My mother was a devout
Catholic and opera singer. My father a high school music teacher. My mother
became a Jehovah's Witness when I was a little girl. I only have a couple of
memories of going into a church and had no concept of what it is to be anything
other than a Jehovah's Witnesses.
My parents were more lenient than most. I was able to remain in class during
classmates birthday parties, but did not salute the flag, join Girl Scouts,
celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Easter, or Birthdays. Nor would I ever
take a blood transfusion, associate with "outside worldly people", enter
churches, or believe in doctrines like life in heaven, hell, trinity or even the
deity of Christ.
I have one brother that is 4 years younger than I, and his wife and him are
involved very deep in this cult, as much of my family is. I never knew anything
else. I was a preppy girl in high school and did well. My school friends I
distinguished from what I called my "real friends" at the kingdom hall. After
all..... the worldly friends were only going to die at Armageddon.
They knew what I was allowed and not allowed to do and respected that. I use to
feel guilty for seeing how close I could cross the line in high school. For
example, I would go for cheer leading tryouts... but would / could never be one.
I remember being so envious when my friends went on to college and knew that it
was not acceptable for me to do the same. I so much wanted to be a grade school
Still..... I believed in my heart I had the true religion. My school vacations,
such as Christmas, Easter and summer, were spent in the pioneer service and upon
graduation from high school I devoted my time to the full time ministry. I was
trained to debate many religions and was taught the bible in a manner to solely
convert others to what we called the "truth". I literally was a walking
Jehovah's Witness girls, at that time especially (early 70's) married very,
young. I suppose there was not much else to do. You were not suppose to work
full time as that was considered materialistic endeavors and college was
pursuing worldly knowledge. So you pioneered full time, married or both. I was
engaged at the age of 17 and when I turned 18 the following October I was
married. I had three children.....two of them before I was old enough to vote.
Yet for the age , I was very mature and hard working. I pioneered with children
in tote or used babysitting arrangements held by fellow sisters at the kingdom
I still believed biblically they had the truth.....but truly felt I was being
weeded out by God. By 1982 I was disfellowshiped which is what many call
shunned. I had no one in the outside world to talk to...... and no one in the
world of Jehovah’s Witnesses would even look at me. I mean that literally. My
mother and brother have not really talked to me in over 20 years except on what
is deemed acceptable occasions like weddings or funerals. The exchange of words
is cordial and their demeanor left me feeling unworthy and ravaged with guilt.
I can't find words to explain what it feels like. To know and believe that God
detests you, will not hear your prayers and that you WILL die at Armageddon. You
are nothing more than the dog that returned to his own vomit. My mother would
scream and call me the whore of the devil and I carried a huge amount of guilt
for the pain it caused the family. I didn't know how to interact with people in
the outside world and could not find my place in life in the outside world.
I lived in limbo away from God for almost 16 years. It was always on the back of
my mind, but I knew HE did not want me. How could he? I had left His true
organization. All the bible knowledge I had from being a Jehovah's Witness never
left me. I had great fear about God. It was a fear I had as one of Jehovah's
Witness. He was a God that expected exclusive devotion. Love was not talked
about much, nor was salvation through Jesus. Salvation came from adhering to the
organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So I respected God, but did not like HIM.
I will never know why on a spring night in 1996 I laid in bed and got out my New
World Translation of the bible. It was all highlighted, footnoted and underlined
from my old Jehovah’s Witness ministry days. I began to read it and felt so
unworthy. Night after night I would get in bed and pull out my bible and read
and cry. I was compelled to do this and didn't know why. I was being driven by
something I could not identify. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the Holy
Spirit as part of the God head so I could not identify what was happening to me.
All I knew was, that at all costs, I wanted God in my life again and wanted the
real truth. The more I read, the more I could not believe how different the
things were I was reading from what I had been taught my whole life as a
Jehovah's Witnesses. I use to ask myself..."How can this be? Who am I to
question God’s only true organization on earth?
Brainwashing is a very complex thing. While suffering panic attacks from being
shunned a consoler told me there was no cure for brainwashing. He described it
like the death of a loved one. You never forget, but the pain fades in time. I
battled my inner brainwashing and studied everything I could read and get my
hands on for over three years. I could not get enough yet could not find the
infinite answers I needed.
Then in July 1998 my father passed away from not taking a blood transfusion.
