Hi all. I'm new here, so I thought I'd introduce myself quickly. I'm a life-long evangelical. It was a year ago at Bright Week that my family and I first visited an Orthodox Church, and now my husband (thebigee on this forum) and I are catechumens and will be chrismated on Pascha. I'm a lifelong evangelical, and never dreamed I would make the step, but as one of my new friends says, "You don't find Orthodoxy; Orthodoxy finds you." You can read my husband's story here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30107.0.html
so I won't go into great detail. But to summarize: Our teenage daughters began asking spiritual questions that shook up our own faith as well, and we ended up finding the answers in Orthodoxy. Unfortunately, our daughters are still on their search and do not consider themselves Christian at this time, but that's another story.
I dreaded telling people at our former church and also my evangelical friends, but surprisingly most of them have been supportive - to my face at least. There are some people I don't know quite as well, and I figure I don't need to tell them unless they ask - but in evangelical circles (where people often change churches frequently), it's common to ask, "So where do you go to church now?" and so I end up telling more people than I intend to. One interesting thing I'm finding is that many of them seem to know someone who is Orthodox already.
But then there is my mother. She is 89 - a lifelong fundamentalist Christian, who is a member of a church that tends to interrogate people about their faith rather than engage in relationships. I dreaded telling her about our becoming Orthodox, and I also dreaded telling her about the girls' faith struggles. I managed to avoid the subject, and even (I admit) told at least one lie, but finally I had to tell her. Her immediate reaction: "Does your church preach the gospel?" (I said yes, but of course to her "preaching the gospel" means more like giving an altar call), and "The girls need to be in a church where the Word is preached, etc." (Never mind the fact that they refused to go to our old church but will occasionally come to the Orthodox church.)
I find myself avoiding her even more now that she knows, because I sense her disapproval, and because I'm constantly on edge, wondering when she is going to bring up the subject. I'm afraid if I say, "I don't want to talk about it," she will become even more paranoid, because that is what my brother said when he became an agnostic - and because I tend to be a very upfront and honest person, and I'm not good at hiding things from people.
How have people handled their parents in cases like this? To be truthful, I've always been the "good, little evangelical daughter," and never gave her cause for worry about anything. I'm sure this has come as quite a shock to her. Any advice would be appreciated.