I have tried to write this letter so many times before. I believe that God has strengthened me to be able to express to you how much I love you and I forgive you for shunning me….*
*𝑫𝒊𝒔𝒂𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑱𝒆𝒉𝒐𝒗𝒂𝒉’𝒔 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒄𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉/𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒍. 𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒅.
Those are words that I have tried to express in many letters to my mother about my abusive background and her shunning as a Jehovah’s Witness. My mother has since returned to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and is shunning me over my outspokenness regarding their shunning policy that resulted in the suicide of my friend. She is also shunning my father who is an excommunicated Jehovah’s Witness. She shunned my late Uncle who was a former’s Jehovah’s Witness turned Muslim. It is a policy that alienated parents from children, husbands, and wives and pits the closet friends against each other.
There are so many stories of Ex-Jehovah’s witnesses who suffer from trauma and become suicidal after losing family, friends and even spouses over the shunning policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“To be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable”- C.S Lewis
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” –2 Timothy 2:22 English Standard Version (ESV)
This was my case in “fleeing” the emotionally and physically abusive relationship with my Mother. There is a saying that, “Hurt people, hurt people. This proved true in the case of my mother who endured the same scars of abuse from her own mother. My mother felt abandoned by my grandmother. My grandmother suffered from mental illness and was often abusive to my mother without conscience. The generational cycle of abuse continued in my home life by the hands of my parents. The shunning by mother feels like death because she treats me as if I am dead. No calls. No holidays. No visits to my children. I am seeking to forgive my mother in the same way that God has poured our His forgiveness upon me.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”-(Matthew 18:15-20)
I am seeking these days to reach out to my mother following the principles set forth by Jesus Christ. As I meditate on this passage I am reminded that this is not a directive or command from our Lord. Forgiveness instead is an expression that we appreciate and recognize the mercy and grace that was extended to us by God. We in turn out of love for God and neighbor extend the same mercy and grace to them.
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”- John 21: 20 -22
To be open, I am not looking forward to talking with my mother. I fear that she will be confrontational, unreasonable and cold. The above scripture helps me to appreciate that it is not for me to worry about the outcome or my mother’s response. I am to follow Jesus and present myself holy and acceptable to God.( Romans 12:1) It is the Father’s will that I seek peace with my mother. It is very likely that she will not respond. I pray and leave it in the Father’s hand and ask that God touches her heart of stone and turn it into a heart of flesh.( Ezekiel 36:26). I pray that she receives me and if she doesn’t that I can take comfort in that God is mindful of me and will bless me.( Psalm 115:12)