It's been a long time since I posted. For a brief recap, I have an aunt who is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. When I was really sick, I sought out their group because I remembered the support my aunt had and how they were like a second family to her. I studied with them for a year and became an unbaptized publisher. The "friends" had considered me a sister and felt my baptism was pending. When I answered the questions for baptism, I was turned down by the elders based on my attendance (which would suffer because I would be sick). I was really discouraged and started to pull away from their group. In that year, I had been close to them and there were a few whom I considered to be close friends. Though I tried to fit into the larger group (how all the young adults knew each other from the different congregations, probably because they grew up together), they didn't really accept me or know how to respond to me. This was several years ago, but when one of the "sisters", whom I was close to, got engaged and married, I felt so sad I was not apart of it. I cherished being close to her and she was there for me when I was really sick. One of her friends was knocking door to door and I had remembered meeting her before, so we reconnected and study together sporadically, though it's not consistent at all. Through this friend of hers that I study with, I still hear about updates, etc. What triggered me to post this is the close friend finally defriended me on facebook and I feel so sad. I really do miss their company at times and how close we were. However, I don't want to move through my life feeling guilty or like I have to conceal or downplay aspects of my life.
I feel odd sometimes about celebrating holidays even though I only abstained for one year. My spirituality has grown in a different direction, but I still miss the company. I sometimes consider about reconnecting, but when that occurs to me, I remember that straddling a fine line in showing up doesn't mean I am welcomed or accepted or considered one of them. I realize maybe they consider me returning to the world or being a worldly person, but with that barrier, I'm assuming even if I am active, it won't really make a difference since I don't have a baptized status.
My life is fulfilled in other ways, but sometimes you miss the person you knew. I realize we are on different paths now, but I still consider our time together fondly. It makes me sad that such a vital split is because we cannot honor where the other is now, different as it may be.
Those are my drifting thoughts...while studying with them provided me a foundation and structure and connection when I was really sick, I am much better now and able to sustain my own in all those areas. I found my involvement with Jehovah's Witnesses really shed light on my relationship to peer pressure, how much I value connection and community, my relationship with personal boundaries, and where I was in being able to speak my truth and be solid in who I am and what I'm about.