Wife Post #2

Today was a big day for my best friend Reece. For 16 months she has had a foster baby in her house. For months they have fallen in love with Baby and Baby has brought this family together like no other. The mother of this baby is a lot like mine and I have been there for Reece all the way. Talking about my experiences with the “system” and the workers involved. Up until today it seemed like the old judge was in favor for the shitty egg donor (I couldn’t call her a mother since well birthing a child doesn’t make you one if you do nothing after that point). But today was a court hearing with the new judge and this new judge actually has a head on her shoulders. Baby will not have to be in a car for 6 plus hours just for a visit with said egg donor, without Reece and the rest of the family. This is the first real step towards adoption. I have the biggest smile on my face. A win for sure.

So why do I have this knot in the back of my throat?

Well, when Reece called with the good news. She thanked me, for being there, being someone she can rely on and yell all kinds of bad words and know I won’t judge her. But what got me is she thanked me for all my prayers.

Prayers..those things that I used to do.

Talking to this higher being, this all powerful, all knowing father. I haven’t actually prayed in months. HAHA unless you call me saying he is an asshole a prayer?! I didn’t have the heart and haven’t had the heart to tell her that yet. She is one of 2 Christian friends I have and the other knows because there isn’t the history like Reece. I don’t know how Reece would take it. I guess this is how Brendan felt. The unknown. I haven’t even decided yet if “HE” is really there. But for Reece to thank me for something she thinks I’m doing and I’m not. Is that an answer to her prayer? Did god actually hear her cries for this innocent baby but not for us?

I have a sense of jealousy for Reece. That feeling that god is hearing her. Answering her cries, when my husband and I were so faithfully. This is going to sound horrible but I actually thought she was a pretty sucky Christian. In the pastor and his wife standards, she wasn’t doing all the things the bible said she should be doing but I loved that about her. I felt I could be normal around her because she wasn’t this all holier than though SOB. She was my real hippie friend who liked me going shopping with her cause I was honest when something didn’t look right on her.

So now I am standing in the kitchen picking apart my ten years of friendship wishing god heard me too!

—————————————————————

(Atheist husband notes)

Seeing how this justice system has jerked Reese’s family around, keeping the drug addicted mother around who is constantly being kicked out of rehab, for me is proof that there is no justice except the justice we make.

Prayer isn’t what’s keeping baby’s future bright, love is.  Active love.  Real devotion and sacrifice from people making real choices.

In other words, real people, really doing real things…unlike god.

Screw prayer.  God’s not going to act so we must.

BTW, Jenn was a foster kid.

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14 thoughts on “Wife Post #2

  1. Wow, I hope that the adoption goes through! As someone who was myself adopted, I’m big on parents who actually both love you and have the physical and emotional resources to take care of you. Blood relationships are a distant second.

    But the prayer thing… that’s tough. One of the earliest things I ended up doing on my path away from religion was to stop praying. It didn’t seem to be working, and when I stopped, nothing changed. Good things still happened; bad things still happened; life was still adept at throwing me curve balls but also easy hits.

    My mother, a Catholic, prayed the rosary every night until the day she went into her final coma. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a loooong series of prayers. One keeps count of the prayers on a string of rosary beads. One declares (not necessarily out loud) one’s prayer intentions, and then prays the rosary. Those prayers are based on Bible passages, and are considered to be more “worthy” than random thoughts directed at God. Not my ritual, but she was very serious about it. I expect she wore out at least one string of rosary beads praying for grandchildren that never came.

    My mom-in-law, a Protestant Christian with Evangelical roots, prays intensely. My husband travels to the mountains almost every weekend to work on a house we’re building there, and Mom-in-law is convinced that she prays him safely up there and prays him safely home again. I’m more convinced that it’s about Husband being a good, safe driver with a truck that can handle snow and ice. And where was God when we had an accident a few years ago? Nasty patch of ice in permanent shade; he slowed down, but it was a big sheet of ice and we spun out. That would have caused only minor damage, but the car behind us did the same thing and crashed into us. Only minor injuries, but the repair places made good money off both of us. Perhaps God was answering their prayers?

    I’ve never argued with Mama or Mom-in-law about prayer. I’m just not convinced that it does anything. If God is there, he’s not listening, or at least not acting. But then I’m a “soft” atheist myself; I don’t insist that there are no deities, I simply don’t see evidence for them.