That is something commanded by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of
Jehovah’s Witnesses. I felt responsible for his death as he wanted to take the
blood transfusion and keep the secret between him and I. Though I had not been a
Jehovah's Witness for almost 16 years, I could not tell him to do such a thing.
Despite the hurt I had experienced from this organization, I still wanted
Jehovah God's approval for myself and those I loved. I didn’t want my father to
miss out on the resurrection hope for taking the blood, and I selfishly did not
want to break this rule in hopes I still had a chance of surviving Armageddon.
He died a day later. I still hold pain in my heart for not telling my father the
new things I was learning from reading the bible. I was still under the
influence of mind control after all those years. His death deepened my quest for
the real truth.
At work I met a co-worker who was a Christian and he invited me to attend a
Calvary Chapel church. He had to enticed me with a paid for breakfast if I would
go with him. I actually thought I was walking into satan's den!!!! When they
raised their hands in praise and worship I felt I was going to faint. I had been
taught that such things came from demons. I left feeling guiltier than when I
entered, as I liked what I heard and it was about what I had been reading in the
bible. I was finally hearing the real truth. Questions were being answered.
Still.... I wanted to belong... desperately to somewhere. Catholics are glad
they are Catholic.... Methodists glad they are Methodists......Mormons glad they
are Mormon. I could not find where to belong or what to join and was feeling
that perhaps I should return to the Jehovah's Witnesses. They would shun me for
a period of time and there would be several meetings with their elders. Only
when they deemed me repentant could they chose mercy and decide to reinstate me
into their organization.
A scripture in Gen 6:6 brought me to know God like I had never known Him before.
It read: (NWT)
"Jehovah felt regrets that he had made men in the earth, and he felt hurt at his
the (NIV) reads:
"The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was
filled with pain."
God had a heart! His heart hurt that the people in Noah's day left Him and did
not love Him. It pierced my heart as if a knife cut through me. I was in Fort
Myers, Florida when I was shown that scripture. On my return trip home I would
not stop reading the bible. Over and over the scripture in Genesis resounded in
my mind. I had a huge experience being born again on that airplane. All thanks
to God that he reached me after 3 long years. I got it..... finally got it!!!!!
I was free from all the brainwashing. My mind was free!! I cried hysterically
and told Him how I loved his son Jesus Christ and asked for forgiveness for my
sins and for hurting him.
It was so clear to me that I was the one who had left God. I had hurt His
feelings just like the people in Noah's day. He had never left me!! I had
believed all lies. I finally understood I did not have to belong anywhere. I
belonged to HIM. He was my best friend... my Savior .... my King.... My God.
I did not have the answers to biblical doctrine questions all at once. All I
knew was that I understood Grace.....and the gift of God. The heavy burden of
earning my salvation was removed. I did not have to count my hours a month in
the ministry for Him to love me. I did not have to stand on street corners
converting people to be saved. I did not have to attend 5 meetings a week at the
kingdom hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses to have His love. I did not have to worry if
I would be in His kingdom. I now knew I would. I was no longer under
condemnation. The Throne of grace was there for me too.
Most of all........I finally LOVED HIM. No more unhealthy fear.....but a respect
and TRUE love from my HEART. I finally knew Him, instead of just knowing all
about Him. I trusted Him to fill in all the missing pieces I didn't understand.
It was October 27,1999, the day after my birthday, that I became born again and
finally knew Christ.
The spirit realm is very real to me. Christ is very real to me. His kingdom is
very real to me. I never cease wanting more. Now I go to church several times a
week.....because I "want" to, not because it is required of me. Now I preach the
truth about Jesus because my heart moves me, rather than needing to fill out a
time card. Now it is no longer about me.. but about Christ. I no longer feel I
need to earn my salvation.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...
and this not from yourselves,
it is a gift of God,
not by works,
so that no one can boast."
"he saved us
not because of the righteous things we have done,
but because of his mercy."
"And if by grace,
then it is no longer by works;
if it were,
grace would no longer be grace."
Mostly, for the first time, I understand Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your
and your minds in Christ Jesus."
The heavy yoke was lifted and I now enjoy a life of peace in Christ Jesus, The
Prince of Peace. My heart's desire since, has been that all, including Jehovah's
Witnesses, come to understand the gift of grace through Jesus Christ.