Since I have been lurking on the 2×2 Church List-Serve since May, I think it is high time to introduce myself. Although not B&R, I have early memories of attending meetings with my grandmother years before my parents professed in 1952, and I one year later in 1953 at age 8.
I am grateful for a member of this list who shared with my husband and me the information about William Irvine. That information was not well received by my husband (whose brother is an overseer) and resulted in that person being told he would be welcome at our house in the future, but religion would never be discussed again. It simply confirmed for me what I had long wondered… ie. why there were no “professing friends” recorded in history – surely if this religion had been founded by Jesus, there would have been many seeking religious freedom in England who would have arrived here on the Mayflower -but the only “Friends” who came were Quakers.
I owe a debt to my children also, because in trying to answer their questions about the “Truth”, I was forced to acknowledge that I did not agree with or accept the unwritten doctrine I had been rebelling against for most of my adult life.
I am thankful, too, that I sought help in Al-Anon and came to know Jesus, and discovered spirituality. Although I always thought of myself as a religious person, I now realize that I never had a personal relationship with Him all the years that I was “professing.” I realized after several years in Al-Anon that I did not trust God (or man). It was wonderful to learn in that 12-step program that He loved me, regardless of what I wore, how I had my hair up or how many “meetings” I could get to every week. I had indeed been worshipping the messengers.
After learning of the deceit by George Walker, et al, I felt like a weight had been lifted from me. I cut my hair, introduced myself to old friends as “the new, free me” and ceased going to meetings. I didn’t consider an exit letter necessary, and since that time, I have not been contacted by any workers, except when I happened to answer the phone when one of them might have called to invite my husband to a meeting. Nor have either of the elders in the meetings in town called, nor friends.
Once last summer when I was staying at my brother’s house, caring for my dad, I came into the house after work to find 2 sister workers sitting visiting him. They clearly had come to “see” me, likely they were sent to verify what someone must have reported to them about my “condition.” Within 5 minutes of my arrival, one of them said, “Well, at least we got to SEE Faye,” and they left immediately.
I have been shunned by my professing in-laws as well, but I do not hold that against them. I, too, was once blind. But my daughter is hurt by the loss of contact with cousins she once was close to, and I empathize with her. I am only now, several years later, feeling able to look “friends” in the eye, instead of dropping my eyes and walking 2 aisles away in the grocery store, hoping I don’t have to meet any of them.
I do rejoice in the freedom of God’s love that now lets me share openly with any who question why there has been such a change in my life. I am on the computer every night and eagerly open e-mail to see what others here have to say.
I am a much more extroverted person than I once was. I am Faye (Klingfus) Ricter, from Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. I will be happy to communicate with anyone reading this.
By Faye (Klingfus) Ricter