Last Friday, my calendar popped up a notice. It had been 6 years since the day I had decided to convert. I had miscounted and all this year I had been thinking it was 7. Somehow, 7 seems so much longer than 6 and I was comforted by that idea. That day, I was overrun by work and then with other worries that make it even hard to get all the cooking done for Shabbos, let alone write down a coherent thought.
6 years ago, I had already been studying Judaism for months, but mostly from a place of wanting to support my beloved. I wanted to understand his faith and his people. This was before we knew of his own halakhic issues that would eventually lead him to need to begin studying for conversion as well. 6 years ago, I decided that I wanted Judaism for myself and for my family and I scheduled that first appointment with a Rabbi that began us down this path.
In the past 6 years, so much has changed. I look back at pictures of the children and they were so small. Mr. Safek had a lot less gray in his beard. In those 6 years, we’ve married, moved across the continent, wandered, learned, grown, and now we’re planning another big move. We’ve made some amazing friends who inspired us even when things seemed their darkest. We’ve made it through countless obstacles and grown closer from it.
And now, it feels like we’re reaching another level and that more obstacles have risen up, but we’re also in a much different place to face them.
One of the questions that conversion candidates get asked often that is impossible to answer is, “When you do think you will convert?” For most, that question is impossible to answer until they have a mikvah date from their Beit Din (Rabbinical court). It could be next week…it could be ten years from now. I really don’t know. I know I long for it like a weary traveler longs for home, but I also realize that on that day, I will suddenly carry a heavy responsibility. Everything that up until now has been for practice will be for real and there is no going back. I want to be ready.
This weekend, we all began to redouble our conversion studies, going over what we might have forgotten and making sure the children are brought back up to speed on some things that they might not get shown. I redoubled my dedication to daily prayer in Hebrew and to tzedakah.
I believe that we’re heading in the right direction, that we can make it and I believe that we’re more than halfway there now.