I have something that has been lying within me for the last few weeks; well, really the last few months.
The direction and detours in my heart.
” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you a hope and future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I first saw this verse when my friend and spiritual mentor, Debbie, had written it in my highschool yearbook,
but the thing about it was that I don’t believe the verse itself came ” alive” to me until the last few months.
I was searching through old journals of mine( at least 5), from when I was 21-27, and I read through words I would write to God, but something I noticed for the first time.
Though I had a love for God, I had never really completely let Him have my heart.
I believe He was more of just an “aqaintence” to me. Tough thing to realize, but very true.
I was reading through about hard times in my life; and I saw ” words” I used to thank God for His help, grace, mercy…the whole shabang.
I used words…but in my heart, I wasn’t really honest with Him.
So when He spoke to my heart…I would only hear what I wanted to.
If it wasn’t for key times within the year or so, I would not be where I am with God now,
more than likely I would have been swallowed up in a religious cult.
I’m ready to share my story, of what happens when we just use ” words”
I have been very active in blogworld since 2007. I have gotten to know many wonderful people from afar,
but what blogworld doesn’t do right off; you can’t see a person face to face, therefore, you can lie right to those who read the blog, and they would never know it.
again, just words.
I was involved in a relgious cult from June-December 2008.
I was working with a girl named Robin. She was talking to me about how we need to go out and spread the Word. So I told her that I was thinking of going out to the beach and giving out some water.
She gave me a weird look and said, ” How can that save someone?” and I told her it was about our actions that would show people Christ. She told me that it was wrong, and that I was doing it the easy way, and that it isn’t what I am expected to do…
I don’t know exactly whether it was that night or not, but my crisis of faith happened. I started to listen to her hear and there, and I doubted what she was telling me; but yet my HEART was listening.
I was reaching for something ” more” than what I had believed in all these years. It suddenly was no longer,
” enough”- I suddenly had questions about my church, and other Christians I knew.
I didn’t know WHY I believed any of it.
I will be honest, this wasn’t the FIRST time that I had started being influenced by Robin.
I was told to stop studying with her the first time around, and I listened, I did as I was told.
But when the second time came. I wasn’t as strong.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12: 43-45)
I’m not saying I was ” possesed” but I was defintiely being ” oppressed.”
I was living out in New Smyrna. I had broken up with my fiance, and I was very alone.
My church was 30 min away. I had nothing, I had no one.
The sad part about this was, I was being devoured by the enemy, and didn’t even realize it!
I wrote some questions down for her to answer:
Would I have to give up my writing?
Would I have to stop hanging out with my friends?
Would I have to stop celebrating holidays?
Would I have to break away from my family?
Would I be expected to be at every ” meeting”
These are questions I asked, and she said NO to all of them.
I was told I couldn’t write, because there was sin in my life that only ” Jehovah” could take away from me, which wouldn’t happen until I was ” baptized”.
I was told I couldn’t hang out with my best friend, because she wasn’t ” studying” with me.
I was told holidays were not to be celebrated, because it was paganism. Apparently, when John the Baptist was beheaded at the King’s daughter’s bday; they take it as because it happened on a said ” holiday” something that was ” celebrated” that it was a sin to celebrate any holiday after that happened.
I was told I did have to break away from my family. I was told that they would ” corrupt” me,
and that they didn’t really love me anyway, that the JW’s were the ones that would ever truly care about me.
I was expected to be at every meeting, and when I didn’t go, they would either make me feel guilty about it, or ignore me completely, saying I really didn’t care about ” Jehovah” so I am not worth associating with.
I actually had two Jehovah Witnesses fighting over me with who could study with me.
I thought knowing the Word in all this would be what would save me, because there were plenty of times where they would start to say a bible verse, and I would tell them exactly where to look for it.
I was gold to them, there key into the ” new heaven”.
I would comment at every meeting, and use scripture from my NIV, which I was told I wasn’t ” ready” for the new world translation; but then suddenly instead of reading my NIV, they were telling me that I wouldn’t learn the ” truth” that way. I wasn’t allowed to use my bible anymore.
I know there are those of you sitting reading this going, ” Please, she had to have known better”
And I would have, if I wasn’t told everyday how ” worthless” I was, and that I was ” nothing”.
I was what you call, ” sensitized”- and I was at the beck and call of these people.
I did as they asked, because I really believed they ” cared” about me.
