Among my abundant flaws is my at-times intense need for privacy. During my teenage years, if mom or dad asked how my day went, I would get all indignant at their egregious attempt to invade my privacy. This is not normal behavior, I realize. I've gotten better.
But still. I crave privacy. I like working out all of my theological demons anonymously online. I like exploring and challenging ideas and putting some of my internal "stuff" out there for examination...by strangers. By people I can't disappoint or upset.
To get to the point: my college discipler/mentor in Campus Crusade was a woman named "Janet". She and I have stayed in touch since then; for awhile I supported her when she went abroad as a missionary for CCC. In recent years I have mostly stopped supporting her financially (as I am just no longer a fan of CCC theology) but we still exchange Christmas cards and I saw her a year or two ago in Asia during one of my business trips. I believe on that trip I told her some of my struggles with faith, my waning prayer life, lack of enthusiasm for God. Okay, fine she more or less handled that okay, but I am certain she has been concerned and praying for me ever since.
It turns out she is in my city for the next month or two while she raises support, and she has been trying to contact me to get together. So far I have been ignoring her. I'm not proud, but I don't want to see her! I'm afraid conversation is going to turn spiritual, and I just don't feel like explaining/defending/discussing where I am spiritually these days. She is no longer a confidante of mine, and I don't feel like opening myself up at that level.
I know I am being rude by not returning her emails and IM pings... but our entire relationship has been predicated on this spiritual/Christian connection that is just not there for me anymore. What kind of friendship can it possibly turn into when I have turned away from the thing that is at the core, the center of her life? What on earth will we talk about? We used to have these deep conversations about our faith. I don't have those kinds of conversations anymore, nor do I want to.
So what should I do?