How have I felt since I left the Witnesses?
It's been some years now and I am reaping what I have sown. Nothing to do with being a farmer although in High School on some test regarding what we were best suited to do for work. Mine was Farmer. I'd rather be dead. Probably it was a reflection of my Witness beliefs and hopes of living on a paradise earth growing fruit for all of eternity.
The big decisions I made in my life were structured around my faith in the good news that I was preaching as a Witness. My baptism, my marriage, my educatin, my work, my lack of a pension. I have reviewed the decisions I made and if I had to make them again with the same information I had available I would make the same choices based on how I understood faith and its demonstration. So I feel that I was not acting in a hypocritical fashion. Also in leaving the Witnesses it was based on me not being convinced any longer regarding the good news that we preached in relation to the events of 1914 and their meaning and so once again I feel somewhat good that I acted in an unhypocritical way although it was at a cost in friendships and a warm cosy place to continue my sleep on a Sunday morning. I did not read or have anything to do with what we viewed as apostates or apostate material before I left and I didn't have the internet, I don't think it was really in existence for most people at that time.
However, I do feel a sense of loss. I feel as if I lost time in my life. I didn't go on my first date until I was 21. I married later. I didn't prepare for a future in this life. I didn't pursue the work I wanted to do. Not farming. I missed several opportunities in my life that would have made me financially much more secure. Turning them down because I didn't need them as I wasn't planning a future in this system.
So it's a bit of a mix. I still have faith in God. That never diminished and in some ways being raised as a Witness contributed to that and I'm glad. My faith has helped in some difficult times. Leaving the Witnesses was a process and took some time. Although in one way as soon I as I stopped witnessing I was no longer a witness, I feel being a Jehovah's Witness will always be part of who I am.
So how do I feel? Depends on the day.