I was told to take down my Precious Moments, My sun pillows, blanket, my picture Cady McClain signed and sent to me, Christmas decorations my mom put up, anything that had angels, or crosses. I was told it was, ” Spiritistic” and that ” Jehovah” wouldn’t allow himself into my home, until I got rid of all of it.
True to my human self, I didn’t get rid of any of these things, because they were all gifts from people
that I had known a long time. I had Cady’s picture up to remind me of someone who had ” strength” and took on things that were not in her control. To remind me that it didn’t matter what position we hold in life, that we can still be slapped to the ground.
I continued to go to meetings, and studying. But this new found ” religion” it was starting to suffocate me.
I was drinking a lot, because I was becoming more and more depressed. I actually drank so much on Thanksgiving actually, that I was sick for three days. In a lot of ways, I started to lose my will to live, because I felt so worthless, that I had no point in even being apart of the earth anymore.
I wasn’t allowed to have friends if they weren’t Jehovah Witnesses, but I was limited to my friendships with them, because they said I was a danger to them, because I wasn’t baptized.
So either way, I was in a hell I would have never imagined for myself.
I actually found myself one night alone with a whole thing of Ibroprofen, and anythingelse I could find.
Deep somewhere in my heart I heard a quiet voice, ” Angie, why are you doing this?”
but I ignored it, and just kept on popping the pills.
Nothing ended up happening except a horrible nausea, but it was very real.
I remember just taking my bible in my hands lying on the floor in tears. I was broken.
Then one day, another lady came and studied with me. Robin and the other one were sick or something,
so this lady came.
We were on a chapter called, ” Where are the dead?”
I learned that they believed that when you die you rot in the ground, and that’s it.
I had a senstivity to this, because of my grandfather, I remember saying to the lady,
” I can’t believe that about my grandfather.”
She asked me, ” Well, what do you think will happen after you die?”
and my answer was, ” I don’t know, but regardless I know I’ll face judgement, so at this point I rather concentrate on living a good life.”
I believe that was the day when I was finally being given, a ” Way out” of it.
I received an email from Debbie. She was telling me she wasn’t sure how I would take it, but she wanted me to check out a website. She told me she had met an ex-Jehovah Witness, and believed that she met her for me. I looked at the website, and even though I fought about it with myself; I got the phone,
and I called them up. I called them up, and invited them to my home.
They showed me things in the bible such as:
Deuteronomy 18:22 (New International Version)
22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
The thing about these JW’s- they believe that Jesus had already come back. In 1914 I believe.
But what these ex-JW’s told me was it originally was the date that the end of the world was to happen.
They went on to say that you will notice many JW’s in their 60+ don’t have children, because they were told not to, that those children wouldn’t get to live a full life with the world coming to an end in 1941.
Then they said the world was coming to an end in 1975…yea, I think not.
The ex-Jw’s were at my home for 2 hrs, and before they left, I had taken in what they said,but had to ask,
” Knowing all this now, do you think they will see me as a threat, and that something could happen to me?”
Their answer was this, ” You could very well lose your job if they find out your not studying anymore, because Robin can’t disfellowship you, being you were not baptized JW, she will probably do what she can to jeopardize your job, or make it hard for you to be there.”
THEY WERE SO RIGHT!
Within a week, I stopped talking to any of them, and at work one day I was told to go to the office,
and I got there and was told I was fired. I went up to Robin after and told her,
and she just said, ” Okay, well, talk to you later then.” She said it with the biggest smile on her face.
I wanted to write all this out, to share my story with you, and for anyone who might be out there who is thinking of studying with Jehovah Witnesses. They are dangerous, they are heartless, and they follow the laws of a god but not our GOD!
I am sharing my story from the depth of my heart to tell you that words hurt, words destroy, words can only get you so far…it is about action, if your heart isn’t in something, you can’t tell it to listen, it already feels how it feels.
It is only by the GRACE and LOVE of God shown by people that love me, that I got out of that mess.
Now the direction of my life is simple, ” Just believe” that God knows what He is doing, and He will give me the foundation to step on.
I am a manager now, I am almost done with my degree, I am back with my church, and I am full blown sure that my faith is my own.
Because when all is quiet, just like Moses with the burning bush…it is when God will speak.
Sometimes He will get your attention anyway possible. In my case, I had to go through false prophecy to find who He truly is, and how much He truly means to me.
Thanks for letting me share:)
” For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes the imperfect disappears,
when I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, when I became a man, I put the childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face.”(1 Corinthians 13:9-12)