Project Conversion

Project Conversion


Project Conversion: Testimony of a Wife

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The question I get asked the most regarding Project Conversion: What do you think of it? I’m going to be completely honest here…personally, I hate it.

I love the concept and the purpose of PC. I love anything that will bring different faiths together, however I wish I could be an outsider.  I would enjoy the project much more if I wasn’t directly affected by it. That sounds selfish, doesn’t it? Truthfully, I am being selfish because I want my husband back and my children want their Daddy back. You have to understand that for the past eight years Andrew and I have been together and the past 6 years that he has been their father, we’ve always come first. Since January 1st, 2011, we’ve been second and that’s a hard adjustment.

I’m not saying the whole thing is horrible. It’s definitely been a learning experience for both of our daughters and myself. I love to read comments of how PC has touched someone’s life. I am so incredibly proud of my husband for what he is doing. He is giving himself 110% to this cause to bridge the gap between religions and he deserves to be recognized for his efforts.  How can I be so proud and yet hold so much resentment? I don’t know. Some days are easier than others. But some days I just wish I could wake up and it would be Jan 1, 2012 and PC is finished.

Project Conversion has so many followers and I’m grateful for each of you who read Andrew’s posts day after day, but there’s just so much that you guys don’t see. Yes, he’s touched on some of these issues in his posts, but it goes so much deeper. You don’t see the amount of time he puts into PC. You don’t see him spend 12 out of 14 waking hours attached to books, trips, or the laptop. You don’t have to explain to my children why Daddy won’t come play with them because he’s too busy researching his new religion. You don’t have to be the bad guy and tell him “No, we don’t have the money for you to drive 2 hours to attend yet another religious service,” or “No, I’m sorry it’s not possible for you to go spend a week at a Buddhist Monastery because oh yeah, I have to work and someone has to be with the kids.” You don’t have to suffer through moods that change like the weather depending on if he is “connecting” with that month’s particular faith.  And the first week of each month, the children and I might as well just disappear…he probably wouldn’t even notice.

I was so naïve when PC started. I thought my biggest concern would be him shaving his head in May and wearing a turban in September. How I wish my concerns were that small. January and February were good months. I absolutely loved the Hindu and Baha’i Andrew. He was patient, kind, compassionate. I thought PC was going to be really good for him. He was a better parent. He included the girls in as many rituals as he could. Our daughters loved Hinduism. You can still find them chanting “Om namah Shiva”. They liked helping Daddy “paint his face”. They were so curious and asked so many questions.  But along came March and everything changed. As you know from reading his Zoroastrian posts, he had problems connecting with the faith…which led to anger, frustration, and lack of patience. In short it was pre-project conversion Andrew, but a million times worse.

Our daughters’ curiosity has lessened because there was no longer time or patience to answer their questions. Andrew is trying so hard to grasp the religion for himself there’s no time left to include them.  The month that has been the most difficult for me was May, Buddhism.  I struggled with the fact that Buddhism is a very introverted faith. He just seems so far off sometimes, in some distant world. Many times it seemed as though the girls and I lived alone. There was very little talking, and what talking there was usually ended up in an argument.  I struggled with the non-theistic aspect of Buddhism. It hurt me when I heard the words “I don’t believe in a God” (because many Buddhists don’t) come out of his mouth, but what hurt even more was that my five year old who loves God heard those words come out of her Daddy’s mouth.

Honestly, living with Andrew during this year of Project Conversion is like living with a schizophrenic. In any given month, I don’t know how he’ll act, I don’t know what he believes/doesn’t believe, I don’t know what he’ll eat, I don’t know how he’ll dress, and I don’t even know how he will interact with myself or our children. We never know who we’ll be dealing with, and it’s so difficult.

I love my husband with all my heart and soul. He completes me. His religious preferences have not and will not ever affect our relationship. I am a deeply committed follower of Jesus and just because Andrew doesn’t share in my faith doesn’t mean I love him any less; nor am I trying to convert him to Christianity.

