I've spent the past three weekends around family. Both my and my husband's parents each took a turn visiting our home to celebrate my oldest son's birthday and this weekend we were up in St. Louis visiting my grandma who is gravely ill. And this has brought to the forefront my indecision about how open to be about my current religious beliefs. Though it's been relatively easy to keep them to myself, given the distance I live from family, there is a limit to how much can remain hidden when my worlds intersect. And one interesting thing I observed recently is that I am less concerned about these worlds intersecting than I use to be. I noted this when my husband pointed out that I had neglected to put away several religious and science books laying in the living room, which have viewpoints contrary to those held by my mom. And on Sunday night, when my mom visited, my church combined services with another church. I asked if she wanted to attend the special event and she said we should just do what we normally would. So we didn't go. And nothing was said about that fact.
I have also found that some changes in my habits are impossible over time to hide. For example, I wanted my son to call and thank his great aunt for the gift she sent him. It was Wednesday night at church time. I have been very careful not to call family at this time, thus concealing the fact that we aren't at church. However, I knew this would be our only free time before leaving town. I couldn't justify failing to call and express gratitude, so we called. I knew she would be at home, caring for my grandma. And, as I feared, she asked my son if we were going to church that night. He said, "Why would we be at church?" I cringed at that comment and wanted to shrink into the couch.
It is clear that I'm still conflicted about it and I find myself ducking around corners from time to time in an effort to maintain the peace and my good standing. Writing about this makes me feel ridiculous for performing such evasive maneuvers. It sounds weak and immature and pathetic, really. I suppose I should write about this more in an effort to encourage myself to have the strength to live my life without regard to who is watching me do it. That is not to say that I feel I must share all my beliefs with everyone, but it feels like I'm in a sit com, trying to pull off going on two different dates at the same time. Eventually I'll be found out, and I'll look absurd in the process.
It would help if it were more clear about what I do believe. I've grown a bit weary of trying to figure it out. I also seem to be slowing down a bit physically and can't stay up as late as I use to doing my reading and blogging. However, I don't like the muddled, ambiguous place I find myself in.
I'd be interested in hearing how others negotiate this place in their lives.