I don’t know where to start. I guess the best place to begin would to say this is actually about two people, my husband and myself. I don’t know how many people believe in soul mates, but that is exactly what David and I are. We was destined to be together. Let me back up, and you will see what I am talking about. My mom and his parents both became Jehovah’s Witnesses back in the early 1970’s. And no, they did not know each other, until we met. From this point on, when I am talking about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I will just use the letters JW. And if you have ever talked to a JW, they feel and think they have the only way to salvation.
For me the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith was all Ihave ever known. And what ever your parents say, as a child you will take it atface value. But let me now tell you of my story. Around 1974, when I was 5, mymother became a Jehovah’s Witness. And I would hear her say, things likeArmageddon would happen before I started school. I started school in 1975. Shehonestly believed it. She had a cousin that studied with her, and showed hertopics such as the hell fire doctrine, and the trinity doctrine. Those were twothings she had a hard time dealing with when she went to church. So I am growingup, my mother is a Jehovah’s Witness and my father…..well he never became one,but he backed up my mother.
During the course of time, I eventually get twomore sisters added on to my family. And also my mother was inactive part of thetime, but she was faithful all that time on not celebrating the holidays, oranything that went against the JW rules. So eventually in 1987, I got baptized,no pressure to do it. My mom always said when we get baptized it was up to us. Ihave always been thankful for that.
In the following year, right out of high school,I went into the full time ministry, called pioneering. In 1989, I started towork with a building crew to help in building of Kingdom Halls. I would have tosay that both of those gave me a good learning experience on how to handle thebible. Also that really helped with my people skills. Before I did those things,I was a terribly shy person. I was so shy, that I would get pains from talkingto people. So you can see why that was a good experience for me.
But this where things get a little odd for me.Even though I was doing all I could for Jehovah’s organization, I was alwaysplagued with guilt over miner little things. Oh, it is nothing you would getdisfellowshipped for. (Disfellowshipped is being kicked out of the religion.)But I always felt like I was not worthy of God’s love, and no matter how hard Iwould work. I just did not feel worthy of survival into God’s new system. Justremember this, and I will come back to it later in my story.
In 1993, I got married to my husband. We met inGarnett, Kansas. And that is also the name of my birth stone. And I like to callthis point the beginning of the end for me. After I got married to my husband, Ilearned that he only got baptized because his parents forced him into it. It waseither get baptized or get kicked out of home. So at 18 he got baptized, becausehe was not ready to leave the nest.
So after we got married, I moved into hiscongregation. (The JW’s don’t call their places of worship churches.) BIGMISTAKE!! This certain congregation does not except outsiders. They even hadthis rep back in the 1950’s. I tired to be a good Christian, and over look allthis. I thought, well it must be me, because I am a newlywed. I was never sowrong. We moved away, but in the course of time we ended up in this congregation3 times. That was my husband’s doing. And really it was not his fault, becausehe worked in that town. And the car we had at the time was always breaking down.
Every time we moved into this congregation thingsjust got worse. I think it was because I had told the Circuit Overseer aboutthem. They were always picking on me, about little things. To give you anexample. At the time my oldest was just a new born, and cried a lot I would domy best such as taking the child to the second school, or to the bathroom. Butthis one day, I decided to sit in the back row, my child was being quiet thisday. And he made some of those baby cooing sounds. Not loud mind me, it was onthe soft side. This elder picked up my bags, and took my belongings to thesecond school. He told me that I had no business being in the main hall. So Iwent back there with tears in my eyes. I was so angry at him. Told my husband(at that time he was not there with me), I won’t go back there again. But I didabout 2 years later. But this time, it was my husband who was the one who gotchewed out. This time our second child had come along. But our oldest was beingvery good. Oh granted we could not keep him in his seat, but we were in the backrow, and he was quiet. This time the elders escorted my husband out of the hall.They came back in, but my husband and son was gone. After the meeting he cameback for me. What had happen, there was another child in the hall who was makingsounds and our son got blamed for it. To make a long story short….My husbandtold them to blank off. He had enough. That was just two examples of what wewere dealing with.
And we had other problems, in othercongregations, but I won’t be going into that. By now we both were getting asyou would call, very “spiritually weak”. In fact, religion had taken aback seat. Except for the times I would get a phone call from my mother naggingabout going to the meeting. Then I would go to a meeting or two, just to get heroff my back. I got letters from mom, and one of my sisters telling me how Iwould die at Armageddon, unless I started going to all the meetings again. Thoseletters would make me angry and put me in tears.
