Hello, Marion here.
I have just been reading your messages of support, and would like to thank you all so much. This is the first day in my whole life, and I am 60 soon, that I have not been a Jehovahs Witness, and thanks to my sons' phone call this morning, it hasn't been an easy one. I am expecting a lot of heartache with my family, most of whom are Witnesses, in the next few weeks and months, and I cannot express how much it means to me that, apart from Linda and Trevor, I have a worldwide network of friends, and although I have never met you I regard you as friends, who will support me.
Truthfully, it hasn't sunk in yet that I am no longer a Witness, and I expect it will take a while to do so, but deep down, I know that I have made the right decision to leave. How could I stay, knowing the things about the organisation that I know now? It would have been easier to stay in some ways, as I would have kept most of my family, but the easiest way is often not the right way, and I know I could never have been happy again as a Witness. It would have been hypocrisy of the highest order to have gone on the Ministry to preach a message that I no longer believe in, and I am not a hypocrite, so in the end I had no choice, I had to leave, my conscience would have bothered me too much if I had not.
I haven't made any firm plans for the future as yet, apart from attending the Apostacurry in a few weeks time. I have been so used to having my future mapped out for me that I have no experience in planning ahead, apart from obvious things like paying bills etc, so I have to learn afresh now, though I have a couple of good teachers here! I retire in November, when I am 60, and up to not all that long ago had planned to Pioneer again then, but now I won't be doing that I have to think of another way to use my time. Like many lifelong Witnesses, I haven't really planned financially for my retirement, so that could be a problem, but I'll deal with that if and when it happens. I haven't really looked ahead much as yet, to be honest, so I may have to rely on my "personal trainers", Linda and Trevor, for advice!
So this is my first day of freedom, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you all, especially Linda and Trevor, my best two friends in the whole world. I hope that there are many, many days of freedom ahead of us all.
All my love xxx