I will start by apologizing for the following rant and I hope I do not bore everyone but this is on my mind.
I had an epiphany. It may have been a segment on the Today show, a short piece about Catholics and celibacy that started the thought process. My instant thought about priests not marrying was how ridiculous, why allow the church to control your ability to have a family. Why must you give up a wife and children just because you decided to be a minister for God? Then it hit me, as Jehovah’s Witnesses we were raised to do the same. We may not have to sacrifice having a “family” (or a marriage mate, that is) for the lord’s sake but we are raised to sacrifice other things for the sake of the ministry. My husband and I have had lengthy discussions about how our futures were shaped in the “truth,” and how they could have been different if we would have approached things from another vantage point. My real point being, education. I was driving to work and all of a sudden, I wondered what I could have been. Instead of being the office “gopher,” doing what no one else wants to do, where else could I be? As a teenager, I was talented, smart, and artistic. I had counselors who begged me to go to college but I resisted and stuck to my goal of regular pioneering. I am not saying that I did not enjoy the time I spent in my “ministry” nor can I say that I fully regret it. I just wish that we could have made the choice about college 13 years ago without it being served up with a huge spoon of guilt. I guess in my ‘rather about way’ of telling my story what I am saying is that it finally hit me about our lack of freedom of choice. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are raised to be lifetime ministers for Jehovah, putting the organization first and ourselves last. We make sacrifices from a very young age, the current example being that we don’t take advantage of education as young people. I wish now that I had pursued some sort of extra education. It is hard now to look back on a decision that was so easy for me make at the time and reconcile it with where I am now.
I am proud of my husband though, he has gone back to school, and he is doing great. I am considering doing the same thing. However, to be honest after 10 years of marriage I am looking forward to having children and not feeling guilty about that decision either.
Our new motto is, it is never too late.