Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Out of the Closet

I worried myself for months about my tottering attempts to find a church, in light of the fact that I was NOT looking at (a) my mother's church - nor even (b) her denomination. The concern has been real ... but the conversation, once had, was blessedly not-so-dramatic. Of course.

Mom and I were driving somewhere on Friday, out terrorizing Stein Mart in the sunshine (and I finished my last shopping, hurrah for me), when the topic of E came up, and I said to her, "You've never really noticed just how well I have done this year, with the way it began. You've never asked how I *have* done so well ..."

She said she had seen how well the year had gone with me, after E's not coming home in a fairly dramatic and painful way.

And I told her I'd found a church.

We were on the way to the house, as we talked, and so the chat was brief but mercifully positive. When we got to the house, she prompted me to tell D, my stepfather - it took me a moment to realize what it was she was asking me to get into, but I did, and D was overjoyed, actually.

We all talked a bit about it in dribs and drabs for a while, discussing the denomination I've chosen (Episcopalianism) and my concerns about telling them both. She talked about her own aversion for ritual, and I explained lightly why the "high churchiness" does appeal to me, and focused on the fellowship, which has been the most important part for me. We went to the Mediterranean Bakery, and D continued saying how happy he was for me.

D comes from another denomination originally himself, so in some way this made him an unexpected "ally" for me on the fact I've gone a little foreign in my church-search. He was Methodist himself, so Episcopalianism is not quite so alien to him as it is from my mom's perspective, and his genuine happiness for me (and for G-d, heh) kept things very positive.

I had a hard time finding a way to come to this conversation, and am glad to have had it now - and, of course, a little embarrassed at acting like going to church was some sort of dirty secret at all. I don't feel dramatically emotionally fulfilled; I didn't feel that way about church itself - merely satisfied, and happy to have found a place - feeling satisfied within my family is a blessing too.

I still worry my mom won't be satisfied (their Christmas card reflected her happiness that I am visiting churches, and hope that I would G-d would lead me to the right place ... tensed in such a way as to dismiss my having stated I already felt I had found it). But, as my brother and I somewhat wryly put it - I'm ahead of him now.

As with the privileges of age, and family (holiday) dynamics, I'll take it and try not to complain. It's all one can do, for now at least ...

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