Mother’s Day

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Although I have been a mother for seven years, last year was the first year I celebrated Mother’s Day. While growing up I was told to answer any one who asked why I didn’t celebrate this holiday with, “I celebrate my mother all year long, not just on one day.” I vaguely knew that this holiday supposedly had pagan origins of non-Christians worshiping their mothers.

What I didn’t know about my faith was that a great deal of the religion I was raised in was formed based on the opinions and decisions of a man named Rutherford. For instance, the book Vindication, published in 1931, says “On the face of it the arrangement of “Mother’s Day” seems harmless and calculated to do good. But the people are in ignorance of Satan’s subtle hand in the matter, and that he is back of the movement, to turn the people away from God… neither the man nor the woman should be worshiped for doing right, because such doing of right is their duty. Creature worship of any kind is wrong and an abomination in the sight of God.”

My first experience personally celebrating Mother’s Day was last year, 2015. My family took me out to dinner. They made cards for me. The girls presented me with popsicle stick flowers they had made the night before at the babysitters. There was a whole lot of gratitude and love that day, but I can’t say there was one act of worship towards me. After dining out, we went to a local outdoor shopping area and sat on a bench. We watched as family after family walked by, arm in arm. All ages and ethnicities were represented, but every single one was wearing a smile.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is a group of people who believe that mothers receiving a day of breakfast in bed and handmade gifts are allowing themselves to be worshiped. It’s hard to believe that over eight million people go along with these beliefs; that they aren’t allowed to question, for fear of losing their loved ones through shunning.

“Evil prevails when good men do nothing.”

I just can’t sit silently; I can’t do nothing. I have to at least try.

It’s not that I want to keep identifying with something I once was. It’s not that I want to destroy their beliefs and organization. I feel like I escaped a prison, where I had been trapped in grayscale surroundings and was never allowed to see outside. And now that I’m out, at times I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the world and the people in it. Days like Mother’s Day bring out the best in families, and I can’t see the point in condemning anything that brings beauty and goodness.

So many loved ones remain trapped in that windowless, grayscale prison. I just want them to be free.

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photos via Laura Morsman Photography

Stephanie

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, Stephanie. I’m so glad you have emerged from the grayscale and are able to soak in the beauty.

  2. Did your husband leave the Witnesses with you? I’m been done with JW’s mentally for 6 years, and recently I’ve been trying to help my husband get out. He is so indoctrinated unfortunately. We also have 3 young children and he wants to continue to take them to meetings and raise them as JW’s which is heartbreaking for me. Thanks for sharing your stories, I’ll be reading your blog from now on and following you on Instagram!

    • Hey, Dove! My husband was a little ahead of me during the “waking up” process and we left together. Since going public with my story and openly discussing JW doctrine I have come in contact with many mothers, like you, who do not want to raise their children as JWs. Know that you aren’t alone, and your children already have a better chance at learning critical thinking since they have you as a mother. Please feel free to email me any time if you want to talk! sweetpotatopeachtree@gmail.com

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