JoBeth Hamon, The Julian Year 2012-13

My theology has changed – I’ve spent a lot of time in the recent past, determined to figure out what I believe and where I fit into the life of faith and the church. This year, I’ve taken breaks from church services, been involved with a small group, and explored spirituality with my program. Eventually, I realized I needed to give myself some room to breath in matters related to my faith (mostly through the encouragement of others around me) and that has been one of the best things about this year. I feel so much more comfortable with the ambiguity and uncertainty of my beliefs. I’m okay with not needing to have definitions and outlines for exactly who I am and what I believe (after all, I’m only 23). Instead, I’m encouraged in having language and structures that can order the way I walk through life with other people, fuel my passion for justice, and replenish me when I’m running on empty.

I’ve encountered God in other people this year – not books, or lectures, or papers – but in the faces of my roommates, program director, co-workers, clients, and friends. What had previously been a God made of ideas and theory became tangible this year. I’ve been given grace and space to not have it all figured out, to not know what I believe, to sit in the discomfort, to be angry and upset, to celebrate and laugh – and in those experiences I’ve encountered a God who makes room for each one of us.