I am tired.
As I am also a second-year college student with two majors, a job, and around five hours of kung fu practice a week, this should not seem remarkable. But it’s more than simple fatigue. I’m tired, spiritually and mentally and emotionally. And I’m starting to have doubts.
Converts are generally not strangers to doubt, you know? I got here because I doubted in my former life as a zealous hippie-Christian. I doubted the divinity of Jesus, I doubted the structure of the Church, and I doubted the simple ease of belief as eraser of sin. Now I’m starting to doubt again. I’m doubting that I’m converting for the right reasons.
I’m at a crossroads in the conversion process right now. The class at the local college of Jewish studies that converts in the liberal denominations are required to take may or may not be cancelled this spring, depending on how many of us sign up. On the other hand, due to a series of conversations with my major adviser, who is Orthodox, I am beginning to seriously consider pursuing a Modern Orthodox conversion instead–she has contacted a rabbi friend of hers, as well as others in the Modern Orthodox community who she thought would be interested in helping me through the process.
Because of this, I feel like it might be kind of dishonest to sign up for the class. But what if it’s cancelled because I didn’t sign up. I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS KIND OF PRESSURE YOU GUYS. I AM NOT THE DECIDER.
I’m also not feeling very… “spiritual” right now.
I hate the word spiritual. Whenever I hear it I can’t decide whether it reminds me of 19th century Southern protestant revivals, or white people who think they are Hindu because they do yoga and believe in the healing power of crystals, man. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, I’ve been involved in this largely Christian intentional community recently, and they’ve asked me to bring in some prayer that works for me, from my Jewish(ish) perspective. I love that they want that to happen. I just don’t love that I honestly can’t think of any prayer that works for me right now. I feel like I no longer know how to connect to God. Maybe it’s because I’m at such a middling part of the conversion process that I can no longer identify with Christian prayer, but I also don’t know enough about Jewish prayer to feel confidant doing it on my own. Or maybe it’s because I am making a HORRIBLE MISTAKE THAT I WILL REGRET FOREVER. I don’t know, you guys. I just don’t know.
So I guess what I’m looking for now is any recommendations you guys have for dealing with doubt, or for learning about praying as a Jew, or even for just reconnecting to prayer in general. Because I’m tired now. And I don’t think I can do this by myself.