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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I have had several online conversations recently with folks who are hurting deeply due to the shunning they are experiencing as result of leaving the Watchtower Organization.

It brought to mind how painful it was for me think that my mother would choose an organization over her daughters. My sister was the first to leave the Jehovah’s Witness religion. She suffered at the hands of a physically and mentally abusive husband. The religion offered her nothing in the way of comfort and support. As a teen, I watched as my mother not only shunned my sister, but stood up in a child custody hearing for the man who abused her simply because he was still a member of her congregation. I could not wrap my head around the “why”. I would experience the same pain when I chose to leave a religion that left me bruised and friendless. For years I buried the feeling of betrayal, as I know my sister tried to do as well. I deeply loved my mother, I admired how she took care of my disabled sister with such devotion. I missed her friendship all those years. I understood her reasonings, but I could not fathom her abandonment. For a very long while I blamed myself for not staying in the religion just so she would accept my support of her and my sister, I chose to flee for selfish reasons.

Within the past year these painful memories have all resurfaced as the Holy Spirit has been leading me out of the trap of legalism and fear. I have a had a lot to work through.

As I move towards my baptism this weekend and reflect on what has led me to this point, I realize that I am truly free. The pain that resurfaced is being washed away. It is being replaced by the joy I am feeling in being made a new person in Him. While I have long since forgiven my mother, I realize that any residual bitterness towards a group, needs to be put aside before I dip my toe into that water. Christ has forgiven me so much.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

— Matthew 5:44

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