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.