Project Conversion isn’t about me, and I’m not trying to make it about me. I am fully aware that some of you will read this and think I am insanely possessive and selfish…and that’s okay. I just miss my husband.

I have always been Andrew’s biggest supporter and that won’t change. I just want you to see the other side of PC. I want you to know that it’s more than reading a few religious texts and making blog posts about them. It’s also more than wearing a funny hat, or having a new hairstyle each month.  When he tells you that every moment is spent eating, breathing and sleeping PC, believe him. He’s telling the truth. On days when I’m having a particularly hard time adjusting to being pushed down the priority line, he will recognize my struggle and ask “Do you want me to quit?” and I honestly believe that if I said “yes, I have had all I can take”, he would make a post letting you guys know that would be his last. But don’t worry, I won’t do that. Project Conversion is too big and is making a positive impact on too many lives for me to put a stop to it. But listen up: December 31st, 2011 at 11:59 p.m…I’m taking my husband back.



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Ellen Price

posted June 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm


Thank you for sharing your experience, Heather! I pray that PC brings many blessings to your family. (Although you mat not be aware of the blessings until some time after January 2012!)  Andrew’s devotion to learning and experiencing each religion, as a true seeker, is certainly meritorious. (In my humble opinion!)



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Ellen Price

posted June 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm


Thank you for sharing your experience, Heather! I pray that PC brings many blessings to your family. (Although you mat not be aware of the blessings until some time after January 2012!)  Andrew’s devotion to learning and experiencing each religion, as a true seeker, is certainly meritorious. (In my humble opinion!)



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm


Thank you for your insights! I do agree with your last statements. So many religions incorporate ideas and principles of other religions. As a family, we try to teach our children the similarities of world religions. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm


Thank you for your insights! I do agree with your last statements. So many religions incorporate ideas and principles of other religions. As a family, we try to teach our children the similarities of world religions. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm


Thank you for your insights! I do agree with your last statements. So many religions incorporate ideas and principles of other religions. As a family, we try to teach our children the similarities of world religions. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm


Theresa- First of all thank you for your time in reading and commenting. To answer the questions in the beginning of your comment: I think Faith encompasses everything you mentioned (a connection to God and  afterlife, and focusing on being the best person we can be while here).  I can’t really answer the question you asked about can Andrew really change his religion every month, because I’m not him, but I can tell you  that he pours his entire heart and soul into the project to make it as authentic as possible. He tries to learn in 30 days what most people learn in a lifetime. It’s astounding. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm


Theresa- First of all thank you for your time in reading and commenting. To answer the questions in the beginning of your comment: I think Faith encompasses everything you mentioned (a connection to God and  afterlife, and focusing on being the best person we can be while here).  I can’t really answer the question you asked about can Andrew really change his religion every month, because I’m not him, but I can tell you  that he pours his entire heart and soul into the project to make it as authentic as possible. He tries to learn in 30 days what most people learn in a lifetime. It’s astounding. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm


Theresa- First of all thank you for your time in reading and commenting. To answer the questions in the beginning of your comment: I think Faith encompasses everything you mentioned (a connection to God and  afterlife, and focusing on being the best person we can be while here).  I can’t really answer the question you asked about can Andrew really change his religion every month, because I’m not him, but I can tell you  that he pours his entire heart and soul into the project to make it as authentic as possible. He tries to learn in 30 days what most people learn in a lifetime. It’s astounding. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm


LOL..I’m not sure about the great part, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm


LOL..I’m not sure about the great part, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm


LOL..I’m not sure about the great part, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm


Thank you Susan. I pray that this year will strengthen us not only in marriage, but as individuals. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm


Thank you so much for the prayers!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm


Thank you Susan. I pray that this year will strengthen us not only in marriage, but as individuals. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm


Thank you Susan. I pray that this year will strengthen us not only in marriage, but as individuals. 



