Cat Wol

Say hello… Hello brothers and sisters.
I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and left twice at 18 and then joined again for several years, finally leaving when I was about 27. I lost my eldest brother as a child and as far back as I can remember I have been praying and relying on a loving Father who didn’t seem to be the same person I read about as a Jehovah’s Witness.
In my teens I became very rebellious, I was heavily involved with the music scene and all the trappings that go with that life style. But I would still pray most nights and because I felt He had never left me, my conscience bothered me over the things I did. So I returned to the witnesses, feeling this was what I needed to do. I felt no comfort about any of the things I’d done and worried myself into dark depressions over fears about the end (as taught by JW’s).
Around the same time my husband, who I married in my early 20’s had become a JW but unbeknownst to me, was having serious doubts. He had started to read the bible himself. We ‘fell away’ from the JW’s around the same time, he began his path then, but I was stubborn and hurt. I felt all religion was a trick and at one time decided I didn’t care to talk about God. I had decided to go my own way, this was a massive mistake. I separated from my husband and again fell into serious sin. Then a few things happened, my then ex husband said something about the JWs, ‘they have no natural affection’ and I thought, ‘ that’s me’ it made me think. Then my grandfather died and all the pain of grief I’d carried came back to me. I remembered how this secret Father I prayed to as a child had helped me through it.
I began to read the bible and unlearn all the lies I’d been taught. I prayed for my Father to answer my questions and drew close to Jesus. For the last four years I can positively say Jesus has been the answer to my prayers and by Him I can now see my Father.
I no longer look to any human leader, but rather I look directly to Jesus Christ and I feel although I’m young in the faith, I’m being taught by the Holy Spirit; as unbelievable peace has entered my life- answers to questions come so quickly, I have nothing but wonder for God.
Reading the bible daily is an absolute must for me in a number of ways. I have always been an independent thinker, which has caused me so many problems in the past, but reading everyday and putting my trust in God to straighten my path and direct my feet, is my lifeline. He is my refuge and my stronghold.
I also suffer from bipolar disorder and at one point made a serious attempt to end my life. My depressions are very difficult and I feel so much shame over the manic episodes I have. But I have to mention how dramatically Jesus Christ has helped me even with this, His words in Matthew take on a different meaning now, one of complete understanding of how hard it can be to cope with anxiety, ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of it’s own. Today’s trouble is enough for today’ and I tell myself stop now, tomorrow is a new day, throw your burdens on Christ and trust in him. He has been so powerful for me at times when I need Him the most. My tears wet my pillow, I pray to be with Him and talk to Him over and over all day.
If you’re suffering with depression, think of the things to come. This world is only temporary. I love thinking of nature, how it says in Job that He is the one who directs the animals. I get so much comfort thinking of all the good things we still get to witness in His creation. Never ever think you’re alone.
Now I’m back with my husband and I fill my life with trying to please the one who has given me so much I could never repay Him for. Instead I try to do as He says and love others, this also has helped m mental health dramatically.
I love the apologist idea, defending my faith can be very difficult, my whole family are hostages to the JW cult. But a little from me and a little from others, who knows? Only my Father.
Keep the kingdom in your thoughts always, think what you’ll do, what you’ll say to Jesus, can you see yourself? And lastly, I can’t wait to see my brother again, our eyes wiped of tears of sorrow and replaced with tears of joy.
I pray for us all. Lean on Him, never doubt the love He has, but remember if you should fail, He is faithful, He never leaves you, this has been my greatest lesson- all those years now I’m sure He never left me, His loving patience and understanding has no end.
Peace and love to you all, may we all be together in union with Jesus, just as He is with our Father, and fully understand the reconciliation we now have and use this joy to the glory of God.

Where are you from?
I live in Scotland
What led you to join Connect?
Ravi Z and Mike W on YouTube
How do you hope to contribute?
If I could offer education and help for people talking with Jehovah’s witnesses, I know a lot about their religion. And I would also love to help anyone experiencing mental illness or dealing with a family member who has these problems. The bible is makes a clear reply to us, but I understand that sometimes it’s hard to study.

