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In her mid-thirties, Alice assumes a few roles in her life: musician, mom, community worker, daughter, sister, wife, and more. Once upon a time, Alice was a well-behaved girl. But then things changed.

A decade ago, her first marriage fell apart. Then she fell desperately in love with a new person (who is, incidentally, now her husband). All of this happened while she was exploring the religious beliefs that she had held since childhood.

“Much of that period of my life was dark and deeply disorienting,” Alice explains, “I found myself questioning most everything I'd ever believed to be true. It put me at serious odds with my family.”

She had always been tight with her family. Suddenly she was lost. Her closest friends—many of whom she had neglected during her first marriage—turned out to be real anchors. They listened to her self-described “endless, self-absorbed ramblings” and asked challenging questions that finally pushed her to be real with herself, and ultimately to those around her.

She applies her hard-won life lessons to the various roles she assumes, especially her role as a mother. She’s about to usher her second little human into the world.

“Everything I’ve been through,” she says, “has taught me a lot about honesty and grace. And about love, which is the religion I now subscribe to.”