Sunday, March 28, 2010

365-81: Lots to ponder...

DH and I have lived in our town for 2 years, 3 months now. For me, it truly feels like home. I've got a wonderful and large group of friends that I truly love, and feel very connected too. It's rare for me to go to the grocery store without running into someone I know. I'm on the Board at the nursery school, I'm in the PTA, I'm involved in three separate knitting groups. I feel so lucky and blessed at the community I've been able to be part of here.

It's not the same for DH. He commutes into the city daily, which is 1 hr 20 min each way, and he's just not a commuter kind of guy. On the weekends, he spends time with his family, he works on the house, occasionally he gets some alone time. As the kids get older, our weekends are starting to get filled with their activities as well. Soccer on Saturdays, birthday parties, etc. I think DH feels like he hasn't really found his place here. In order to help facilitate that for him, we've been attending church.

We started at the local UU church, but just as we got there, the minister left, and then they took the summer off, we had another baby, and got derailed. When we talked about whether we were going to return there, I realized that regardless of where I am in my journey with religion, I needed my Church to have more, well God in it. I was raised Episcopalian but haven't been a participant in a long time. I was pretty serious about it as a kid and teenager, and even at one time wondered if I was called to the ministry. In more recent years, I've been quite drawn to Buddhism. DH was raised Congregational but is pretty firmly in the Atheist camp at this point. We're in really different places with this, which is fine. We decided to check out the Congregational Church in town. DH was drawn to it because "the parking lot is always full." And they do all sorts of things in the community.

We had a THING that we learned about the Church that had me questioning if it was the place for us, and while that was resolved entirely satisfactorily, I am feeling more and more strongly that while I really like the community and the people of this Church, it's just not the right fit for me spiritually. I am sure that the reason the Episcopal church feels right to me is simply because I was raised there, but I can't argue anymore that this is how I feel.

What does all this have to do with gratitude? Well, for one, I'm so thankful to live in a country where I can have this struggle, where we have freedom of religious choice, and I'm so thankful to live in a country where we have freedom FROM religion at all, where I don't have to lie about the fact that my husband is an atheist. In this current climate in our country, I feel that so many have lost the respect and tolerance for differing and opposing viewpoints. It's unfortunate. But anyway, I was talking about gratitude. So I'm thankful to have this freedom in my life.

I'm also thankful that I have the marriage I do, with the man I married. I'm thankful that we can have this difference, which is a deep one, and yet still be completely committed to each other and supportive of helping each other get our needs met. There's not a clear and easy answer to our dilemma here, but I know we'll work it out.


toysmith said...

Wow, lots to ponder. I hope I get to meet Nik someday - it seems like we have quite a bit in common!

I'm going through the same issues with my SO as we work to understand each other's perspectives and support one another's growth. For us atheists it can be challenging to find a "spiritual community" - Buddhism and meditation centers are as close as I've come so far.

You guys are a great model of respect and compassion; thanks for sharing this part of your lives.

Anonymous said...

I apologize if this question is intrusive, but if DH got to know people via a very Godly church, and actually became close friends, wouldn't it be weirdly awkward when/if the fact that he is an atheist came out? My assumption, if I made friends in church, would be that they were believers also, and that we had that in common.

Knitting with a Purpose said...

It's a good question. It's not one I'd really thought about, but I think I'll pose it to him and see what he says. :-)