Sunday. Pastor preached. As always i am moved. But the thing that stood out the most was don’t go back.
How did you know I was planning on going to a Jehovah’s Witness convention this summer Pastor Hannah? Oh. You didn’t. No one did. God knew though.
Last week I saw one of the brothers who hapoened to be a friend of my mothers. He hugged me. Sweaty as I was for running nearly an hour straight with no breaks.
I just missed being loved. I was in my mothers belly when she chose that religion. I was the kingdom hall’s baby. I was out in service as a toddler passing out literature. We were taught to be polite. And kind even if someone, as was the case in the cases of some, threw water out the window as a surprise for the witnesses below.
No retaliation. Turn the other cheek type stuff.
But the conventions. They were especially special. We would get to see friends from school who didnt go to our halls. I would get to lurk and see my childhood crush who even as he slept in my dorm room years later I never got the chance to tell him he shouldve chosen me.
We would eat cheese danishes for breakfast. Before we started to have to bring our own lunches.
I loved those danishes.
My friends though. We would get together and walk during the intermissions. Not really talking about much, but saying enough to keep our bonds intact.
The dramas though.
They would dress up as characters like David and Solomon. Or Miriam and Moses. They would act out the bible. It was like the bible come to life. It was amazing!
I’m getting teary eyed with the memories.
That was the truth to me.
I dont have sad childhood memories from the kingdom hall. My mother was extremely depressed aftrt her mother died. She would stop going to the hall. I would walk there on my own. I would go out in service with the pioneers who were my friends. These were people who made their living out of walking door to door doing Jehovahs witness ministry work without getting paid from the religion. People would sow into their lives. I didnt leave out of anger. Or being bitter.
Some friday nights enough folk would hit up my aunts house for fried catfish and her spaghetti with sugar in it of course.
People would stop by my mamas house on saturdays just for hospitality. She was the butter cookie and sweet roll lady. We had treats to eat so people would stop by.
Then things changed. But i still felt like that was home.
Jehovah’s Witnesses were all i knew.
Then i knew a man. And my body craved a man and i could care less about the kingdom hall. I was too busy loving and leaving my muslim boyfriend as we had this topsy turvy love affair on and off for about nine years. I didnt think about the hall much during that time.
I became boy crazed. Man crazed. Sex crazed.
Distracted. Unfocused. Accepting being disfellowshipped the first time because when my mother found my birth control pills snd told the brothers i was having sex, i explained to them that i liked sex. If i didnt have it with the boyfriend i was with it would probably be another.
I justified their decision to disfellowship me. A practice that keeps other Jehovahs witneeses from even greeting the disfellowshipped person. I was not living life according to Jehovah’s laws.
Now I know a God. Full of mercy and grace. Who tells us not to judge each other in James because we don’t know how to do His job nearly as well as He will.
Who sent his son Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for the sins we would commit daily.
No need to shun someone who needs prayer and love.
Anyway. Some days when I feel mistreated and forgotten about I want to go to a place like cheers like home, where a lot of folk know my name. But I remember that God answered my silent prayers. The prayers i prayed where no one else could hear. The prayers where I asked him to show me how Jesus was not an angel named Michael. The prayers where I asked him to show me where he was. The prayers where I asked him to give me strength to stop sharing my body with men who just wanted to come and leave when the next option came along. The prayers where I asked to be free from addictions that kept hopping from substance to substance to sometimes people back to substances.
He heard my cries. He answered.
I stop asking man questions when I serve an all powerful God whose spirit came to the earth to live and dwell in me. We are connected.
So. No. I can’t go back.
I’ve come to far. No regrets. I move forward. Knowing God has ordered my steps. Jehovah. YHWH. Sent Jesus giving him all power in heaven and earth. Sitting on his right hand side.
And guess who still healing like he did back in the day?
I let go. To let God. And watch him work now that I am really willing to let go.
Its not easy. Sometimes its easy to want the familiar. But we grow best in environments that makes us step outside our comfort zone to learn new things about self.
So. I grow. I am thankful for the character traits that I have acquired over the years.
I’ve got work to do. I accept thr challenges!