Project Conversion

Project Conversion

Laying Project Conversion at the Altar of my Marriage.

My wife should have never married me. In fact, she should have said said no when I got particularly drunk on the night of September 23, 2003 and asked her out. I tried to break up with her, but she wouldn’t listen. Heather is stubborn like that.

The fact is, my marriage with Heather shouldn’t have lasted this long (seven years tomorrow). We’ve weathered an incredible number of storms in our life together, and yet we always manage to get through. Marriages have fallen apart around us, but somehow, we stick together. Some might tell you that love, pure love, is the key to a successful marriage–one that is unbreakable. In my experience, love has little to do with marital success.

A marriage’s greatest asset, is friendship.


Jesus said in the Gospel of John, chapter 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

My buddy and me

During our wedding vows (we wrote our own), I didn’t write about love, I wrote about friendship. And even though I was no longer a Christian, I remembered that one verse and thought, is there a better expression of love than that?


You see, Heather and I didn’t start off dating in college. We became friends two years before that fateful, drunken night, and became inseparable from that point on. In fact, I was suspended from college because of poor grades and attendance for two reasons: drugs/alcohol, and Heather. We did everything together, but were never romantically interested in one another. I passed out in her bed or on the floor of her dorm or apartment at least once a week, but despite the accusations of her friends (and boyfriends), nothing ever happened. I even quit a job because they told me I couldn’t take the weekend off to ride with her back  back  home for her high school friend’s wedding. Heather’s dating life was often frustrated by our relationship too, but as the rule went, Heather and I were a package deal. If the boyfriend didn’t like me (that was most of the time), Heather wasn’t interested.


We made plans to live together forever, but never as a couple, but to live out our lives together in some great adventure. It was like “Will and Grace”, only I wasn’t gay.

Heather was mine, and I was Heather’s. She was literally my other half and from the very beginning, she had something, a quality of life that I was missing: gravity.

For reasons I’ll never understand, we eventually married. I can tell you now that I didn’t marry Heather just for love, even though I love her more than life itself. I married her because no other woman could ever be in my life except her. Marriage to another woman would have been hell because she could never measure up to my best friend. We use the word too often in our culture but in the purest sense of the word, Heather is perfect, and perfect just for me.


Us on the big day

Our seven-year wedding anniversary is tomorrow, December 4th. We’re dirt broke, so instead of expensive gifts or a fancy dinner out, we’re dumping the kids off at my mom’s, coming back home, fixing a nice dinner together in the kitchen and just chilling at home, enjoying one another’s company. Sounds boring, right? Not to best friends. We’ve been angry, upset, sad, happy, and in pain…but never bored.


So what is today’s post really about? My Mentor this month told me that the Church begins not at the Mass, but in the home. The home–the family–must be sanctified before the Mass can be meaningful. He’s so right.

In Heather’s anniversary letter to me, she wrote that this year has been the greatest challenge, blessing, and threat to our marriage. She’s right as well. We have fought, cried, and struggled more this year than any other. For the first time in our marriage, we’ve both even thought about divorce. Project Conversion is that intense, people. When I say that I’m giving this my all, I’m not kidding.

You must understand that this isn’t just some personal curiosity of mine. I’m not traveling all over the state, spending 18 hours a day in study, rearranging myself monthly because it’s some hobby. Let me make this clear: I have nothing short of a world vision with this project and world visions often cost lives, marriages, and friendships. You might say, nothing is worth your marriage or your life. Send me an email, and I’ll send you a list of those champions of humanity who made our world a better place by doing just that. I don’t want my marriage, my greatest success in this life, to end, but I have to be willing to lay down everything. It’s all or nothing.


Further in her letter, she acknowledged this as well. She understood that her role in all of this is to be what she’s always been for me: gravity. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I dream huge–sometimes unimaginably huge–and I don’t always keep my feet on the ground. Heather gives me mass, substance, a reality to stick to. We understand that my vision for humanity cannot work without both of us playing our parts in unison. She has witnessed her best friend and husband transform into the man he was destined to be, and she is now taking the reigns because she knows she’s the only force on this planet that can tame me and help me properly direct my energy.

At the same time, I realized that as important as my work is, for me to call myself her friend, I must also be willing to lay down my life and everything with it, for her. That includes Project Conversion. This year has given and taken so much from my family, so incredibly much, but my friendship with my wife is what held us together, not love.


So today and tomorrow, in honor of my friendship and seven-year wedding anniversary with my wife, I’m setting Project Conversion at the altar of that bond. I’m giving up everything for us. As a Catholic this month, I believe the language of friendship and sacrifice are rarely spoken of better than through the life of Christ. This is an important study that I think we might all benefit from, regardless of our faith.

God bless, and I’ll see you again on Monday!

