“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I experienced immense heartbreak and agony as I lost my faith, slowly, then all at once. As the child of missionaries, Christianity had been the foundation of my entire life. But two years into college, three read-throughs of the Bible, and two notebooks of unresolved questions later, it broke for me. There was no turning back.

At first, this loss was intensely disorienting. What was right and what was wrong? I was paralyzed without a clear framework to guide me.

Gradually, though, as I ventured down this new path, I rediscovered many of the things I had always known. I found deep love and care in relationships I formed as I came out as queer and joined the LGTBQ+ community. I encountered radical generosity and a commitment to accountability through participating in movements struggling for racial and economic justice, where my peers pushed me to align my actions with my values.

And I discovered beauty in much of the new. The gray area I suddenly operated in infused my choices with enormous significance, as I began to see my actions as the thing that would ultimately define who I am.

Once, I believed in prayer. Now, I believe in practice.

— Nicolle Richards