4.21.2005

Whither thou goest.

Well, I knew I hadn't written anything here in a long time--but it wasn't until I looked at the date of my last post that I realized it'd been almost three months.

There are a lot of reasons for my absence from the blogosphere (which, I'm sorry, is a word I can't say and keep a straight face), including how busy I've been at work and the fact that I spend a lot of time training for a 25K road race I got roped into. But the major one is that my boyfriend and I became engaged at the end of January and have spent the subsequent three months in a general state of high-level activity (and anxiety) trying to pull off a wedding by June 18.

It's not that we're having some kind of extraordinarily highbrow, fancy shindig that demands I quit my job just to plan it. In fact, we're having a backyard barbecue. I bought my dress off the rack at the mall, and most of the help we need is coming from friends and family who have generously volunteered their time and talents.

But nobody ever tells you how exhausting engagement itself can be. Sure, there are lots of little event details to take care of, but that's not what's left me drained. Perhaps our engagement has been unusual (though I somehow doubt it), but we have spent most of it negotiating constantly with our families. And not just over tablecloth colors and invitation wording--we're talking some major theological and ideological battles here. We're talking, not even sure our parents think we're Christians anymore (at least not faithful ones).

This whole process has solidified some of my feelings of alienation from evangelicalism. After all, in my day to day life, I don't have to deal with the fact that my parents don't believe women should be pastors or that my future in-laws believe we're sinning because we don't practice male headship. But engagement brings all those opinions and convictions to the forefront, and everybody wants their own way when it comes to a wedding (believe me--I sure want mine). Although for a long time I've felt relatively outside evangelicalism despite my roots and identity there, there's nothing quite like being told you're grieving the people who raised you to make you realize just how far gone you really are.

I want to write more on this--we're past the shock and pain enough now to have a reasonably good sense of humor about some of the hurt we've endured, and I think there are some lessons to be learned from wondering if your wedding officiant will make you say "I do" to various contortions of Ephesians 5. The gender expectations involved in the technicalities of wedding planning--particularly when the couple are presumed to be evangelicals--are enough for a novel alone!

So, thanks to those who have wondered where I've been, and I'll hopefully be back soon. In addition to the engagement hooplah, I'm just sort of in an absorbing, listening, observing stage of my life right now. I find I don't have much to say, or the energy to hunt for the words in which to say it, and so I've kept my mouth shut and my fingers still.

There are seasons, I suppose, and I'll be glad when this one's over.

17 Comments:

At 4/21/2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Lara said...

Kate,

I can begin to imagine some of this as I think if I ever marry I'll have similar struggles with my parents. Particularily with the expectations and false assumptions about how I will handle relatioships because it's the way they did or because it's the way I'm "supposed" to. I'm sure it can't be an easy time.




Also....I'm jumping on the boat with Rocko in wanting you and Nate to move to California. Seriously. It's splendid out here. :)

 
At 4/22/2005 10:27 AM, Blogger Cygnet said...

Hey, we've missed you, but I completely understand the engagemetn situation. I graduated from Calvin in '01 and my wife in '03. We had supreme difficulties with both families in these regards.

My wife's family is nominally catholic/methodist, and my extended family is almost all baptist missionaries and pastors. You can just imagine the clashes that we had.

Just remember that no matter how much they tell you that, "The wedding isn't just for you two," they are wrong. The wedding IS yours, and if they cannot support that, then they are better off not coming.

To avoid the Ephesians 5 issues we worked with our pastor to write our own service in its entirety. It came out REALLY well, and everyone said it was one of the most personal and touching weddings that they had attended.

So keep it true. After all, if God is the source of all Truth, then Truth points to God.

 
At 4/25/2005 11:49 AM, Blogger Verb said...

Congratulations, and sympathies. My girlfriend and I got engaged at the beginning of Feb., and have been trying to pull off a June 11th wedding date. It's been full of challenges and tricky negotiations... Nothing spells 'raised eyebrows in Christian families' like suggesting a female pastor marry you...

 
At 4/26/2005 6:07 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Kate,

Oh the pain of evangelical engagement. I don't miss it at all. If things get really bad, just threaten to call off the whole thing. Say that you'll move in with Nate, establish a common law marriage and begin trying to have as many bastard children as possible. Suddenly a female officiant doesn't seem too bad.

