New Beginnings

In this blog, I am documenting my life. I have come full circle, from trying to become a child of God to actually becoming one. It took me many years of self-deception and searching for something I could not describe to finally find Christ.

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I write research articles, have done so since 1994.  I married my best friend in 2012, and we are in it for the long haul.  I have four children and five grandchildren.  My expertise is in teaching Sunday School.  I love listening to them memorize verses, and telling them Bible stories.  You can see my current endeavors at nicenet.org, and on Facebook at Yucaipa Writer's Group.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

My Process of Self-Destruction

The Process of Becoming a Jehovah’s Witness as an Adult Who Should Have Known Better.
My Reasoning Concerning the Lord.

In 1971, I did not think I had God’s favor, because of all the things that were happening in my life. I had been raised as a Lutheran, been forced to change from Missouri Synod to Wisconsin Synod in 1962, upon being married at the age of 19. I felt at the time that I was turning against God. I went to church, but was not spiritually lifted up, as I had been previously. My life commenced to deteriorate. I immediately got pregnant after my marriage, and experienced much more illness than I was used to. None of this had helped me in my relationship with God.
So in 1971, having produced three children, whose father had proved to be not such a great Christian, and being in the midst of ending my marriage, I was questioning this church I had become involved in, and I did not know where to look for answers. I did not know much about the Bible, except what I had learned in school, which wasn’t being practiced or discussed in my current circles. I knew people who were studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and they seemed really interested in what they were learning. It was then that I became interested in learning what they had in their realm of thought.
In 1972, I became involved with a man who said that he was a Jehovah’s Witness, and he moved in with me and we conjugally conceived my fourth child. It was the month of my divorce from my first marriage that I became pregnant with this child by the man who was a JW.
I was not in for an easy experience. This JW man was not on a good social footing, as I was to find out. When I was a month pregnant, we were forced to move out of the house, and I would not be able to see my other three children unless I moved. This began a journey I was not ready for.
This wonderful JW man was not faithful or supportive of me. He only paid attention to me one time, when I had received a check for $50 from my dad. He then took me out with all his friends so I could spend it all on him.
It was during my fifth month of pregnancy that he left me to go to Northern Wisconsin with two girls he had met. The day he announced that he was leaving, he had just spoken to a JW at the door, and said, “I’m going to church on Sunday.” (Well, I guess that he didn’t make it.)
So I was five months’ pregnant, and he had left me with no money, and I did not eat for two literal weeks. Then, in desperation, I accepted a job baby-sitting for his brother’s wife, who had four children. They would not listen to me; their dog was humungous and I was afraid of it. I just thought I deserved this. On the way home one morning, I was approached at a bus stop by a JW woman selling the Watchtower and Awake, and I said I did not have the money, so a man bought them for me, which impressed me. By now, I was disillusioned enough to think that maybe reading these magazines would endear me to my baby’s dad.
I did not understand what I read in the magazines, so I placed them in my top drawer together with the blue “truth” book which I had been given by Loraine, a JW who had studied with my friend Sue. Sue used to tell me that she had good luck because of her Bible Studies, and I would think she was nuts. But now, I was beginning to think that maybe it would bring me something better if I would check it out. But, I was getting really large and it was embarrassing. So I didn’t, but just kept thinking about it.
On Christmas Eve, I went to the Lutheran Church where my kids were in the Christmas Program. My little girl had her hair put up the way her dad liked it, with spit curls on the sides. (I remember thinking that her dad must have really liked that.) I had sunglasses on, so as not to be recognized, because of my big pregnant belly. The program was beautiful, and I cried because I could not even let the kids know I was there. I left early. Then I went to Monica’s house and watched her get drunk.
Monica was another “friend” much like Sue. She was not a JW, but her god was the bottle. She took up a lot of my time while my baby’s dad was gone. She was an alcoholic, and she hated everybody, but she was something to focus on to keep my mind busy. I took her everywhere. Her marriage was abusive due to her drinking. Her youngest daughter wore too much makeup, and her oldest daughter was becoming addicted to the bottle like she was. Her mom died suddenly just before Christmas, and her dad died shortly after that. Her two brothers were single; one was a schizophrenic, and the other was a loser. I was not involved with this family very long; just until the birth of my child and his dad begged me to take him back, which I did.
In January, my baby was born, and his dad called me, begging me to come and get him, and because I thought my child needed two parents, I did exactly that. The night we arrived back home, this JW man who had left me high and dry and then begged me to take him back was telling me about the Bible, and how God’s name is Jehovah, and how my kids were going to die if I didn’t start studying. In my disillusionment, I believed these words. It was still another year and a half before I did anything about it, but for the next few weeks my JW boyfriend was to tell me about how wonderful the “new order” would be, and he would study with me only one time in the “truth” book. He thought it was interesting that I even had one. I don’t know where it came from, but I suddenly acquired a green copy of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which is the JW Bible. I had no idea how it had come into my possession.
I remember the first time that I earnestly looked, for myself, in the “truth” book, I checked the “table of Contents”: and found the chapter on Prayer, which was Chapter 17, and read it. It said that for God to answer my prayers, first I had to be living the right way. I believed these words, and I felt that all the trash I had been through was because I was not living right and I wanted to know more about that.
When my child was born, and my JW boyfriend came back, I had lived in one place, but we all moved six times by the time he was a year old. It was a year of much instability. The only time I felt halfways human was one day when a JW came to the door when we lived on a busy street. I told them that they should come back when my “husband” was home, because he would love to talk to them. (I again was thinking that this might endear me to him.) They came back, or sent somebody else, I don’t remember, but it was a Sunday morning, and he was there, so they came in and spoke to us. There was no deep discussion. They left and never came back.
