“Maybe that is belief.”

“I don’t even know if I believe in God some days. But I miss him.”

I spoke in tongues for the first time in my living room, alone. My bare legs stretched against the cool linen of our hand-me-down couch. I prayed in a language I understood, and then, I didn’t. One phrase flowed from my tongue over and over: Yo venero. Yo venero. Yo venero. It sounded like it meant something, but I didn’t know what. 

I pulled out my phone and looked up the phrase. Yo venero means, “I worship,” or more precisely, “I venerate,” in Spanish. (I should mention: In ordinary circumstances, I don’t speak Spanish.)

The air around my head buzzed. My insides churned like liquefied gold. 

The living-room-praying-in-tongues experience happened in the middle of a near decade-long era of fervor, my faith a fire burning straight through the brush of my life. I was devoted to Scripture, to church, to God. I would wake in the middle of the night sometimes, burdened by a mission I never seemed to live up to in the light of day. I prayed for strangers on the street and at my workplace. I wept. I repented. I believed. 

Then, the wind shifted and the fire burned a new direction. 

Read the rest of this essay over at Fathom.

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