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Wow! I am so thankful to have read this inspiring introduction. Welcome to connect @CWol! I was engrossed in your testimony. It is powerful and if you would like to copy and paste it, you can also place it in the testimonies categories. This will bless so many people :pray:t2::latin_cross:
Here is the link https://connect.rzim.org/c/christian-growth/member-testimonies/150
I want to tell you how sorry I am you lost your brother at such a young age and losing your grandfather as well :broken_heart: Pain has a way of making us search and it is no mistake your search led you to Jesus. You are such a necessary presence here, especially with your background in JW. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us :pray:t3:

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Welcome to connect @CWol. Thank you for your transparency and your heart. I am sure that many who have struggled in a similar way as you have whether it be in the Jehovah’s witnesses or through suffering will be blessed by your care and encouragement. Thank you for being here and sharing. It was a blessing to read your path. You might want to consider posting more in detail on how the Lord has impacted the way that you see Jehovah’s witness worldview now. God bless you and your journey.

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Hey @CWol! I’m so encouraged by your testimony! There is actually a “Kingdom Hall” for the JW’s across the street from our church I’ve been wanting to reach out to them but am not exactly sure where to start. I live about 30 min. away from our church. Would you mind sharing some recommendations or tips in reaching out to them/ starting a friendship and reationship with them?

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@CWol, thank you so much for your testimony! And a hearty welcome to this connect! I am @CharityLinzey’s sister, and not only do we have a JW Hall just down the street from our church, we also have a member of our church who is really struggling with bipolar disorder, to the point of recking his family just this past Christmas. They are not back together yet, but are wanting to work towards that. He is very theological, having all the right answers to foundational questions, but we are struggling with why the fruits of the spirit are not evident in his life, largely blaming his mental health condition. My question is:
• how have you been able to see Christ override your mental disability, or work with you through it, in those mental flare-ups?

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Hi Anna, I will reply properly tomorrow as it’s dinner time here. Am I right in assuming he’s a Christian? Is he still in contact with others and has he been given any type of professional mental health support?
Thank you for your question, I’ll definitely get back to you tomorrow.

Thank you for your warm welcome! Yes I’d love to share more about the dramatic difference between our God and the god ‘Jehovah’ of watchtower. I’m still getting my bearings on how this app works; I’m not very good at working these things ha!

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You will get it. The more that you explore the easier it becomes. Have you check out the tutorial?

