bttt so XJW4ever can continue .......................
bttt so XJW4ever can continue .......................
I understand completely where you are coming from, in so many ways. Although you don't agree you don't want to trash anyone else in the process, you just want to tell your story. I think it is great that people have an outlet and your story is very interesting. Like one person said "I hate cliffhangers!" We need to know more. You're an excellent story teller, not too much detail and not so little we are confused. Good work. I look forward to reading more.
I must go backwards in time a bit. Because something that changed my entire paradigm between 1990 & 1991. I had seen the outright deception of the GB in matters of the Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, etc. I had seen how the quirky doctrines (blood, neutrality, etc.) had been decided in ways that were arbitrary. I had seen how conniving & deceitful some within the Elder body could be. I pretty much decided that there was no answer within the WT$.
I lost my faith in the WT$. I also lost my faith in God. I wanted nothing to do with God or religion. In fact I remember going to Hollywood on a Thursday night (this again is prior to her exit) to see a movie at the Cinerama Dome. After the movie, I drove to get a slice of pizza, and as I walked down the street towards the pizzeria a group of Christians were making their way up Hollywood Blvd. They were loud and radical. The "leader" was a tall Latino fellow with a thick mustache. He walked right up to me and told me "Jesus loves you!" and handed my a flyer for the church he belonged to. A place called Victory Outreach. I looked it over as I walked away, and then dropped it in trash can. I never gave it a second thought.
I was working in retail during this time. I worked in mall for one of the anchor chains selling ladies' shoes. I was recruited by a store manager during this time, and I was eventually hired as her assistant manager. One of my duties was to hire sales people, and one person I hired was a teenager who was a Christian. I known this because she wanted certain days off. I automatically thought she was a JW, so I inquired, after I hired her, why she needed those days off. She said it was for church. I said, OK. and went about my business. She was a great employee. Worked hard, was great with the customers, and had the highest performance ratings of all the employees I had. One night, during a slow period, I began to ask her questions. She was well versed in Scripture, but was unable to answer the more sophisticated questions I had. She told me that I should go to her church, and talk to her father. He was one of the assistant pastors at this church. I still had my JW prejudices, and I said, "No way." There was no way I was going to walk into a church.
I kept at her, and she was cool about it. She answered what she could, and directed me back to her father on the ones she couldn’t. Around August of 1991 she invited me to the outreach which featured Nicky Cruz as the speaker. As an aside, I had heard of Nicky Cruz in high school. One of my English teachers was a born again Christian, and I had seen her read it. I had asked her about since the title of his book The Cross & the Switchblade, sounded so intriguing that I asked what the book was about. She told me, and even offered me a copy, but again being a good JW, I refused. With all this in mind, I to my employee that I would think about going.
The evangelistic outreach was going to be held in a church. I had never been in a church in my life, and the thought of walking into scared me tremendously. I thought about it for the weeks leading up to the event. My stomach was in knots. I wanted to hear what this guy had to say, but the thought of the church. It was almost so frightening. Imagine, being afraid of a church? A building where people simply go to worship and to hear a sermon about the Bible. It’s amazing how the WT$ has trained us to fear so much. However, I digress.
I finally made up my mind to go. My first church service was disappointing to say the least. They started 45 minutes late. Then they sang a bunch of songs that I didn’t know. I never knew you could sing more than one song at a service. Then the host pastor got up and interviewed some people and asked them how Jesus saved them. All I wanted was to hear this Nicky Cruz fellow. Finally, about 8:30 they introduced him, and he got up to speak. I was mesmerized. I found myself identifying with him, not in the gang life, but in one small area. His parents were witches, and his life was dedicated to witchcraft. I was always told by my mother that I had been dedicated to Jehovah, and as “Jehovah’s little boy” I would always serve him. Finally, he gave the invitation to accept Christ. Inside of me there was turmoil. Part of me wanted to run down and accept the invitation, yet part of me was glued to the seat, not wanting to move. Inside of me was a raging battle. I don’t know how else to describe it. Finally, got up and walked to the front. I got there, and I began to weep like I had never wept before. Heavy sobs. But I believe that what happened that night was the release of the pent-up frustration, angry, resentment, and every other negative emotion I had suppressed in my soul. I left there with a feeling of euphoria and relief that I had never felt before. I was left there fully understanding what Jesus had done for me on a cross 2,000 years ago.
Thanks for getting back to your story -- this has been such an interesting post.
I got there, and I began to weep like I had never wept before. Heavy sobs. But I believe that what happened that night was the release of the pent-up frustration, angry, resentment, and every other negative emotion I had suppressed in my soul. I left there with a feeling of euphoria and relief that I had never felt before.
The same thing happened to me about 20-years ago when I attended a two-day meeting of mostly former Witnesses in Chicago. That was the first time I allowed myself to meet with a fairly large group (about 100) of ex-JWs, and when it was time to leave, I had to run to the car because I couldn't stop the heavy sobs. Driving back to Dayton was unreal; everything was beyond wonderful, and the euphoria lasted about 3 or 4 hours. It was something I've never experienced before nor again.
I agree with you about it being the result of pent-up frustration, anger, and suppressed negative emotions. Doing a little research I've found that many folks have similar reactions of uncontrolled crying following by a feeling of euphoria after exiting a high-control group. It's easy to understand why many folks believe it's a gift from Jesus or God or some other spirit. It's also easy to understand why non-believers believe it's an emotional release that frees the mind out of the state of being stalled. Who knows . . .
Thanks again for the update; I look forward to more.
Something similar happened to me during a Catholic Youth retreat that I went to with some friends after I left the org. Some groovy priest who related well with teens was in charge. We did a lot of team building and encounter type stuff. Then he asked each one of us to come up and have a moment of silence with him. As soon as I was near him I began crying and shaking so badly I couldn't stop. He spoke to me quietly and asked me to please go see a counselor after the retreat. Yes, all that pent up stuff.
He spoke to me quietly and asked me to please go see a counselor after the retreat.
Can't you just see a JW elder saying something like that--not! Hats off to that priest, and hopefully there are a lot more like him.
xjw4eva. Just read your thread in one sitting, and want more! I was hooked at the beginning as i have two adopted sisters that my jw parents adopted when they were small babies.
Your story telling skills are compelling and entertaining, thank you for sharing, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
A little nudge that we are waiting for more
Come on, this isn't the Sopranos, we can't wait for two years for the next season