Comments read comments(18)
post a comment

posted December 7, 2011 at 11:33 am


My world vision is nothing more than peace. Hopefully that doesn’t scare you much.

report abuse

Editor B

posted December 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Congratulations to you both. I agree with the idea that sanctifying the home takes priority. I like the phrase “champions of humanity.” But you’re kind of scaring me with allusions to a “world vision.” One thing I most admire is your evident sanity. Please do not take leave of it! I guess that’s where Heather’s gravity comes in.

report abuse


posted December 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm


Haha I’ll let her know. Thanks!

report abuse


posted December 5, 2011 at 8:22 am

That was beautiful…
Happy Anniversary to the beautiful couple!

Oh and your Mrs. looks like Grace Kelly in the wedding picture! Beautiful!!!

report abuse


posted December 5, 2011 at 12:02 am


Thank you!

report abuse

Art Sherwood

posted December 4, 2011 at 6:44 am

Congrats on the 7th anniversary! My wife and I are on our 15th year and I can tell you it just keeps on getting better. It’s always so nice to see that there are still those who truly value marriage and family in this world.

May your next 7 years (and all eternity for that matter) bring you and your better half continuing joy and happiness.

report abuse


posted December 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

Marriage to another woman would have been hell because she could never measure up to my best friend.

This line strikes me as the most poignant.

report abuse

J. Lea Lopez

posted December 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Beautiful. Congrats to you both on seven years of marriage.

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm


A fortress is exactly right!

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm


I indeed remember this advice from the Baha’i experience. Thank you for reminding me!

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm


Thank you so very much Susan. I’m glad that the path Heather and I took has a successful precedent ; )

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm


Thank you for your prayers and for the kind words and encouragement. As for atheism, I think June probably fit the atheist/agnostic role the most. A month of heavy questions, really.

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm


You are very right. A pause in any journey to look back at what makes you strong, the allies you’ve brought along, and regroup on the journey ahead. Thanks for that reminder!

report abuse

Mary Wilson

posted December 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Awesome testimony to marriage, my loving regards and congratulations to both of you. In the Baha’i writings, marriage is regarded as a “fortress for well-being” – I see that yours is strong.

report abuse

Dianne Small

posted December 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I love your post! Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I just wanted to mention that Baha’is consider marriage to be a sacred “fortress for well-being” and that we try to balance our commitment to our family with commitment to our faith. There are even times when our family takes precedence over service to our faith. ‘Abdu’l-Baha counseled the Baha’is to never sacrifice their marriage or to break up their families so they could serve the Faith. If it came to that, He said to serve our families first. Anyway, I can see you’ve kind of come to this conclusion already, but I just wanted to mention it!

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

This is beautifully said and I envy you both this relationship that will, I am sure, produce more than a family and home, more than just love, but a lasting impact on all.

As an aside, one of the best things that ever happened to one of my nieces was to get pregnant one drunken night by her best friend, a man who was that rock for her, as she was for him during college and afterward. It’s 18 years later, three lovely children, and a lasting friendship and bond.

report abuse


posted December 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm

(Ahem Ahem) What a wonderful post and love-story (or friend story). All the best for life ahead. I will keep you two in my thoughts while praying. You are right in saying that you must have reached the most crests and troughs this year because of Project Conversion, but it also means you are now able to define, more precisely, why you like each other and as you said it more because of the friendship. Wish the last month, like all others, gives lot of insight to you and your beloved congregation and you write a pretty nice book that spreads PEACE. (Is there a month for atheism, he he). Good luck again Andrew. Everyone loves you and your family, while you respect your wife, deeply care for your kids and understand the deeper meaning of life. Thanks for being what you are.

report abuse

Beth Irwin

posted December 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a good time to pause for marital maintenance and refocus on each other. Enjoy your time together. Sounds like a perfect anniversary celebration.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Project Conversion. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Religion 101 Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:34:58pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Is God an Immersionist?
In the world of faith, folks often point out the obvious fact that God does not belong to a particular creed, religion, race, or school of philosophy. This sentiment establishes the divine as one which transcends divisive terms of ...

posted 7:00:59am Jul. 12, 2012 | read full post »

Immersion in Relationships: Five Ways to Bring your Relationships to Life
I did something last night with my wife that we haven't done in a very long time... Okay, not from that far back, but it ...

posted 10:58:33am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

The Path of Immersion: An Introduction and How Entering the Path Leads to a Deeper Sense of Self
Today marks my official declaration of fidelity and discipleship to the Path of Immersion. Along with that declaration, I also invite you to join me in whatever capacity feels the most suitable. The Path of Immersion is not one which demands ...

posted 6:00:19am Jul. 09, 2012 | read full post »

Farewell, Project Conversion: The End of an Adventure
When I converted to Christianity at the age of 15, I assumed the faith with a passionate resolve. Despite the positive instruction from my pastor and others, I (for reasons I cannot explain) transformed into a fiery evangelist, launching ...

posted 12:49:25pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.