We moved two more times, and then my boyfriend called the local JW’s to come over. I was quite surprised at this. Then he told me he was going to the JW meeting. I wanted to go with him, but he would not permit me to go. When he got home, he told me the elders wanted him to leave me, and he was going to move in with his dad. He again left me with no money, and I had to move to a cheaper place. My focus at this point was my child. I could not go on the Welfare, for the father of my other kids would be hot to make trouble for me.
I moved to a one-room apartment. I went to the JW meeting to ask about my boyfriend, but they did not know about him. It turned out that he had lied about it so he could leave me. JW’s helped me finish moving, for he was not to be found anywhere. His friends stole my TV and radio. But I began attending JW meetings with my child, who was now almost 2 years old. Every Sunday, they picked me up and every Tuesday they came to study. This was the beginning of my finding out what this was all about, but I still had a long way to go.
I learned that if God is to open anything up in our lives, we have to do something first. That made me feel as though because I had not done anything for God, He had not done anything for me. So I had to hurry up and study more and learn how I could please God. So much fear of displeasing God. It was easy for me to think this way-because I had never really taken responsibility for my life, and I was told that this was the reason everything had gone so bad.
The study was very regimented. I had to read a paragraph, then read the question on the bottom of the page, and then underline the answer. That was how they got me into their corner of thinking 100%. At the same time, I was taking responsibility for my life, I was thinking like they were. If I tried to answer any other way, I would be told to just stick to what the book said. So I was to revere “The Book”.
One Sunday Morning, I went to the JW meeting, and had to sit in the bathroom with my child, and who should walk in but Sue? She would not talk to me (later she explained that she didn’t think that she was allowed to), but she spoke to my study conductor, who asked me if I knew her. I had to say that I did, even though we were not exactly friends. She had been involved in my first marriage, and I had not seen her since then. I asked God (I called him Jehovah by then) if I was supposed to be friends with her again, and he did not answer me. Was this a Test? I was to find out.
I learned through my studies that I should not have anything to do with the things of ‘Satan the Devil. One of these things was the Cross, since that was a symbol of the god, Tammuz. Jesus had died on a straight up and down stake, not a cross. They called what he died on a Torture-Stake. So I eliminated the word, “crucifixion” from my vocabulary; by now these things were getting easier to do. Also they wanted me to stay away from my JW boyfriend’s family. That was not hard, either, for they all hated me.
When they told me to break up with my JW boyfriend, I was not happy. My goal had been to marry him when he finally divorced his first wife. Two weeks after they had told me that, I found out he was in jail. Then his dad and sister came over and wanted me to help bail him out. In my disillusionment, I thought that this was an act of Jehovah. So I tried to bail him out the next day. It was speeding and drunk driving that my JW boyfriend was charged with. I paid the money, but they would not release him. That evening, his dad and his other sister brought him over to my apartment; they had finally released him. We spend the evening planning on getting back together, but I told him we had to get married; there would be no more “shacking up” for this was not the “Scriptural way””.
When we finally got our blood tests, I told my bible study conductor about it, and she said she was happy for me-this right after telling me to dump him. I made no note of this change in attitude; all I cared was that she was going along with it.
After we were married, we studied together with a young married JW couple, and they were working on getting us to go to the meetings. I began to discover at this point that JW man whom I had married was not much of a JW, for he did not want to go to meetings, and he did not want to stop smoking. I had stopped smoking long ago, but he had no intention of doing so. My next goal was to get him to stop smoking.
We had to move again, because my JW husband did not pay the rent, so we ended up in Arkansas. There things were cheaper, but so were wages, and although employment was plentiful, my JW husband did not like to work. He was a faithful JW, though, and he found the local congregation and gave me someone’s phone number, which I called the next day. I was to have another bible study.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are the type of people who form instant friendships. That was my impression of these JW’s in Arkansas. All I did was to take my child to the next town, where I could call this number locally, and upon going to their house, a friendship ensued with the whole family. They took my child on a bike ride, and taught him to milk a cow and he was a very happy 2 ½ year old little boy` I, although I was getting sick, was just as ecstatic over this relationship. My illustrious JW husband even became friends with them. I was in Seventh Heaven!
Smoking was still an issue. My wonderful JW husband would sit right next to me while we were watching TV and our child was playing on the floor, and be smoking one cigarette after another, making it hard for me to breathe. I was getting sicker and sicker, and he did not seem to care.
On Mother’s Day of 1976, my mom died of lung cancer. I was talking to my dad on the phone, and he said to come out for the funeral. We had planned on leaving to go and “witness” to my mom in the hospital, but the day we were to leave, she was going to be buried. So the next day, we were calling my dad from Little Rock Airport, ready to get on the plane. Dad bought us tickets, and we flew to Ontario, where he picked us up
The day my mom was buried, my JW husband was out of cigarettes, so he bummed one off my cousin, who had come to my dad’s house in the morning prior to the funeral. That was the last cigarette he smoked, for this was the year of our baptism, and he was not supposed to be smoking as a JW.
In September of 1976, we were baptized into what was known as Jehovah’s Organization. The hubs and the admiration were overwhelming to me-I had never had so many friends in my whole entire life! They were positive friends who did not want to suck my blood. I was in Paradise!
I had gone from a Lutheran, and wanting to go to Heaven, to being a JW, and not really understanding where I would go. The “Paradise Earth” thing was appealing, but where was my mom? Also, since I had believed in the soul, how really could that just die, since I did not know what their concept of the soul was, and nobody could really explain it? My questions were never answered. For the next 20 years, my questions would never be answered.

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