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So There's This Nigerian Lady At Church Who Keeps Calling Me...


Zephie
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she's called like three or four times already. She leaves messages. I used to be her ESL tutor a couple of years ago and she doesn't speak English very well and is hard to understand in person much less over the phone. The issue that I'm having is that about two years ago when I moved out, I stopped going to church and was quite happy. She gave me a call and started asking me how things were going. Then she asked which church I was going to, I told her I wasn't going to church. At that point she starts getting choked up and tells me that I have to go to church and that there's no way I can be happy not going to church. Well, several months later, I ended up having to move home and started going back to church. Needless to say that lasted about a year, now I don't go to church. She started calling me two weeks ago. I've not responded when she calls and I'm considering blocking her. I do not want to talk to this woman nor do I want to answer her questions about why I no longer attend church. I am quite happy and peaceful not going to church. Sure, I have worries just like everyone else does but nothing that is going to drive me back to the church. At any rate, I am not sure what to do as if I block her mom and dad will find out then they will ask me why. I tried explaining to my dad why I didn't want to talk to her but he got all defensive as if I thought the people at their church are evil. I don't think that. Not at all. It's just no one's business why I don't attend also my reasons for not attending aside from my lack of belief is that Thursdays and Sundays are my days off and I do not want to go anywhere. I like to rest and relax. Any thoughts? I mean ultimately the decision is mine alone. Should I flat out block her? It's an additional cost from my provider but if it provides some peace of mind for me, I don't mind.

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It's like with my mother. I basically lied... Well, I blurred the lines and filled in what she needed to hear in Christianese, but here's what I told her:

 

"I'm not currently attending an established church, no... But, I guess you could say I'm a part of a house church. I have a close knit group of friends that I fellowship with on a regular basis. We do talk about spiritual things, we encourage one another, study together, break bread together..."

 

 

The truth is, I do have friends with whom I do discuss religious/spiritual things and with whom I have been talking through my process of deconversion. Most are unbelievers or ex-Christians themselves, but some are believers and fellow ministry co-workers with whom I know my secret is "safe" and who don't try to re-convert me. They're actually good listeners and I enjoy their hard questions, as it affirms and challenges my conclusions and discoveries on this journey. Many of these "deep conversations" with friends happens over a meal or a beer, so hence the "breaking bread."

 

It satisfies my mom enough for now. Just use Christian lingo to show that you are still a part of a spiritual community. And lie a little bit if you have to.

 

It's tough with the cross-cultural barrier in your case, though. Since my degree for ministry is in cross-cultural communication and I took classes on cultural anthropology, etc... Man, I know that. Avoiding offense while getting your point clearly across can be hard across cultures. Someone usually doesn't get heard, and someone's toes usually get stepped on. I'm sure there is a way to set up boundaries without burning bridges, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head. Perhaps ask your parents to talk to her, or another mutual acquaintance? That works very well in many cultures, as it allows there to be a "direct" confrontation while both parties still save face. Softening the blow with a greater context for the mediator's visit (dropping by with cookies or something) can help.

 

Blocking her would no doubt cause drama. Try the white lie thing, first. You have a home group that meets other days of the week, so that you can rest on Sundays. Lots of churches have Saturday and even Friday services now, to accommodate people's schedules... ;-)

 

Remember she genuinely means well.

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Oh, and keep in mind that in her culture, she isn't doing anything offensive or intrusive. She has no idea how this is coming across to you. You may want to lovingly, gently point that out. In your culture (America, I assume?), your expectations of boundaries are different. Let her know you deeply appreciate her concern for your well-being, and then make your boundaries clear. Very clear. And then finish with an affirmation that her love and concern does mean a great deal to you (just not how she is expressing it).

 

I hope that helps. Fingers crossed for you. It's tough, in this cramped closet. I feel your pain. It's hard enough with family. I couldn't imagine trying to do this tiptoe dance across culture barriers...

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Yeah, I mean that I know she means well. I can't exactly tell her that I meet with others because my parents know I don't and I"ll be living with them for a few more months. My most reasonable explanation is that on Sundays I need to rest. Or if she asks the question I could hedge around it. I'm just dreading this conversation.

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Diplomacy is tough. Best of luck in keeping the peace. Trust yourself. You can do this. You'll think of something. There are people here cheering for you who have been there in similar situations (and still there!). You're not alone.

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If she calls your cell phone just set her phone number to ring only silent.... You'll feel less guilty if you miss her call than if you ignore it.

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It's very tough when people put you in these defensive situations. I think you're very kind to try to see everyone else's point of view. But really, you hit on the core truth in your post: you said it's nobody's business but yours. If this woman's entreaties make you uncomfortable, you have every right to block her and you owe no explanation to anybody about why you're doing it.

