A Jehovah's Witness couple gets saved.
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 I have ever known. And what ever your parents say, as a child you will take it at face value. But let me now tell you of my story. Around 1974, when I was 5, my mother became a Jehovah's Witness. And I would hear her say, things like Armageddon would happen before I started school. I started school in 1975. She honestly believed it. She had a cousin that studied with her, and showed her topics such as the hell fire doctrine, and the trinity doctrine. Those were two things she had a hard time dealing with when she went to church. So I am growing up, 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 two more sisters added on to my family. And also my mother was inactive part of the time, but she was faithful all that time on not celebrating the holidays, or anything 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. I have 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 to work with a building crew to help in building of Kingdom Halls. I would have to say that both of those gave me a good learning experience on how to handle the bible. 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 talking to 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 always plagued with guilt over miner little things. Oh, it is nothing you would get disfellowshipped 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 I would work. I just did not feel worthy of survival into God's new system. Just remember this, and I will come back to it later in my story.
In 1993, I got married to my husband. We met in Garnett, Kansas. And that is also the name of my birth stone. And I like to call this point the beginning of the end for me. After I got married to my husband, I learned that he only got baptized because his parents forced him into it. It was either get baptized or get kicked out of home. So at 18 he got baptized, because he was not ready to leave the nest.
So after we got married, I moved into his congregation. (The JW's don't call their places of worship churches.) BIG MISTAKE!! This certain congregation does not except outsiders. They even had this rep back in the 1950's. I tired to be a good Christian, and over look all this. I thought, well it must be me, because I am a newlywed. I was never so wrong. We moved away, but in the course of time we ended up in this congregation 3 times. That was my husband's doing. And really it was not his fault, because he worked in that town. And the car we had at the time was always breaking down.
Every time we moved into this congregation things just got worse. I think it was because I had told the Circuit Overseer about them. They were always picking on me, about little things. To give you an example. At the time my oldest was just a new born, and cried a lot I would do my best such as taking the child to the second school, or to the bathroom. But this one day, I decided to sit in the back row, my child was being quiet this day. And he made some of those baby cooing sounds. Not loud mind me, it was on the soft side. This elder picked up my bags, and took my belongings to the second school. He told me that I had no business being in the main hall. So I went 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 did about 2 years later. But this time, it was my husband who was the one who got chewed out. This time our second child had come along. But our oldest was being very good. Oh granted we could not keep him in his seat, but we were in the back row, 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 came back for me. What had happen, there was another child in the hall who was making sounds and our son got blamed for it. To make a long story short....My husband told them to blank off. He had enough. That was just two examples of what we were dealing with.
And we had other problems, in other congregations, but I won't be going into that. By now we both were getting as you would call, very "spiritually weak". In fact, religion had taken a back seat. Except for the times I would get a phone call from my mother nagging about going to the meeting. Then I would go to a meeting or two, just to get her off my back. I got letters from mom, and one of my sisters telling me how I would die at Armageddon, unless I started going to all the meetings again. Those letters would make me angry and put me in tears.
My children hated it whenever we did go. They would cry, scream, and fight just so they would not have to go. I would drag them to the meetings at times, kicking and screaming all the way. And we are talking about preschoolers. As I thought about this, there had to be something very wrong. Because children can pick up things that are wrong, even when adults can't.
Remember earlier, I talked about how I did not feel worthy of God's love. This is where things start to take a turn. I decided to go against what the Watchtower said, and I went to the Internet. I read story after story of those who came out of the organization. And I felt like that they was talking about me. I noticed how you can stop at one story, and pick up at another 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't read apostate information, you are just reading lies. I was going against what they were telling me to do. I decided to be on the safe side, I would read what they said against the organization, and then read it in the Watchtower, and other publications put out by New York. It was all true. I could not believe my eyes, and what I was reading.
By now I was so confused, and fortunately for me I found several web sites dealing with encouragement of leaving the organization. I talked to my husband and showed him what I was learning. I was not sure how he would take it. But to my amazement, he was in agreement, only after he saw the proof.
I then started to get into the Bible. By now, I did not even trust the New World Translation (that is the JW bible), so I got a NIV Bible. So I compared the two a lot. And learned that the organization even changed up some of the wordings in the Bible. One of the biggest changes was the word exercises when it should say believe. Here are some scriptures if you want to see it for your self: John 3:16, John 6:40, Romans 10:9,10,13
At Ephesians 2:8,9 it says, "By this undeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith; and this not owning to you, it is God's gift. 9 No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting." So you can see how it is God's gift to us, and a gift is free.
But then some one would say James 2:26 where it talks 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 those who are lacking. How Abraham was going to offer up his son Isaac in an offering to God, and how Rahab hid the two spies. So that scripture is talking about good deeds.
And the last scripture that really got me to thinking 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 a prophet says something is going to happen and it doesn't happen. God tells us not to worry, because he told us not to get frightened of that person. Now mind me I just paraphrased it, so you will need to read it yourself. Now, just think of all the times Jehovah's Witnesses said something was going to happen and it did not.
After sharing all this with my husband, we both decided 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 talk to her about all this stuff I was learning. By the time she had left, we was saved, and was going to go to her church the next day, which happened to be on a Sunday.
I have been saved, and my faith in the Lord is stronger than ever. I no longer have that feeling that I won't survive. I know that my hope is now to go to heaven, when my Lord Jesus is ready to bring me home. And if you are wondering, since then I have told my children that we will be going to Church and not the Kingdom Hall. At first they was not sure, because of the unknown, but after the first day of Church they love it. Their interest in spiritual things has started to bloom. As far as my husband we are going through this spiritual journey together. We are finally united as a family serving God.
My brother-in-law learned that my husband and I were going to church. He said that he would tell everyone, and that we would get disfellowshipped. He was very rude, and cussed a lot at us. Any how, I don't know about you, but I like to have some control over my life. So we told him that we was going to disassociate ourselves. There is a lot more involved, but disassociating is basically removing ones name from the list of the organization. And that made him 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 make up 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. .