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I would like to introduce a new feature to our web forum intended to help many of us as we deal with the strong, conflicting emotions of a traumatic awakening to the truth.
It was back in 2010 that I began to awaken to the reality that is the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when they released the silly Overlapping Generations doctrine and started what has become a self-destructive downward spiral. They seem oblivious to this trend, which fulfills—in my humble opinion—the words found at Proverbs 8:19.
“The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling. (Proverbs 4:19)
Many of the teachings and direction coming from the Organization, particularly from their broadcasts, are so ill-advised and counter productive to their own goals as to make one wonder what is really going on in their high level discussions.
I find it hard not to apply these words of Jesus to the JW generation of our day.
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it passes through parched places in search of a resting-place, and finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will go back to my house out of which I moved’; and on arriving it finds it unoccupied but swept clean and adorned. 45 Then it goes its way and takes along with it seven different spirits more wicked than itself, and, after getting inside, they dwell there; and the final circumstances of that man become worse than the first. That is how it will be also with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)
While it is true that we have never been entirely free from false doctrine, at least during my lifetime, there was a good spirit in the days of my youth. I feel that Jehovah gave those leading us many an opportunity to correct the doctrinal mistakes of the past, but, for the most part, they took the wrong fork in the road on every such occasion. Even now, it is not too late; yet I doubt they are in a mental frame of mind disposed to repentance and a “turning around”. It seems that the spirit God invested in men has been withdrawn, and with the space empty, but clean, other spirits have come in and the ‘final circumstances of the organization have become worse than the first.’
The Lord is ‘patient with us because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.’ (2 Peter 3:9) It has taken time, but eventually things which were hidden have been exposed, and these are giving many sincere ones reason to engage in some serious self-examination.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest, neither anything carefully concealed that will never become known and never come into the open. (Luke 8:17)
Those with good hearts are been called out by our loving Father. Nevertheless, the journey is one fraught with strong emotion. When someone close to us dies, we go through five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. We vary by personality type as to how we go through these stages, of course. We are not all the same. Some stay in the anger phase for a long time; others breeze through it.
Nevertheless, we start out by denying there really is a problem; then we feel anger at being deceived and misled for so many years; then we start to think that there is still a way to keep what we had, by making adjustments (“Maybe they will change. Wait on Jehovah to fix things.”); then we go through some level of depression, some even to the extent of contemplating suicide, while others lose all faith in God.
The stage we want to reach quickly, for our own mental and spiritual health, is that of progressive acceptance. It is not enough just to accept the new reality. Rather, we want to avoid ever falling back into a mindset that allows us to be controlled by others. Further, we don’t want to waste what we’ve been given. We now have the opportunity to progress. To change the person we have been into something worthy of God’s love. So we want to reach a state of being where we can look back on the past, not with regret, but with gratitude for God’s patience, while looking forward to a brand new and glorious day.
What we have gone through, as difficult as it may have been for some, has brought us to this wonderful place where everything ahead of us is glory. What are 30, 40, or 50 years of pain and suffering if in the end we get an eternity with our heavenly Father and our brother Jesus? If I needed to go through suffering, as did our Lord, so that I could learn obedience and be made perfect, to the end of serving others in restoring them to the family of God through a 1,000 years of righteous reign, then bring it on! Give me more, that I may be even more ready for the wonders to come.
Sharing Personal Experiences
The purpose of this new feature is to allow all of you, who wish to do so, to share your own journey. It can be cathartic to express yourself to others, to share what you have gone through or are still going through.
Each of us has a different tale to tell, yet there are bound to be many commonalities which others will be able to relate to and from which they can draw strength. The purpose of our gathering together is ‘to incite one another to love and fine works.’ (Hebrews 10:24)
To this end, I invite anyone who wishes to email me their personal experience, something they feel might help others to cope with the trauma of awakening from the indoctrination of JW.org into the light of a new day.
We do not want to use this as an opportunity to vilify neither the organization nor individuals, even though we often feel great anger at the beginning of the process. We all feel the need to vent from time to time, even to rant and rage, but these experiences, while honest and heartfelt, have the ultimate goal of building up in love, so we will want to season our words with salt. (Colossians 4:6) Don’t worry if you feel you are not a good enough writer. I and others will willingly offer our editing skills.
If you would like to share your experience with the group here, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the new feature, my problem is how do I post an experience ? As I had a very refreshing one this last Friday
I look forward to hearing some of the personal experiences of others. As I have said in the past I have never been in the org or a member of the truth but have always been closely intertwined to it in some form or another, mostly by family. I think it was in 1997 I was talking to an elderly aunt of mine at a family reunion, she was born into the truth just like my mom sometime in the 1920s so the roots go back further than that, but anyway I was asking her about the generation and how… Read more »
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Hello dear brother Eric. Hello to all dear brothers all over the world. What a good idea brother to express our own experiences of our walk in the jw. They will be experiences that will strengthen my faith and I hope to tell you mine so that our joy will be complete. Believe me when I say it’s great to love people I’ve never seen. May the Lord bless you. From Colombia with love. Andrew
I’m confident in saying that the rest of us feel as you do. Much love, brother.
A very interesting initiative, which, hopefully will encourage all of us to keep a degree of sanity in a situation we never thought we would have to face.
Nice intiative Eric. Hopefully it’ll give others comfort that they are not going crazy, not alone, stay positive and not lose their faith in God. It’ll be something to counteract the plentiful experiences on the net where ex-JW’s recount how happy they are and how their life has been improved once they can turn their back on our Creator, embrace the evolution theory, engage in immoral or destructive behaviour, etc. In my opinion those are very sad experiences that show a lack of wisdom. All the best!
It has been my experience that when you are stamped as a “bad seed” (which I believe I was when I was a teenager – I’m one of the few once young Witnesses in that congregation still attending meetings in a crazy bit of irony) no matter what you do for the rest of your life in the organization they’ll always see you as a bad seed, turned sapling, turned mighty tree of badness. It feels like they finally just ground me down to where for some relief I began reading my bible more. After decades of backroom meetings over… Read more »
Also, mine is not a sob story. I have many close friends both in and out of the organization, including, I now feel, Eric Wilson here. And a great, supportive family. I am not lacking in anything and I doubt the organization is capable of providing me with anything substantial that I need anyway.
I for one look forward to hearing your own personal experience of ‘awakening’; this could assist and encourage the rest of us to, not only continue on this path, but to possibly present our own personal story as well.
Thanks for all your efforts.
Sounds like a good idea, though I think I’ll do it in a video
Meleti, why not do both? It would be good to have videos and text. Maybe others are interested in supplying videos to tell their stories. Just a thought.
Thanks for your hard work, brother.