Acceptance is hard.
Learning to accept someone else’s differences of opinions, thoughts, belief, hopes, dreams? Really hard.
Learning to be forgiving of yourself for your myriad faults and shortcomings, particularly as they relate to your spiritual life and accepting that observance goes through stages, ebbs and flows, but that doesn’t alter the underlying faith? Really, really hard.
Last year, everything was fresh and new and exciting. I was Becoming Jewish and I had direction and purpose. And now, I feel a little adrift. Trying to accept that this is where I am right now without surrendering to it, without giving up, learning where and how to push myself spiritually.
Learning to accept that this is still new for me – as someone who didn’t grow up religious and then spent a lot of solitary time exploring spirituality and faith, being part of an organized religion, identifying to the core of my being as a spiritual, religious person, a Jew, is still new. It’s just now instead of learning how to become a Jew, I’m learning how to live as one. And accepting that I don’t have the answers, or have it all figured out just yet, that’s hard. But it’s a worthwhile struggle.
So behind, but I’m trying.
Each day is filled with countless moments of blessing and grace. We just have to know how to look for them, but sometimes they come in the most unexpected places. Last Saturday, I found myself receiving a moment of blessing from a Catholic priest – both an unexpected place and an unexpected person.
My commitment and love for someone who does not share my faith has taken me to some unexpected and interesting places emotionally and spiritually. One of those places is designing an interfaith wedding I could never have imagined only a few years ago. Because of my conversion process, we’ve had a good deal of discussions before, only now the hypothetical is real, and so we venture forward, respectfully, cautiously, willing to compromise, listen and adapt as a sign of our love for each other.
As we sat with this priest, who may well be officiating at our wedding (alongside a rabbi), he listened to my story (edited for brevity) on how I came to be Jewish. At the end of it, he paused a moment and said something along the lines of ‘this marriage, the fact that you are committing to an interfaith wedding – it can be difficult, but you can also see it as a moment of grace. God is blessing the two of you, and there is something very profound in this moment.’
That thought really stuck with me. As we work together to build our life together and our future, it is fragile but strong. It can be difficult, but it is also something remarkable and beautiful, a testament to the power of love and blessings from above. I suspect that as long as we keep that attitude in mind, it will all be ok.