I've been lurking on the board for almost a year now and I think I'm ready to come out of hiding (although, I'm so nervous as I type this). I'm not ready to share everything about my story, but the basics are that I'm a born-in, elder's kid, baptized as a teenager because I was tired of hearing people ask me "All your friends are baptized, when are you going to get baptized?", married an unbeliever (was DF, but came back shortly after) and we have two kids. I'm ready to get out of this dictating organization! My main reason for staying in is my family - only my husband, his parents/siblings, and a good friend, all non-witness, know my thoughts. About half my family is in and the other half out, but the main thing keeping me in are my parents. What started me on this journey is actually researching the holidays and my brother-in-law who professes to be an atheist. I was looking for information to defend our beliefs and of course, came across many different views and found this website. I quit looking after a couple months, but then started up again as I took a religion course in college and was mightily surprised. Delving into the beliefs of the ancient religions and then studying Judaism and Christianity just opened the door for so many questions and validity. I then of course, found jw facts and well, the rest is probably very familiar history for many on here. Having in-laws and husband not in, I do have a channel for discussion, thankfully. There are many times I wanted to comment on this forum, but was too nervous and afraid of being found out or lightning striking so I refrained.
My faith in everything I have been taught and regurgitated for so long is being brought into question. I still want to believe in a God, a creator, I think - although I've gone back and forth on the topic. I do believe in spirit beings mostly because of the experiences of my husband and in laws had that were retold to me. My MIL had issues with spirits - like things moving across a room, doors closing, and actual "forms" interacting - as a youngster that followed into adult life where my husband saw some of the things as a child. How do non-believers explain phenomenon like that? And these aren't "crazy people", especially my husband, he's a no BS type of guy. So right now, I'm just trying to take it all in and started reading other versions of the Bible and in context. I did read CoC over summer and about to start Freedom, but I am in college full time, so my reading time has been cut drastically short. I'm also looking at other religions, I still think I want to be part of a community of believers and am considering visiting some other churches, if anything, just to see what it's like. I've always wondered why other churches have programs for children & teens, but the jws don't, this bothers me. This is the first year I haven't told my kids' teachers that they are jws and I told them it was up to them what they wanted to do and not do as we embark on this journey.......just don't tell grandma.
I also just attended the regional this past weekend and what really made me curl under my skin were two things (I did walk around the back a lot though, so the list could have been longer). The intro to the new Jesus book, the speaker said (paraphrasing) that this was an update of the old one that reflects the "new light" - this is one thing that has been bothering me the last couple years - why so many changes if we are supposed to be God's direct channel and, only when something needs to be changed, are we presented magically with this new interpretation? The other thing was in the last talk given by a CO; he read the scripture in Matthew about the two gates and made the statement that "ALL" jws are on that narrow road and everyone else in the world is on the broad one. What was funny, is that just prior to this, he had been reading scriptures about not judging and provided one of those famous lists that queues everyone to grab a pen about not judging ourselves, the "friends", and those in our ministry. Isn't that exactly what he did with that statement?
Anyways, that's my little intro (well, it did get wordy, sorry, I'm an English major); I think I'm ready to start venturing out past my comfort limits now and see where this life leads me.