I prayed last night. I prayed.

The last time was sixteen years ago.

I wish I could say I prayed out of renewed faith, that I prayed because I was overcome by some sort of epiphany or enlightenment or sheer joy. But it was desperation. And anger. And fear. More than anything, fear.

And so I dared God. I dared him. Through the tears, I choked, “Prove it. This is your chance to prove yourself to me.” Because he had so many chances before and he never gave me that little sliver of faith to cling to. Because this, now, is the most important chance, the one I want most. Because right now I need faith.

I bargained too. I promised to practice and worship and only be the very best parts of myself if he would just save me, just this one time, from news that would take away what little hope I have left for the life I want. A simple life, yes, but the very simplicity of my dreams is what makes it so excruciating to think that the prick of a needle is enough to tell me I can’t have them.

Here I sit, as my blood gets spun through tiny little centrifuges and inspected underneath microscopes and catalogued for the insurance company. And all I can do is wait, inspect my body for signs of improvement or deterioration, wonder if every little cell of my being is harboring sickness the same way it is harboring fear, if my body will partner with these invaders and turn against me again and again. Or if this is all just temporary, if, in a few weeks, I will be dancing and hiking and finding myself still clinging to girlish notions of making a life full of love.

I pray for the latter. I pray for salvation, both from illness and from myself. I pray to be proven wrong and put on the spot, so that I spend every future day atoning for losing faith. So that I spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to God, and myself. So that I don’t give up again – on God, or myself, or anyone else.  So that I can abandon all fear and run out into the world and turn my dreams into a life.

I pray. And I wait.

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