    But I have been in your position of not knowing after being devout. It is a difficult one. It makes for a lot of late nights with your brain spinning while your exhausted self tries to sleep. I hope you find some resolution.

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    • Hi Karen! I hope the adoption goes through as well. I’ll know more around March/April.

      I too feel like life goes on if you pray or not. My big struggle is this scripture about god and taking care of your tomorrow. How is my husband deconverting taking care of my tomorrow? ha It’s not. So that means when we got married “he” knew this was coming. He knew.

      I recently had a lady tell me that this is my trail. My test of faithfulness. I wanted to tell her to piss off! You would think my continual commitment to “him” after my biological father tried to kill me would be enough. The A+ in faith. But this lady made it seem that wasn’t enough. Bull shit! I get that life hands you new cards on a daily basis but common on.

      I really like the “soft” atheist point. I really think that is where I’m at. I just didn’t know what to call it or how to put it until I read that. I truly don’t see evidence of him. I am so grateful for your comments. You have brought true insight into my figuring out what’s going on in my brain. 🙂 Thank you, thank you!! -Jenn

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “unless you call me saying he is an asshole a prayer?!”

    Technically not, but prayer CAN be defined as “an earnest hope or wish”, so if you said something like “I hope he fucks off and dies”, then yes, that could be considered prayer. I decided that praying wasn’t doing anything for me (or anybody, but mostly me initially) many years ago. I’ve gone through my hardships, as has everybody around me. I see people pray and I see people not pray. What I don’t see is it making any difference one way or another. “Prayer” only seems to work when someone gets up off their ass and does the work instead of sitting around mumbling to themselves.

    I realize that you’re now in an awkward situation with your friends. It does seem like you’re in the beginning stages of what your husband went through, and what many of us went through. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on where you are in the process), being an atheist isn’t a choice. It’s something some of us embrace and something some of us fought against. In the end, it’s just something we realize about ourselves.

    I’m also what Karen described as a “soft” atheist, but I look at it in a much nerdier way.

    There’s a concept in math called a “Limit”. A limit is a value that a function “approaches”. For example, pick any number and divide it by 2. Take that answer and divide it by 2 again, and again, and again, and again, till infinity. The “Limit” in this scenario is 0 (zero), because no matter how many times you divide by 2, you’ll never get there. You’re just getting closer and closer and closer until the difference is negligible.

    That’s how I feel about a deity. The “Limit” when it comes to a god (for me) is absolute certainty that there is no god (0). The more I learn and the more I see in the world (the more I divide by 2), the more certain I become that there is no god. Am I absolutely certain? No, I’ll never get there. At this point, the difference is negligible.

    I’m happy for your friend, and that her “earnest hope” has come true. In a way, her prayers were answered. It was by a person, and not some invisible thing somewhere that listened to her or anybody else, but in the end it doesn’t matter much to her or to her baby.

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    • Mike, I love math and I’m totally geeked out that you used it to explain your point. The funny part is I could have totally used that to explain our sinful nature vs Jesus perfection. I am not quite at the spot where I am absolutely sure god is 0. Some days yes and others I find myself hoping.

      One thing I do know for sure is prayers aren’t answered. You are right, along with Brendan and everyone else. People answer prayers. It was people in my neighborhood that finally got me in the foster system. I was 15. 15, and I was 8 when I started attending church. Years of prayers for safety and wellbeing…and nothing. The people got me out of my situation. And people will decide what is best for my friends foster. And when it comes to my children, I decide (with Brendan). I don’t wake up in the morning with a to-do list (circa 2016) from god.

      Geez, this fucking sucks. I guess I really like the idea of there being something out there and not the ways of Christianity pushes you to believe. I just don’t know if I am choosing it or it is choosing me. I chose Christianity. I needed a safe spot to hide. Somewhere that loved me for me and none of the crazy shit that went on in my house.
      Choices, part of life and I still suck at it. lol
      -Jenn

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s great news about the baby. 🙂 I’ll keep…thinking positive thoughts…
    Every time a friend asks for prayers, I still don’t know what to say. Two of my best friends are Christians. One is a pastor’s daughter and her husband is the co-pastor’s son. They are wonderful friends and we’ve all been close friends for about six years and our kids are like siblings. In daily life, our faith never even comes up, and because neither is on social media, they don’t know my views, though they know I am more liberal. Two of my closest friends ever, yet I’m still terrified to tell either of them. Not because I think they would personally dump me but because I feel fairly confident that others in the church would pressure them into leaving me behind. So I keep quiet. So far. But it could be that these friends really would understand. Is it worth the risk? I understand the guilty feeling that comes when the other party doesn’t know that something in you has changed… I hope that your friend is the lovely person that you’ve described, who will stay by your side.