Hi Linzey. Oh course, I think the first thing you have to have in mind is they are absolutely convinced they have the ‘truth’ and witnesses will often change the subject if you answer, (even with scripture), anything that contradicts their doctrines. So keep them on point. However, I would open by saying you are a Christian and you have some questions, because you’re interested in learning about what they teach, and have noticed they’re nice people. You could ask them if they’d like to visit you at home. They’re very trustworthy people and it gives you more of a chance to prepare. Say you want to ask questions.
I’d use a KJV as they used this translation in the past and won’t accept other translations. If you get into their bible, it’s extremely bias and you’ll quickly find they’ve utterly butchered it and you can get flustered.
Pick one subject and research it well. A few good subjects to study up are; they believe Jesus is Michael the archangel as they only use a few cherry picked scriptures, this is fairly easy to dismantle, but ask them questions as though you are really trying to figure it out, because you see contradictions with this belief in your studying. Let them speak first. (You can find the scriptures they use by putting‘Micheal the archangel is Jesus, Jw.org’ into google). This gets them to feel they’re teaching you- they love that and it’s a softer approach. Also try to get them to read the scriptures that you want to highlight, you know like Hebrews 1 and John 1. A Good question to John 1 is to ask is; if there is only one God and Christ (in their translation) is called ‘a’ god, does that mean Christ is a false god? Pointing to the divinity of Christ is extremely hard. I wouldn’t attempt that first time, but keep to your point about Micheal. Ask them to show you where they find this view in the scriptures, they never read the whole passage in context, so ask them to read the whole portion, it says ‘one of the’ in the scripture they use- then you can show Hebrews and John.
Another good one is they believe only 144,000 go to heaven, from Revelation. You could ask them where they get this belief because you thought it was fascinating, ask them to read it to you, (Revelation in the New World Translation is pretty much the same) you could ask why they believe this number is literal when they believe the list of tribes is referring to the figurative Jehovah’s Witness anointed ones. Also show them in the later verses how it says the great crowd are standing before the throne, ask them where they believe that throne is? clearly it’s in heaven, but they believe their great crowd doesn’t go to heaven. If you’re brave you could show how John when he says he’s TOLD of the ‘lion of Judah’ In revelation 5:5 and then SEEs it’s the lamb in verse 6, likewise, John HEARs the tribes of Israel in 7:2 but when he LOOKS he sees the great crowd in 7:9. You could go into Romans 11:11-31 how we’re grafted in. But be prepared for a lot of jumping around and lots of talk about the little flock Jesus spoke of, as to them this is the 144,000 who have a heavenly calling.
You could concentrate on salvation by works, they use James a lot, ‘Faith without works are dead’ and don’t look at the context. I would take them to Paul’s description of Abraham in Romans 4 ask them how they resolve this contradiction? Then you could simply ask if you were about to die and wanted to enter God’s kingdom how could you do that? This is good because they know Christ saved the man who was crucified next to him and you can use this. Show them the scripture then ask, again with gentleness, how they resolve this problem? JWs are works based not by grace.
Jehovah’s witnesses are not going to be your friend, it’s a very closed cult, but you could invite them round to your home and ask them any of these questions- just stay on topic, they’re masters of taking the conversation to places easier for them.
JWescape on YouTube can fill you in on the beliefs and she’s a loving sister. Also Mike winger has good one on YouTube too.
Keep it brief If you’re outside, and let them lead and read to you, then leave them with a final thought, say you enjoyed it and ask if you could ask them again if you come across something else. They are nice people and will probably say yes to that. Although most times they say they’ll get back to you if they can’t answer- and hardly ever do! But then there’s no harm in going back to them. You never know you might just reach someone who is already having doubts. I know I’d have loved any of those insights.
Be loving and do a little study into one specific area you feel comfortable about.
Goodness that was longer than I expected. Hope that’s helpful. Your sister Cat.

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No not yet, I’ll do a little investigation haha we’re all good at that :grin: I’ll definitely check that out though, thank you! Love Cat

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Thanks so much for your response! I really appreciate the approach you encouraged me taking and things to keep in mind through our discourse. I know that those points of conversation will be very helpful. I look forward to seeing how the Lord might open up many opportunities to reach them for Christ! Will look into those resources you recommended as well. Thanks again!

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@CWol, He claims to be a Christian, and I believe is under a doctor’s prescription. At this point he is just coming out of a legal mess he got into after deciding to drop his medication cold-turkey. You know the emotional swings, a realistic struggle of Romans 7:15-20.

