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.