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    • It is great news and I keep thinking positive thoughts too. I’ve even encouraged them to take a huge family vacation and if the adoption is a final to have a huge party to celebrate. I haven’t said I’d pray for baby or their situation. It’s more of “hoping” and “woohoos”. Reece has seen the ugly in my life and I in hers. I really don’t think she’ll dump me, I just don’t want to add to her plate. All the close friends I had dumped me when Brendan changed. People that I thought were like family. But she didn’t. I just need to wait for the right time.

      I hope these friends of yours are like Reece and not the rest of my shitty “friends”. I really think the reason Reece is still by my side is because she knows me. This is my only secret from her.

      Risk! That word makes me think of that movie called “Along Came Paulie”. Where the guy is a risk assessor. If only we had a program to figure out what person is a douche bag and what person is worth our time. Wouldn’t that save on stress?? lol

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  4. This reminds me of this new client I have. He is actually someone acting on behalf of an existing client and he is very religious. He is constantly weaving blessings and mentions to God, Jesus and Co. in every communication. Even text messaging.
    Thing is he doesn’t do it in an imperious or overly zealous way, it’s clear by the tone that he is used to talk that way and he surrounded by like people.

    I don’t know quite what to do because I do believe he is free to talk any way he wants and I am certainly not going to tell him that it bothers me, which is does, but just a little bit, it makes me uncomfortable.

    In fact, the reason it makes me uncomfortable is that some of his statements clearly beg for me to respond in kind, but I wasn’t raised in that kind of world. Even if I weren’t a convinced humanist and atheist but just an “Apatheist” like my daughter is, I wouldn’t know how to respond in kind if I wanted to. I was raised Catholic and while the occasional “bless you” (or its Italian equivalent) is not foreign on the lips of Catholics, the people I grew up with certainly didn’t talk like that.

    The other thing that bothers me a bit is that in a situation like this, societal norms clearly bend toward me accommodating him rather than the way around, which would be more just for everybody.

    He can avoid blessing me more than once a day and I am sure his god would forgive him. If I started responding in kind to his “bless this and that” I would technically be committing blasphemy against his god, yet, good manners sort of impose on me to thank him when he blesses my wife health to me or says “I’ll pray for your wife” (my wife is very ill). I am even used to that, lots of people tell me that and I say “thank you” each and every time. This guy uses it as a form of salutation.

    What would happen if I started talking like him but substituting my own beliefs? “May the Hitchens be with you” or “May Dawkings think rationally about you” don’t quite do it. But if they didn’t sound so silly and they rolled off the tongue a bit more easily, they still would not be socially acceptable.
    Even assuming they were socially acceptable, would he adapt and out of respect for our relationship start responding in kind? I doubt it.

    This whole thing is very uncomfortable all around.

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    • I agree that that is uncalled for. Even when I was a pastor’s wife I was still courteous of others. I understand Christians are supposed to bring others to Christ but that is just over the top. I’m sorry you have to listen to that ass! It makes it worse that it’s your job and not a “friend”. At least, then you can limit your contact and not have it affect your finances.

      I don’t know about your story or what is happening with your wife but I hope she gets better and the doctors are doing everything they can to help.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jenn,

    I just realised I didn’t introduce myself in my reply to your last post. I also realise it’s because it felt like Brendan made the introductions ages ago. Sorry about that. My name is Shane. Very pleased to make your acquaintance.

    Anyway, your friend attends your previous church, right? She knows Brendan’s story? Is that not public knowledge? I guess I’m wondering what kind of conversations you have had with her about the things going on in your life. It seems that she would have asked how you are coping with your husbands atheism.

    None of my business, of course, just wondering. Glad things are going well with your friend.

    Cheers
    Shane

    Like

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