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm


Thank you so much for the prayers!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm


Thanks Jennifer. It’s refreshing to hear that you don’t think I’m selfish. I was worried that I might be painting that picture to people on the outside who haven’t a clue what it’s like on the inside. I agree with you. I am looking forward to more of the faiths that involve our daughters. They love to learn about “Daddy’s project”.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm


Thanks Jennifer. It’s refreshing to hear that you don’t think I’m selfish. I was worried that I might be painting that picture to people on the outside who haven’t a clue what it’s like on the inside. I agree with you. I am looking forward to more of the faiths that involve our daughters. They love to learn about “Daddy’s project”.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm


Thanks Jennifer. It’s refreshing to hear that you don’t think I’m selfish. I was worried that I might be painting that picture to people on the outside who haven’t a clue what it’s like on the inside. I agree with you. I am looking forward to more of the faiths that involve our daughters. They love to learn about “Daddy’s project”.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm


Thank you for the kind words Lee!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm


Thank you for the kind words Lee!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm


Thank you for the kind words Lee!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm


Thanks Janine for the virtual hug!  I appreciate it and appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm


Thanks Janine for the virtual hug!  I appreciate it and appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm


Thanks Janine for the virtual hug!  I appreciate it and appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm


I agree Carolyn! Balance is key. Thanks for your reply!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm


I agree Carolyn! Balance is key. Thanks for your reply!



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Heather Bowen

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm


I agree Carolyn! Balance is key. Thanks for your reply!



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Carolyn B Mccormick

posted June 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm


Sometimes God chooses us and allows us to have “eyes to see and ears to hear”.   I too appreciate Heather’s thoughts and honesty.  Spouses of any committed person know that those commitments are above the relationship issues, but family is also a commitment.  The trick is the balance.



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Carolyn B Mccormick

posted June 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm


Sometimes God chooses us and allows us to have “eyes to see and ears to hear”.   I too appreciate Heather’s thoughts and honesty.  Spouses of any committed person know that those commitments are above the relationship issues, but family is also a commitment.  The trick is the balance.



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janine van rooij

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:30 am


Wow I am blown away by the honesty of this testimonial. A bigggg huggg to all of you. And thank you so much for sharing and being so honest…



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janine van rooij

posted June 5, 2011 at 10:30 am


Wow I am blown away by the honesty of this testimonial. A bigggg huggg to all of you. And thank you so much for sharing and being so honest…



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:32 am


Thanks Susan. I certainly hope so.



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:32 am


Thanks Susan. I certainly hope so.



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:31 am


Thanks Lopez. What this proves is that to make anything worthwhile come to pass, it truly takes a village. Project Conversion would not be what it is without the influence of and interaction with my family.



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:31 am


Thanks Lopez. What this proves is that to make anything worthwhile come to pass, it truly takes a village. Project Conversion would not be what it is without the influence of and interaction with my family.



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:28 am


Lee, I’m not in the market for a religion, nor do I need one to honor, serve, and love her any more than I do right now. Should I pick one however, I’ll keep your thoughts here in mind.



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Anonymous

posted June 5, 2011 at 9:28 am


Lee, I’m not in the market for a religion, nor do I need one to honor, serve, and love her any more than I do right now. Should I pick one however, I’ll keep your thoughts here in mind.



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Lee

posted June 5, 2011 at 12:42 am


Oh, and Andrew, if at the end of this project your heart is moved to adopt as your own one of the faiths you’ve “test driven” this year, it had BETTER be the one that most inspires you to honor and serve this AMAZING woman God has blessed you with as a wife!!



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Lee

posted June 5, 2011 at 12:42 am


Oh, and Andrew, if at the end of this project your heart is moved to adopt as your own one of the faiths you’ve “test driven” this year, it had BETTER be the one that most inspires you to honor and serve this AMAZING woman God has blessed you with as a wife!!