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It’s so important to have a good mental health team. I have also had the same problem of coming off medication. I think I hadn’t accepted how unwell I was.
It helped to have someone who really understood the condition. This may help him too, so educate yourself about the condition. It will help you to understand these things are out of his control. It’s so hard because you feel it is you making these bad decisions, but it really isn’t, it’s an exaggerated version and the impulses that come with it- boy that’s difficult to get your head around. I have been so hard blaming myself for the things I’ve done. Try and make him understand God doesn’t keep account of the injury.
What’s helped me is the story of Job. God’s response was to tell Job that he only had a human perspective on his problems, but God understands more. Also Elijah when he was in the cave and wanted to die, God made him realise that he wasn’t alone. And you might try to understand these things for him if he can’t approach the topic. Our father never leaves us and only He sees the heart, there’s others out there that understand and showing how God is especially close to the broken hearted is so powerful. Because that’s how it feels, I have felt so utterly broken at times. It can be so hard to understand this is not me but the illness. Really empathy, without sympathy- because sometimes it’s just too much for someone to say ‘they understand’ that just isn’t true or at least that’s how it feels.
You read the scriptures to him or simply remind him that he’s priceless to God. It can be so painful to read yourself at times because of the guilt, you feel worthless. Also the real meaning behind the scriptures that says ‘turn to Christ and he will heal you’ sounds untrue because none of us are miraculously healed, but turning to God even when you feel utterly hurt and ashamed by your actions, when you’re manic. Sometimes I rant to my Father, I groan and weep, but never turn away- I used to though. I now think of Adam and Eve how they hid themselves when they knew they’d done wrong, it’s a human trait to want to hide our mistakes, I say to myself, ‘what is hidden from him?’ I can go to Him because he’s the only one who can see my heart and true intentions. So, no matter what mood I’m experiencing I try to pour out my heart in prayer. I remember, none of us know how to pray correctly, but the Holy Spirit speaks for us, even when I have no words to say I just approach Him and meditate on creation- the love I can actually physically see. Sitting in somewhere outside and looking at creation whilst I pray without words is comforting. I say He’s sitting next to me. I love when the apostles are reclining with Christ and the one whom he loved was reclining on His chest- incredible! I imagine He’s holding my hand or I’m resting upon His chest when I’m in bed depressed.
Nothing we do isn’t covered by Christ.
Above all, those who never judged me but freely confessed their own weaknesses to me has helped immensely.
Don’t let him doubt that he’s not a Christian, remind him of how incredible Christ sacrifice for us truly was- He died for us, He loved us first and in a unique way to us all, he willingly died to take away all my sins. I love to remember our High Priest is defending us! And Christ filters all our sin.
If you could do some research into bipolar and then speak to his family, goodness I’ve put my loved ones through the mill and know it’s so hard for those close to those with this illness- they experience everything too.
Try to understand the guilt- that’s your conscience nagging, which is a good thing but you can be hypersensitive when you don’t really have control of yourself.

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Thank you so much for explaining this more from your perspective, @CWol. This really does help my personal perspective of situations like these. I appreciate what you said about friends being open and transparent of their own struggles over “trying to help you over your’s”, and reaching out to the close family members of the person because they are going through everything too. Also, I had never thought of creation in the light you just shared: “the love that I can see”, that is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this so willingly and freely. Blessings on you and your family as you continue in this journey of drawing closer to Christ. We are so glad to have you in this connect!

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Your kindness will certainly help him. If anything specific comes up or even questions on the mood disorder I would love to help. What you’re doing is so loving. God bless, I’ll pray for you, him and his family to have courage and wisdom. Love Cat

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Thank you very much! We appreciate it!

I can’t seem to find it, is there a link for the tutorial. Eek I’m really not very good with these things. Thank you.

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Hi Cate, Welcome aboard. It will be very interesting to understand more about Jehovah witnesses. I lived in Canada and US for over 20 years and wouldn’t even know if i had met one. But then in those days I was an obnoxious indifferent individual who wouldn’t have paid much attention.
I am truly looking forward to learning more for you.
Thank you and God Bless

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Hi @CWol, I know I’ve already welcomed you elsewhere but just wanted to say hi again to you and @CharityLinzey, I love this conversation and your hearts for sharing the gospel. Another resource I would recommend is Michael J Felker Apologetics who creates regular YouTube videos looking at the JW monthly Watchtower publications, and he dismantles their articles and theology line by line. His videos use a Bible software so you can follow what the publication says and compare it to scripture. He’s also really helpful if you have any questions. Really helpful to watch to help your mind get prepared for some of the topics of conversation and also trains you in ways to respond. And of course, Connect has plenty of input on how to do all this in a loving way so that they open up to you. I’m sure you will anyway :slightly_smiling_face:. Bless you as you reach out.

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Just had a thought, this brother shares his testimony then he gives a demonstration with his wife on how to speak with the witnesses about the faith and works question that JW’s miss. I think his demonstration, near the end is really helpful. https://youtu.be/MdU-VHu6t0o

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