My children hated it whenever we did go. Theywould cry, scream, and fight just so they would not have to go. I would dragthem to the meetings at times, kicking and screaming all the way. And we aretalking about preschoolers. As I thought about this, there had to be somethingvery wrong. Because children can pick up things that are wrong, even when adultscan’t.
Remember earlier, I talked about how I did notfeel worthy of God’s love. This is where things start to take a turn. I decidedto go against what the Watchtower said, and I went to the Internet. I read storyafter story of those who came out of the organization. And I felt like that theywas talking about me. I noticed how you can stop at one story, and pick up atanother story, and it would sound like one person telling their story. My Story.All those years in the organization, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said “Don’tread apostate information, you are just reading lies. I was going against whatthey were telling me to do. I decided to be on the safe side, I would read whatthey said against the organization, and then read it in the Watchtower, andother publications put out by New York. It was all true. I could not believe myeyes, and what I was reading.
By now I was so confused, and fortunately for meI found several web sites dealing with encouragement of leaving theorganization. I talked to my husband and showed him what I was learning. I wasnot sure how he would take it. But to my amazement, he was in agreement, onlyafter he saw the proof.
I then started to get into the Bible. By now, Idid not even trust the New World Translation (that is the JW bible), so I got aNIV Bible. So I compared the two a lot. And learned that the organization evenchanged up some of the wordings in the Bible. One of the biggest changes was theword exercises when it should say believe. Here are some scriptures if you wantto see it for your self: John 3:16, John 6:40, Romans 10:9,10,13
At Ephesians 2:8,9 it says, “By thisundeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith; and this notowning to you, it is God’s gift. 9 No, it is not owing to works, in order thatno man should have ground for boasting.” So you can see how it is God’sgift to us, and a gift is free.
But then some one would say James 2:26 where ittalks about faith without works is dead. But if you go up and read verses 14-25,It is talking about giving them the necessities of clothing and feeding thosewho are lacking. How Abraham was going to offer up his son Isaac in an offeringto God, and how Rahab hid the two spies. So that scripture is talking about gooddeeds.
And the last scripture that really got me tothinking about the changes over the years in the organization is Deuteronomy 18:21, 22 How shall we know that God actually said it. He tells us that if aprophet says something is going to happen and it doesn’t happen. God tells usnot to worry, because he told us not to get frightened of that person. Now mindme I just paraphrased it, so you will need to read it yourself. Now, just thinkof all the times Jehovah’s Witnesses said something was going to happen and itdid not.
After sharing all this with my husband, we bothdecided that we needed to talk to some one. And that some one was his aunt,Cindy. She is a Sunday school teacher. So we had her come to our home, to talkto her about all this stuff I was learning. By the time she had left, we wassaved, and was going to go to her church the next day, which happened to be on aSunday.
I have been saved, and my faith in the Lord isstronger than ever. I no longer have that feeling that I won’t survive. I knowthat my hope is now to go to heaven, when my Lord Jesus is ready to bring mehome. And if you are wondering, since then I have told my children that we willbe going to Church and not the Kingdom Hall. At first they was not sure, becauseof the unknown, but after the first day of Church they love it. Their interestin spiritual things has started to bloom. As far as my husband we are goingthrough this spiritual journey together. We are finally united as a familyserving God.
My brother-in-law learned that my husband and Iwere going to church. He said that he would tell everyone, and that we would getdisfellowshipped. He was very rude, and cussed a lot at us. Any how, I don’tknow about you, but I like to have some control over my life. So we told himthat we was going to disassociate ourselves. There is a lot more involved, but disassociatingis basically removing ones name from the list of the organization. And that madehim even madder.
My mom said that I am now dead to her, and I am going to loose out on my family. But for some reason, I am not that sad now. I was at first. I am now having relatives that I have not seen in a long time calling me up (they are not JW’s) and now telling me that I can be part of their family. They understand the JW shunning and stuff. In fact I have an uncle who is a Baptist preacher who wants to help me through my trials. I do believe that God is watching over my family and me, and telling me not to worry. He will makeup for what I have lost, with something better. I am already seeing it. I am praying that he will allow my JW relatives to see the real truths of the Bible,as he has allowed for me. I pray that one day, they will get saved as I have. I am not angry at them; my aunt says that they are fooled by the devil. Who can appear as an angel of light.