There were many reasons she decided not to be friends any longer, and though it has been frustrating for me, I understand that she was needing to take better care of herself and being friends with me made that difficult for her (for multiple reasons).
Yet, I cannot help but be aware of the mixed feelings that have surfaced about her conversion. In one sense, it has been simply baffling to me that someone could change so quickly. Her new habits, her everyday language, her scripture-quoting, and her participation in Bible studies and VBS has been a complete transformation from the person she presented herself to be during the 1.5 years of UU meetings.
And, though I do not consider myself to be a Christian, I have always felt as though people need to find what works for them - whether it be Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Agnosticism.... We are all on different paths to the same destination. Why, then, was I feeling annoyed... frustrated... and, to be honest, a little sad, about her newfound Christian faith?
The answer, I found, is that I am jealous.
Being a Christian would make things so much... easier, sometimes.
To have a built-in community despite moving around, to have an endless amount of resources for spiritual growth of my own and my children (children's Bibles, devotionals, tv shows, curriculum, etc.), to have children's programs (hello, VBS), and, not to mention, to have convenient answers for many of life's difficulties.
I'm jealous because almost with the flip of a switch, my friend has been able to jump right into a thriving community the likes of which I desperately wish I could have as well. That is what bothers me: I want what she has been able to get.
Being honest, and authentic, is tough. It's tough to jump in with an opposing viewpoint when so many around you might think the same way. It's tough to make yourself vulnerable when you admit that you don't have all the answers, or that no, you don't fit into the same box that this friend, and that friend, and that lady down the street fit into.
Being honest is tough.
Being authentic is hard.
But being something I'm not is simply impossible.
So, even with all my mixed feelings about it, I hope my friend is on a path that brings her more peace, more friends, and more happiness. I'm finding those things too, on this path of my own.
Isn't that what life is all about?