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Jennifer Lopez

posted June 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm


I think a lot of the critics who didn’t think you could really do any faith justice in a month, or that you were just “playing” at this whole thing need to read this. It’s nice to hear from an observer just how much this journey affects you every month.

Also, it’s refreshing to hear her point of view, presented so honestly. I don’t think she’s selfish at all. I think her frustrations are perfectly understandable. I hope there are more months like you experienced with the Hindu and Baha’i, for her sake lol. But also because I loved hearing the stories and seeing pictures of the way you involved your girls, and how eager and excited they were to learn and help in your exploration.



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Jennifer Lopez

posted June 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm


I think a lot of the critics who didn’t think you could really do any faith justice in a month, or that you were just “playing” at this whole thing need to read this. It’s nice to hear from an observer just how much this journey affects you every month.

Also, it’s refreshing to hear her point of view, presented so honestly. I don’t think she’s selfish at all. I think her frustrations are perfectly understandable. I hope there are more months like you experienced with the Hindu and Baha’i, for her sake lol. But also because I loved hearing the stories and seeing pictures of the way you involved your girls, and how eager and excited they were to learn and help in your exploration.



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susan

posted June 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm


Any religion that espouses complete honesty, regardless of the repercussions, and a follower who loves regardless, sounds like a basis for faith in itself. I salute you both and see this as a trial that will only bring you together stronger and more loving when this year is over.



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susan

posted June 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm


Any religion that espouses complete honesty, regardless of the repercussions, and a follower who loves regardless, sounds like a basis for faith in itself. I salute you both and see this as a trial that will only bring you together stronger and more loving when this year is over.



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Anonymous

posted June 4, 2011 at 11:32 am


Yes she is.



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Anonymous

posted June 4, 2011 at 11:32 am


Yes she is.



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Anonymous

posted June 4, 2011 at 11:31 am


I think faith encompasses all of those things and more, Theresa. It truly is a subjective term, meaning something different to each of us. And yes, I can change my religion each month. My belief set is completely altered every 30-odd days so that I might view the world in a different light. This is why I can now think as one of the members of each faith covered so far. It’s like placing a new lense over each eye. Of course, I think one can live a wonderful and meaningful life without faith. Faith is belief, and belief is a choice. We choose to be good, bad, doubters, believers.



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Anonymous

posted June 4, 2011 at 11:31 am


I think faith encompasses all of those things and more, Theresa. It truly is a subjective term, meaning something different to each of us. And yes, I can change my religion each month. My belief set is completely altered every 30-odd days so that I might view the world in a different light. This is why I can now think as one of the members of each faith covered so far. It’s like placing a new lense over each eye. Of course, I think one can live a wonderful and meaningful life without faith. Faith is belief, and belief is a choice. We choose to be good, bad, doubters, believers.



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Joni Martin

posted June 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm


Love this post. Your wife is great!! :)



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Joni Martin

posted June 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm


Love this post. Your wife is great!! :)



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Theresa Emily Ann Byczek

posted June 3, 2011 at 7:42 am


The question, I guess, is what is Faith about really? Is it about our connection to God only, and what happens with our soul after now? Is it living a good live while we are here – like focusing your wife and kids and being the best father, husband, and individual person you can be, within each choice and each moment? And can you Really change your religion each month, or do you just have your own basic beliefs than can be tweaked, better explained/ expressed, and yet can’t be changed because you take on different roles each month? Would it matter if you never researched as much as you have, and just lived your life anyways? Things to think about…



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Theresa Emily Ann Byczek

posted June 3, 2011 at 7:42 am


The question, I guess, is what is Faith about really? Is it about our connection to God only, and what happens with our soul after now? Is it living a good live while we are here – like focusing your wife and kids and being the best father, husband, and individual person you can be, within each choice and each moment? And can you Really change your religion each month, or do you just have your own basic beliefs than can be tweaked, better explained/ expressed, and yet can’t be changed because you take on different roles each month? Would it matter if you never researched as much as you have, and just lived your life anyways? Things to think about…



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