I agree with cygnet, this wedding is about you two and the vows you make before God and humanity. This ceremony should be an expression of how you two approach those vows. Let the parents be damned.

 
At 5/01/2005 12:24 AM, Blogger Meg said...

Kate: Congratulations.

You two just plan to major on the majors. If you and your fiance are supporting each other and laughing through this, seems to me that's a very good sign.

Meg

 
At 5/05/2005 1:34 PM, Blogger Meg said...

"Although for a long time I've felt relatively outside evangelicalism despite my roots and identity there, there's nothing quite like being told you're grieving the people who raised you to make you realize just how far gone you really are."

I hear you. You are not living alone in this tension. I think it's splendid the processing you have done and your ability to come out on the other side with a sense of humor. I've discovered that the blogosphere ;-) is a fabulous outlet for anti-fundamentalist diatribes. In fact, I feel one coming on as I head "home" to my alma mater for my brother's graduation. What is it about big milestones and hoopla that tend to bring out the craziness in our families, eh?

 
At 6/27/2005 5:52 PM, Blogger Joel said...

You're married now! so there!

 
At 6/28/2005 8:31 AM, Blogger dorsey said...

After 16 years, the memory of my evangelical circus, er...wedding still remains fairly fresh. My wife's father is a pastor, and I bless the fire code for capping the guest list at 600.

While the event was, and continues to be, and exercise in grace, it has also been a formative event in the way I approach my own children.

The canonization of tradition is bondage and death, but only the Lord can open hearts. Yours is to pay the truth forward, as it were.

Peace.

 
At 7/17/2005 2:26 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

Just found your blog - I love the term evangelical expat. I feel the same way so often and I'm thrilled to have tapped into this corner of the blogosphere.

I know what you mean about weddings, too. My boyfriend and I went to a wedding yesterday at a Baptist church and I was steaming about the mishandling of Scripture...and these are the people who say all the right things about taking things in context and on and on and on. But they're hypocritical about it. I dread weddings these days because I know I'm going to hear so much submission/obedience/headship stuff and it makes me weep for so many of the girls getting married. "And the two shall be one, and the one shall be him."

*sigh*

Congratulations on your marriage - I hope things lighten up for you now!

P.s. I have a blogger account but I've moved over to typepad: www.livewithdesire.typepad.com.

 
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All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such. We may own,
take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or
involve discussions with respect to predictions, goals, expectations, beliefs, plans,
projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of
historical fact and may be "forward looking statements." Forward looking statements are based
on expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a
number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ materially
from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid four thousand dollars from a party
(IR Marketing). Forward looking statements in this action may be identified through the use of
words such as: "projects", "foresee", "expects". in compliance with Section 17(.b), we disclose
the holding of IF LH shares prior to the publication of this report. Be aware of an inherent
conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation
of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made
regarding the above company. Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in
our statements and opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not to place undue reliance
on forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations involving
various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those set forth
in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to buy or sell stocks, this text is
for informational purpose only and you should seek professional advice from registered financial
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All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such.
We may own, take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect
to predictions, goals, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are
not statements of historical fact and may be "forward, looking
statements." forward, looking statements are based on expectations, estimates
and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results
or events to differ materially from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid $3,000 from third party (IR Marketing).
Forward,|ooking statements in this action may be identified through the use of words such as: "projects", "foresee", "expects". in compliance with Se'ction 17. {b), we disclose the holding of EGTY shares prior to the publication of this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made regarding the above company. Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in our statements and opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward,looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations involving various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to
differ materially from those set forth in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to buy or sell stocks, this text is
or informational purpose only and you should seek professional advice from registered financial advisor before you do anything related with buying or selling stocks, penny stocks are very high risk and you can lose your entire investment.

 
At 8/30/2005 12:52 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Kate,

So is this how it ends? You leave your blog to be overrun by spammers selling stock tips? I know you've been enjoying your new marriage and all that, but come on. We need you. Do it for old friends. Do it for your fans. Dammit, do it for the children. I don't really care what your motivation is, just write a friggin' blog entry. I'll have to actually start being productive at work soon if you don't, and nobody wins if that happens.

 
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