miteypen

Acceptance and Rejection

In Family, Friends, Writing on October 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm

From the statistics I’ve been able to access, no one is reading this blog and my readership on my other primary blog, Femagination, is down by 30% from last month. I don’t know quite how to take this. It’s true that I stopped writing here almost completely, so that can’t have helped. And I cut way down on my posts on Femagination over the past month because I was so preoccupied with the aftermath of my decision to convert to Islam.

But at the same time, I had a piece published in my local daily newspaper about my learning Arabic. It was based on the posts I wrote here about learning Arabic and what it has done for me. Because I wrote it pre-conversion, it doesn’t mention the role my learning Arabic had in my decision to convert. Actually, it was the other way around: I realized recently that the main reason I wanted to learn Arabic was because I wanted to get to know the Muslim students better, because I was interested in what made them tick. In other words, I wanted to know what part their religion had to play in their character formation and I thought I’d get closer to them if I learned Arabic.

I was right, but even I was surprised by the reaction I got to my overtures. And when I became a Muslim, the news spread like wildfire through the Muslim community. I had planned to keep it quiet for awhile, while I got used to the idea myself. But I didn’t get that chance. Once one of them knew, they all knew. I found that I didn’t really mind after all. I still haven’t told the people I work with, but I imagine they have some idea, since the Libyans have been quite vocal coming up to me with their congratulations.

So things have a way of balancing out. And if I were to be honest, I have experienced much more acceptance than rejection in my life over the last month. In my last post, I mentioned how my husband, children and close friends have accepted my announcement that I am converting. So what if my readership has declined? It will come back, God willing. Relationships are more important anyway. I should be praying that I develop relationships through my blogs instead of just getting visitors to bop in for a peek every once in a while.

One thing I fear is that I’m being rejected because of my conversion to Islam. But if that’s going to bother me, I better toughen up. I will undoubtedly experience a lot more rejection in the course of my life because of this decision. But God will also bless me, I believe, as He does us all, in ways that we often fail to notice. And as long as I have His love, how can any rejection on earth retain its sting? (I’m not going to lie and say that it won’t ever sting.)

I pray every day that God will use me and the gifts He gave me as He sees fit. Acceptance and rejection aren’t up to me. Being faithful is.

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