So, you wanna be a WHAT! See, that was the reaction I was expecting from my family. What actually happened was completely different.

If you read So you wanna be a WHAT part 1 you might have noticed that I didn’t explain what telling my family/friends was like. I just glanced over what happened when I told my wife and kids. I needed to split up the story so that I could give this part the attention it required.

I’ll begin with my wife and kids as they were the first I told. I knew I owed them an explanation but I wasn’t really sure how to bring it up. After building some courage I gathered everyone together and explained that I had done some research and was going to make some serious changes in my life. No longer would I participate in the traditional holidays. I would be devoting time to the Scriptures and I hoped that they would do the same. I told them I wanted to become a better husband and father by living according to YHWH’s word.

Silence. Ever hear the expression “uncomfortable silence?” Now I know what they mean. No one really said anything, they just looked at me like I had been speaking another language. After several minutes my wife goes into the bedroom and I can hear her crying. Now, hearing your wife cry is equivalent to being stabbed in the heart, repeatedly, for a man. At least for me that’s how it is. I go after her and do my best to explain that my conversion doesn’t mean I will leave her. In fact, I want to be a better husband! She nods as if to say “it’ll be okay” but I know she’s still upset.

So now the ball is in motion, time to really stir things up! I decide to confront my friend and co-worker next. He’s a Christian and has a good understanding of The Bible so I’m sure this one won’t be so hard. I told him that in a way he played an important part. See, he showed me that it’s okay to read Scriptures and to want to be a better person, there’s no shame in that. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, though. He’s a big, loud, bike-loving guy with an even bigger heart. As I expected, he’s glad to hear my decision and actually is excited for me.

Next comes my parents, two separate phone calls as they are separated. I tell my Dad first. Of course this wasn’t so tough as he was responsible for sending me the book by Lew White. Dad tells me he’s proud of me and offers to help as much as possible. Now I have to call Mom. This time I’m really nervous. Remember, I was raised as a Lutheran not Jewish. Actually, no one in my family is Jewish. I have no idea how this conversation is going to go but I just have to sack up and make the call. To my relief, Mom has no problem with my conversion. She tells me that she raised me Lutheran but was proud of me for doing my own research and making my own decisions. Whew! What a relief! I’d say it’s a pretty universal belief that no one wants to disappoint their parents and I was no exception. My Mom also lets me know that she’ll pass the word on to the rest of the family to take some of the stress of my back. I love you Mom!

Co-workers. Once again I’m worried. Why? Well, you might not believe it but there’s still a lot of prejudice out there. I’ve seen it first hand on the job. Yes, even in 2008 people are still stupid. Sorry, but there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Judging a person based on the color of their skin or shape of their eyes or the clothes they wear is asinine!

The Scriptures tell us we are all created in His image so how can you say you believe in them but still hate others because they look different? It’s a personal belief of mine that when Messiah returns as the Judge, He will have the appearance of whatever you hate. Just consider that for a minute. If you have hate in your heart how would you feel if the Messiah came to you with that appearance? Keep in mind, when Yahushuah (Messiah) returns, He comes not as the lamb but as the lion. Can you even imagine the devastation and fear you would feel? Well, when you hate others that’s what He feels. You break His heart every time you allow hate to influence you.

Back to the co-workers. Oddly enough it came up in a conversation about oysters. I explained I wouldn’t eat them because they are unclean. One of my co-workers replied that when you steam them it removes the dirt, not understanding that I meant unclean as in not kosher 🙂 We then got into a conversation about all the clean/unclean animals, Chanukkah, and other Jewish holidays. Actually, they’re not Jewish holidays, that’s a misconception. They are Scriptural holidays appointed by YHWH Himself for all mankind forever, but that’s another post in and of itself. Overall my co-workers were pretty cool about it. Most seemed legitimately interested in what Judaism is.

Magen David and Torah

Magen David and Torah

Unfortunately there was one person that had issues. You didn’t think it was going to be all roses, did you? Later that night someone drew a swastika along side the Magen David. Of course I felt hurt, angry, and even pity for the person that did this. I mean, can you imagine what this person is going to say when Yahushuah tells him that He was born Hebrew? How would you like to explain that one? To my surprise my co-workers were also upset and the offending image was soon removed. There must still be some good left in people after all.

Overall the process was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined. I had built up so much fear and stress about everyone’s reactions that I was making myself miserable. As it turns out, there were only a handful of bad reactions as almost everyone I talked to saw my conversion as a good thing. Not to say that everyone can expect such an easy time as I had, but if this is where your heart is leading you and you really want to make the change then do it. The longer you keep this bottled up the more it will eat you up inside. Fear is a crippling weapon used by the enemy to keep you from the truth. I had heard it said on TV that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. This is exactly how the enemy works, hence the reason he is called the father of all lies.

Epilogue: It wasn’t until after my wife found her own faith that she confessed to me she was thinking about a divorce. The enemy had her convinced that I wouldn’t love her and that she could not please me. However, through prayer YHWH explained to her via my daughter that my faith would only bring me closer to her and that I still loved her. I find it amazing that after 18 years of marriage and raising two children she was considering leaving not because of the mistakes I made in the past, but rather because I had faith in my life. Thankfully, YHWH answered my prayers and guided her to the truth. I never pushed her into converting as I knew it would have to come from her heart in order for it to be meaningful. We now regularly attend Shabbat services and have removed the false traditions from our home and lives!

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