Hoping and waiting on our lives to change or for things to change in the future is very much apart of the Jehovah’s Witness culture. How many times where we told to wait on “Jehovah” or the organization to see changes in our lives or in our religion? Probably too many times to count. This was the company line when we saw the failures of our leaders, failures in our friendships within the religion , failures in our ability to reach the goals set before us in the religion . I can’t tell you how many times I heard this from well meaning elders when I was nervous of falling short of my hours in the pioneer work or when I was waiting on some change in the organization. Or when I was waiting for the abuse to stop within my family.
When I “woke up” I started to hear this line from family and friends when I challenged the doctrines or practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Once someone said that line I knew that it was meant to be a conversation ender . We all know that in the Jehovah’s Witness culture this line, ” Wait on Jehovah “, is used to get out of uncomfortable questions about the organization and meant for the person asking questions to just fall in line.
I heard this all my life as a “Born In” Jehovah’s witness. I was waiting on “Jehovah” to right the injustices I saw in my family, waiting for Jehovah to give me the right job to pursue full time ministry as set forth by the organization . I was waiting on Jehovah to clear up my questions regarding the 1914 and overlapping generation doctrine. But something started to change after researching the efforts of the Jehovah’s witnesses who came before me who had sent countless letters to the headquarters challenging the doctrines and rules of the organization. I started to wonder if I was waiting on a God of the Jehovah’s witness making. (Ironically some of the letters sent back to concerned Jehovah’s witnesses included the line , “Wait on Jehovah”.)
But I still waited on “Jehovah”.
Then one day looking around the kingdom hall I had something like an epiphany. Looking at all the elderly people in my congregation I realized that many of them have been waiting on the promises of the leaders all their lives. So many Jehovah’s Witnesses died without seeing the promises of the leaders or their ever changing expectations of the future. Then it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t waiting on “Jehovah” . I was waiting on a board of faillable men . I begin to recognize that the God of the Jehovah’s Witnesses wasn’t coming to save me or right the “wrongs” within the Jehovah’s Witness religion. There was no future paradise earth filled with Jehovah’s witnesses and pandas in the park as promised by the leaders. There was no “Jehovah’ asking me to fall in line with these leaders or else be burned with fireballs at armageddon.
So I stopped waiting on Jehovah. I started waiting on me. I started investing for the first time in my emotional well being and my thoughts. I began a journey of learning about who I am and learning about the world around me.
It has taken me a while even after leaving the religion to realize that I have all the tools and resources in the earth to pave a way for myself and my family in THIS life. I am responsible for shaping my future and I have the ability to impact future generations , the generations of my children –now. It has been a rocky journey for many of us since leaving the religion and being disowned by family and friends. Knowing our worth, thinking for ourselves and being responsible our choices is the greatest gift that we have been given in this life. We don’t have to wait on “Jehovah ” and hope for things to change. We don’t need permission to think or to make choices from the eight men in New York.
Realizing that has been life changing for so many of us. Taking hold of that realization and moving on has been freeing and really the best thing that could have happened to us. When you think about the obstacles we have overcome to get to this point it is amazing and it is nothing short of a miracle really 🌻