I reached out to a dear friend who is in the Watchtower organization.
I am well, and I hope you are too. I am still pioneering and miss our times in the ministry. I’m praying about you. I’m not sure what you’re circumstances are, but I do know that Jehovah loves all of his sheep. The Return To Jehovah Brochure has some loving reminders. One reads this way:
Do you ever reminisce about the good times you had with Jehovah’s people—an encouraging congregation meeting, a thrilling convention, a delightful experience in the ministry, or simply a pleasant conversation with a fellow believer? You have not forgotten Jehovah; neither has he forgotten you. He fondly remembers your faithful service. And he is eager to help you return to him.“I myself will search for my sheep,” says Jehovah, “and I will care for them. I will care for my sheep like a shepherd who has found his scattered sheep and is feeding them. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered.” Ezekiel 34:11,12
My prayers and hopes are that you are already under Jehovah’s wing. But if not, I hope you will consider praying to Jehovah, his love is unmatched.
Your former fellow Witness of Jehovah
This was my response:
Dear former friend,
Thanks for writing me back. I am glad to hear that you’re doing what you feel makes you happy. It’s what I would want for anyone I cared about.
Unconditional love means that we want the people we care about to have the life that they want, even if we don’t agree with it or understand it. Even if it means I’m not a part of it. If it makes you happy, I’m happy.
No, I’m not serving as a slave to Jehovah anymore. I don’t feel like being in the organization is a healthy place for me. I gave it my best when I tried to be a good witness, but I think everyone else realized before I did that I was not genuine. Not that I was faking it, but that I could never be what I was supposed to be which is a good, submissive and obedient woman. I could never submit my will enough to be completely docile and compliant. I couldn’t give up enough of myself to be good enough for the organization.
I think that trying to conform to the organization’s standards is what made me so physically and emotionally sick. I think my body began to give out right when I began pioneering. My mind had already been traumatized by trying to make myself believe that the extreme control of living the life of a witness of Jehovah was the way of love. I was fighting my own soul and it nearly killed me. If I hadn’t left when I did, I don’t think I would be writing this, I think I would have taken my life just like our depressed brother Richard did. I know exactly how he felt and it broke my heart that he didn’t see through the pain and realize that the way of the truth is love and not extreme mind control.
Ironically, it was my obedience to read the Bible every day and delve into my personal study that led me to the truth about “the truth”. Reading about how Jehovah dealt with the people of the land that he told the Israelites to conquer, how he had his own people murder them and sometimes even destroying children, animals and trees. I saw how bloodthirsty and angry this god they call Jehovah is. I studied about the personality of Jehovah and how he is supposed to be the epitome of love, justice, wisdom and power and it seemed to me that none of it added up. The god I know and love, the one I feel in my heart when I pray would never behave in the way this god does. I know in my soul that the way the god they call Jehovah behaves is not a way of love. Once I realized that, I could no longer accept what I was being asked to believe.
I did my best to be a good witness. No one I know was more zealous than me. But some things you just can’t unsee.
I still love you and my friends and my daughter very much.
There is love without Jehovah.