A message from “Spencer Tyler,” in her own words…
“As an excommunicated Jehovah’s Witness, I thought that I was completely over that feeling along with being shunned. Over the last month, I have run into Jehovah’s Witnesses who are supporting the decision by the Leadership to shun me as a ” spiritual leper” which means actively ignoring me. Some say that when a Jehovah’s Witness is excommunicated or “disfellowshipped”, that it feels like a death in the family. The Leadership of JW has convinced their followers that shunning is a loving practice, designed to “wake the person up “to their senses and come back to the organization. ( Watchtower, April 15, 2015) .
I went grocery shopping the other day and one particular brother (yes, he is still my brother even if he does not treat me like a sister) saw me and looked as if he had seen a ghost. He hung his head low and quickly shuffled passed me and my family. I felt ashamed and hurt that day and I have prayed to God for more answers. I have decided that I no longer want to live my life in the shadows but rather would like to live in the fullness of day. I no longer want the anxiety that comes along with dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses in any way. But my God has placed a strong desire in my heart to help those who want to be helped to leave this organization and come to Christ. I am asking God lately to show me what that looks like because I certainly cannot see a way this can be accomplished.
For many years, while I have been away from the organization I have grappled deep depression, feelings of loneliness and unwantedness. Making new friends has been a challenge because I never had to make a friend considering that in the JW religion everyone is considered your friend just because they are also a Jehovah’s Witness. It has been very hard for me in this season while grieving so many losses ( finances, community, family, business contacts etc.) My own mother recently went back to the Jehovah’s Witness and treats me as if I am dead. She believes that the organization speaks for God and that not speaking to me or even saying a greeting would be “disloyal to Jehovah”. I am grateful to the Father for loving me like a daughter and taking me up as His own. God promised me that even if my father and my mother have forsaken me, that he himself will take me in.
Though it has been hard for over 14 years without my family there to guide me along in life, God is showing me who my real family is. ( Matthew 12:48,49) God has truly been a friend, confidante, and my everything. He broke the chains of indoctrination and gave me the freedom in Christ Jesus. By His Spirit, I am finally learning about who I am in Christ and so far it has been an amazing journey.
I am thankful to the Father and my Lord Jesus Christ for delivering me not only from the Jehovah’s Witnesses but also from a troubled home life. I could never square the family life I wanted with the life that I was living with my parents. My family life was anything but typical. My father was diagnosed with bipolar depression and battled substance abuse while my mother struggled with alcoholism.Their marriage was dysfunctional and this affected me and my siblings greatly. We endured physical and emotional abuse from both parents -there was a lot of yelling, cursing and fighting in my home and often it would result in the local police being called to our home many times.
My father was excommunicated from the Jehovah’s Witnesses over 20 years ago. It breaks my heart to watch him battle with himself over whether God still loves him. He believes, as some ex- JW’s believe, that once he returns to the organization that his relationship with God will be restored. My mother began drinking heavily after the death of her brother. He was excommunicated from the organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I remember visiting a non-Jehovah’s Witness aunt one day and my Uncle unbeknownst to my mother was there. My mother quickly shuffled me and my siblings out the door so hurried that I can remember feeling panic. He pleaded with my mom as we walked out the door trying to get her to talk to him or even say a greeting. He was abandoned by our JW family in order to comply with the rules of the organization regarding excommunication. My mother eventually found a way to compartmentalize his death after many years. She later returned to the witnesses after 10 years and strongly believes that her brother got the treatment he deserved because of breaking the rules/laws of “God” which for her is interchangeable with the rules/laws of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ leadership. My parents though flawed tried to help me into a relationship with God at an early age.(Proverbs 22:6) Nothing can compare to the brothers and sisters in Christ I have gained after “losing” my family and childhood friends, as a result, of the shunning policy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.(Matthew 19:29)
There are times in the hills and valleys of life we lose our way and lose who we are. This has been my experience after leaving the highly controlled religious group- The Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a Jehovah’s Witness, we were discouraged from making friends outside of the religion, the pursuit of higher education and/or pursuing hobbies outside the rigid schedule that was set before us from the leadership. After years of indoctrination and following orders of the religious leaders who dare set themselves in the place of Christ, I left and had trouble making friends outside of the religion and really did not know how to express Christlike love.
Then Jesus came into my life and began to help me learn who I am: I am redeemed, loved and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms above.
Sitting with Christ in the heavenlies is a reality right now for children of God -not a promise for the future! It is because of the resurrection of Jesus that we have the privilege to eternally be one in the Spirit in Jesus Christ. Being seated with Him keeps us grounded in the sphere of heaven as we set our minds and hearts on the heavenly things above. (Colossians 3:1-2) We have been given a position of victory because our King reigns over us victoriously. Knowing this, we can reign over and overcome trying circumstances while resting in the arms of the Everlasting God.
Although we may never be whole on this side of heaven God will always step into the broken places to raise us up by the same Spirit and power that raised Christ from the dead! He will raise us above the problems in our lives, He will raise us above our own hearts and minds to be with Him. He will raise us above our own carnality to pass over into the spiritual so that we may enjoy the rich blessings of loving Him for all eternity.
It is my deepest hope and desire that I can be a vessel to “deliver” another Jehovah’s Witness from the heavy yoke laid upon them by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am moved by the overflowing of gratitude I have toward my God for delivering me out of the darkness into the wonderful illumination of Christ!( 2 Corinthians 4:6)
Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for a new life. I want to express my gratitude for delivering me from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Please Holy Spirit come to give me a fresh filling of you and unveil the purpose that you have for me. I pray that you give sight to the blind, bind up broken hearts and wounds. I am here God, please work through me to help the JWs that I come in contact with to choose love over legalism. Thank you, Jesus, for opening my eyes to who you really are. You are my Savior and every knee shall bow to your name. There is no other name under heaven by which we are to be saved. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
Warm Christian Love to All.
Preview the site that I am featured on that is ran by Pastor William H Schnakenberg IV https://www.bcbpa.com/shannon