Seven years after marrying a Christian, Stina Kielsmeier-Cook’s husband decided that he didn’t believe anymore.
On this week’s podcast, Vicky Walker interviews Stina about what happened next, and how a group of nuns helped her to navigate her own beliefs.
Stina recounts her experiences in a new book, Blessed Are The Nones (IVP, £11.99 (Church Times Bookshop £10.79)). Read an extract, and an edited summary of this interview, in this week’s Church Times.
“In the book, I tell the story of one year of my life, of continuing to reckon with this grief and trying to understand,” Stina says. “So, now what? How do I live a Christian life when my husband isn’t a Christian any more? And so this term ‘spiritual singleness’ comes to me during a walk in the woods. . . It was a really helpful term for me, because it named the experience that I was going through when I was still happily married, still very much committed and in love with my husband, and yet there was this loneliness I was experiencing.”
As she sought t make sense of her own faith in light of her husband’s deconversion, Stina “stumbled across” a group of Catholic sisters in her neighbourhood. “I wondered if there was something I shared with them because they had committed to this singleness,” she says.
But she discovered: “They don’t consider themselves spiritually single in the way that I considered myself spiritually single, and that points to this discovery: that none of us can live a Christian faith on our own; there is a body of Christ to which we all belong.”
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