem to come from my brain to my fingertips. It wasn't a light bulb moment. It just happened.
I've been living in Washington for the last four years. And it just hasn't been the easiest. I've moved through seasons of depression and anxiety, of panic attacks, I've gained weight, and I've wanted to run. I've stayed because this is a season of staying. And man, have I learned.
About a year ago, I realized that I needed a break from church. Church kind of felt like how my room feels right now. A bit messy, with some really good things tucked probably under my bed, never to be found because I never take the time to lay on my floor to look underneath it even though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my favorite sock is there.
So, a year ago, I decided to (metaphorically) lay on the floor for more or less a month. And what I found was something I had already found and forgot was there (just like my favorite taco sock I found under my bed last night).
I found the defining moment of realizing that I couldn't separate from the love (or Christ) inside me because it had never been separate from me. And I realized I was simply out of space to remember that. I had no room for anything new because I had loaded my head and self with ideas and advice and words that I honestly just didn't need anymore.
And I wanted to toss it all out because I had been there before, and I was back to it again, and I just wanted to be done.
But, just because the underneath of my bed was messy- did that mean I should just toss out my favorite taco sock? No. It just meant I need to clean out the trash and the things that were once useful but no longer held value.
I need to start protecting my faith because it was mine- not anyone else's. And I needed a way to measure what was good for me and what wasn't for me. I decided the fence around my faith was love. If it didn't look like love, it didn't belong.
Now, Love doesn't mean easy. I teach tiny humans, and sometimes my love looks like not letting them go swimming because they don't know how to keep their body safe (translation: they won't stop hitting their friends or more often than not -- they aren't using their ears to listen, and teacher Meg has little to no chill when it comes to not listening at the pool).
But that? That's love. Love looks like shaking fists and a quaking voice; it looks like setting boundaries. Love looks like walking away, and it looks like staying.
Love is like faith. It doesn't look the same as everyone else's definition. So now, as I sit in this coffee shop, I have come to realize that these words that I have fought over and deleted and ripped out of my journal have become a defining moment.
Right now, in this moment, I realize that I do have my own faith and definition of it more than I thought. That my desire to make my faith flexible and elastic, that I have desired to bend with it or bring it in to protect the space inside has become a part of who I am.
Your faith, whatever it may be, isn't going to look like the faith of the person next to you. You aren't the person next to you. You have a piece inside of yourself that is so unique and lovely, and it's up to you to shake off what isn't you anymore and protect what is.
It's ok if your taco sock falls under your bed sometimes; just go get it and dust it off. And if that taco sock isn't you anymore that's ok. If your faith doesn't look like you anymore or vice versa, then figure it out.
You've got this.