 

I applaud those who urge understanding of someone else's culture (and truly, I know nothing about Nigerian culture). But I do know that Christians the world over can be astoundingly pushy in their "rightness" and you shouldn't have to put up with that. Period.

 

Good luck, though, I know how difficult this must be, especially when you're living with your folks.

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I say just lie and get it over with, i mean its not like you have personal qualms with the woman, just get her out of your life in general.

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she's called like three or four times already. She leaves messages. I used to be her ESL tutor a couple of years ago and she doesn't speak English very well and is hard to understand in person much less over the phone. The issue that I'm having is that about two years ago when I moved out, I stopped going to church and was quite happy. She gave me a call and started asking me how things were going. Then she asked which church I was going to, I told her I wasn't going to church. At that point she starts getting choked up and tells me that I have to go to church and that there's no way I can be happy not going to church. Well, several months later, I ended up having to move home and started going back to church. Needless to say that lasted about a year, now I don't go to church. She started calling me two weeks ago. I've not responded when she calls and I'm considering blocking her. I do not want to talk to this woman nor do I want to answer her questions about why I no longer attend church. I am quite happy and peaceful not going to church. Sure, I have worries just like everyone else does but nothing that is going to drive me back to the church. At any rate, I am not sure what to do as if I block her mom and dad will find out then they will ask me why. I tried explaining to my dad why I didn't want to talk to her but he got all defensive as if I thought the people at their church are evil. I don't think that. Not at all. It's just no one's business why I don't attend also my reasons for not attending aside from my lack of belief is that Thursdays and Sundays are my days off and I do not want to go anywhere. I like to rest and relax. Any thoughts? I mean ultimately the decision is mine alone. Should I flat out block her? It's an additional cost from my provider but if it provides some peace of mind for me, I don't mind.

 

She might be calling you to tell you that a Nigerian Prince has died and has left you money in his will, all you have to do is pay the Lawyers fees and the money is yours. Answer the call DAMN IT!!! Sorry, that's the first thing that came to my head when reading your post.

 

But I've been in a similar position, you answer the call, you can say, please leave me alone, you tell them you don't believe, please respect my lack of faith and i'll respect yours, (and we all know how this ends), and somehow you have to justify your lack of belief (which i don't know why anyone would), or you just ignore the calls, which i did in my case and they finally got tired of calling. But in both situations you end up frustrated and you come across as an "Angry Atheist".

 

Sorry and good luck.

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I say ignore her and if you have to then block her. If your parents find out and start questioning you tell them the truth, this lady is hounding you about church and it's not her business how you express your religion.

 

I have had to deal with a few stalkers in my time and the best thing is to cut them off. If you run into her in person I would just tell her that your religion is personal and you have no intention of discussing it with people anymore.

 

You don't have to justify that your religion is actually a lack of religion, that can be a religion if you label it so.

 

I'm sure she is a nice person but now she has traversed into religious stalker and that is a big problem.

 

Whatever you decide I hope she leaves you alone. :)

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I've basically decided the ignore route. Should she call I'm not answering and V/M's are getting deleted. If the parents bring it up, I'll be honest about my past experience with her. She is a nice woman but my reasons for not going to church on Sundays are my own. I've eplxained my desire for rest on Sundays and they respect that so far. Of course, the trade off is that they get a clean house :)

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So I spoke with mom this morning about the calls. She suggested that I write the lady a note and thank her for her concern while letting her know that I am okay. She also suggested that I apologize for missing her calls. So crisis solved.

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So I spoke with mom this morning about the calls. She suggested that I write the lady a note and thank her for her concern while letting her know that I am okay. She also suggested that I apologize for missing her calls. So crisis solved.

 

Nice solution. Your mom sounds like a smart lady.

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So I spoke with mom this morning about the calls. She suggested that I write the lady a note and thank her for her concern while letting her know that I am okay. She also suggested that I apologize for missing her calls. So crisis solved.

 

Nice solution. Your mom sounds like a smart lady.

 

She really is even though we don't agree on religions. Btw, is your name a take on Laurel K Hamilton character of the same name?

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Btw, is your name a take on Laurel K Hamilton character of the same name?

 

Nope. In fact I confess I never heard of Hamilton until you mentioned her. MerryG is short for "merry-go-round" -- because I felt as if I was on one when Christians would try to proselytize me over and over and over again. :-)

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Btw, is your name a take on Laurel K Hamilton character of the same name?

 

Nope. In fact I confess I never heard of Hamilton until you mentioned her. MerryG is short for "merry-go-round" -- because I felt as if I was on one when Christians would try to proselytize me over and over and over again. :-)

 

That makes sense lol. The series is good by the way if you like faeries and paganism. Also hot scenes. Lol

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MerryG is short for "merry-go-round" -- because I felt as if I was on one when Christians would try to proselytize me over and over and over again. :-)

 

Haha, I like that! It probably felt like an insane-a-go-round I would imagine :)

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