When I was kicked out of the Watchtower Society 10 years ago, I knew I never wanted to go back. I was too scared to walk into another church, yet I couldn’t go back to the religion I just left. I didn’t believe the things taught by born again Christians, yet I could no longer trust Jehovah’s Witnesses. I knew they had spoken false prophecies and there was a real lack of love in the organization and yet, it remained “the truth” inside of me for the next few years. I was neither here nor there, you could say I was in “limbo.”
Becoming an ex-Jehovah’s Witness in the Internet age was a definite advantage. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for those who left before we all had so much information at our fingertips. Still, learning about Rutherford’s Beth Sarim mansion or the failed prophecies of 1914, 1925 or 1975 wasn’t enough. As good as the facts were to validate my resolve to never return to that cult, they could not minister to my real need for encouragement. I was still lonely, misunderstood, in pain, and wondering if God heard any of my prayers. Recovery for me began when someone took the time to go one-on-one allowing me to express my pain, my mustard seed of faith, and just know that someone out there HEARD me and cared. I am forever grateful to Cletis Clayton whom God prepared for that season of recovery from 2006 to 2008.
When Christy Darlington suggested we get on board with Agustin Astacio’s Healing X Outreach Internet blogtalk radio show, she asked if I knew of anyone who could fill a spot. My friend Melissa came to mind. So I called Melissa and asked her to put it to prayer just before she left for Africa on a mission trip with her church. When she came back, she gave some of the blogtalk shows a listen and said she didn’t think she’d fit. Her reason was that those who currently had shows were so steeped in facts and discussing the doctrinal differences between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christianity that she just wasn’t about that. I reminded her that Christ has a BODY on earth and uses some members to dispense facts and information (the brains) but someone needs to fill this empty spot to reach the emotional needs of listeners. And that’s Melissa’s gift; she’s all heart. Not that she isn’t informative also, but her real gift is compassion and encouragement. I know, because she’s encouraged me many times. Her desire is to see ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses come out of “limbo” and take a stand for Christ, so “Hurting to Healing with Melissa” debuted on November 18 and continues to build a following each Tuesday night. She fills the hour and a half time slot with prayer, readings from her journal, illustrations from her own journey out of darkness into light, scriptural encouragement, hope, laughter, tears, and an opportunity for callers to comment and ask questions.
Because we promote the show on our Meetup, I get to see the written comments from listeners on there. Here is what our Meetup members are saying….
I missed the first 20 minutes but she sounded right on and clarified the need that after even 30 years, I need to stop avoiding the problems they helped create. Hopefully I’ll hear from her again. ~J
OK, i got to hear the first half live, and will listen to the rest on archive! I will say WOW, she has a great way of expressing things, concerning the experience of spiritual abuse. I thought it was awesome! May God bless this outreach, wow, i hope it will grow. I think the women will resonate with it especially! ~B
Hi Melissa! I did catch the show last night. You have the biggest heart. God bless you! ~M
Melissa, this show (the Thanksgiving episode) was just so beautiful. I am EX JW who left JW then spent 13 years in paganism and occultism before I became Christian very recently. What was so beautiful about this broadcast was how you expressed to us the power of Christ in your life. How you know he has transformed you. How you can now be so grateful because you explained the changes he has made in your life and in you. For someone like me who is so new to true Christianity this was SO comforting. The way you said that life with Jesus was so much better now and even when people question your faith you can say – well my life is so much better WITH HIM! – this really touched my soul. I think what was great was that this was all expressed naturally and so “ad lib” – in other words you didn’t have it pre-planned. That just shows the blessing of losing your notes (you mentioned at the beginning). Keep going – this show is needed for people who need that emotional support. Thank you ~D
I felt like Melissa was addressing me personally last night. I am becoming a big fan of hers. ~M
It certainly seems like satan is at the end of his career of misleading people…he doesn’t know or understand the human spirit when Jesus is involved does he? ~S
I think healing is reaching far beyond ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses but to others who have been hurt by oppressive religions as well. ~J
If you would like to tune into Melissa’s “Hurting to Healing” show on blogtalk radio, it’s easy to tune in live via your phone at 347-934-0379 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month during these time zones 4:30 pm Pacific/ 5:30 pm Mountain/ 6:30 pm Central/ 7:30 pm Eastern. You can also listen to her archived episodes on the Internet along with other great shows on Healing X Outreach
You can learn more about Melissa at her website Genesis 50.20
For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable,on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:14-27)
I am rejoicing with Melissa knowing that there is HEALING taking place among the hurting and wounded body of Christ through this compassionate ministry. I hope you will give her a listen.
Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie