.:PAM – “The Making of a Misfit – A Princess of the King!”
Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness in a broken home, all Pam ever knew was rejection. An absent father, a distraught mother who said she “regretted” the day she was born, disfellowshiped, Pam felt alone and that even God had rejected her! No one seemed to care, and what’s worse, Armageddon was due to come in 1975. She sought reinstatement, but the shunning was too much for her. When the end didn’t come, she wondered what else they had lied to her about. Pam thought, “I need to find out the truth!” In 1978, Pam found true salvation in Jesus and began a clown ministry. God took the little girl who was never allowed to celebrate anything and made her into a clown who gets to celebrate everything all the time!
I was supposed to be the little boy who’d save my parents marriage, but by the time I was born, my dad had moved 2000 miles away and never came back. My mom remarried when I was 3, but divorced him after 6 months, after discovering he was homosexual. By then, she was easy prey for her 4 younger sisters who convinced her to join them in becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I loved my mom a lot as a small child, but lost respect for her as I watched her allow this organization to rule our lives, forbidding everything from celebrating birthdays and Christmas to receiving a life-saving blood transfusion. Every word we were or were not allowed to say was carefully dictated, and constantly changing. We first called our gatherings “classes,” but later we were ordered to refer to them only as “meetings.” We were required to know the latest terminology, and it always changed. The person in charge of the congregation went from being a “Congregation Servant” to an “Overseer” to—I think today—an “Elder.” We’d been instructed to call them the “Judicial Committee.” This struck terror in my heart, as I believed they were appointed by Jehovah Himself, Who, I believed, was terribly harsh and demanding.
I was taught that God was determined to destroy every one outside of our religion. The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that they are God’s only Spirit-directed organization and that they have replaced Israel as God’s chosen servants. This teaching was the catalyst that kept me inside the organization in my thoughts, even after I had quit attending. This is a HUGE claim because, in my mind, their dictates (and even the slightest suggestions of the Watchtower) carried more weight than the laws of the land. This fostered an attitude of distrust in me towards anyone outside of the organization.
Satan doesn’t want people to find out the truth that trusting God changes lives. Satan wants us to resent God so we will rebel. He counterfeits truth and he is a thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Repeatedly, at five meetings a week, we were told that “we were God’s happy people,” but this couldn’t hide the high rate of suicide and the mental problems that the congregation overseers had to deal with. Nearly all of the leaders who’ve left the Watchtower organization have said that coping with the stress of the dysfunction within their congregations was what drove them to drink so much alcohol. We were told we ALONE had the TRUTH, but do you know what? Truth corresponds with reality, and in reality was that our lives didn’t work and there was very little joy.
When I was young I tried to be loyal to the organization, but the door-to-door work was miserable. So, at 11 or 12 years of age, I prayed to Jehovah that He would make me want to serve Him. Today I KNOW He answered me, but at the time, I believed God completely disapproved of me. So, I quickly became a very rebellious teenager. When I was about 10 years old, I remember my mother screaming at me that she regretted the day I was born. So, at that point in my life, I believed that not only did my father not want me, my mother didn’t want me either—and I totally believed God didn’t love me, because I couldn’t be loyal to all of the organization’s rules. (The most serious infraction being that I secretly saluted the flag everyday at school.)
I’ll spare you the gory details, but believing I’d not be allowed to live past the age of 25 (in 1975) and after a desperate search for anyone who’d love me, I found myself pregnant at the age of 17. At that point, I was visited by the “Judicial Committee” who voted to disassociate me.
I married and moved away, but managed to get my husband converted in order to get my family back. We were both baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses on December 21, 1968. (The day of the year with the least hours of daylight, a very appropriate day I’d say!) Six days before my 20th birthday, my second son was born. By that time, our lives had become a living hell.
I finally met my father in 1971, when I was 21, and 6 days later my mom died. She had been the link that kept me bound to the organization. I was so angry with God for letting her die, I vowed to never care about Him or His organization again. By the time I was 22, I was divorced and working in a factory in order to support my two little boys (ages 2 and 4).
I married again (to an alcoholic), but I totally believed the lie that Armageddon would occur by 1975, so when I was expecting my third child, I tried to go back to the Kingdom Hall. I had been disfellowshipped by then for getting married in a Methodist Church, so I was shunned. It was torture and I quit going. My third son was born in 1975 and I figured out that I had been lied to about Armageddon when it never happened. When my youngest son was three years old, his father nearly succeeded in taking my life by suffocation. As I realized I wasn’t going to make it because I couldn’t fight him off, a thought came into my head. It said, “They lied to you about Armageddon. What if they lied to you about hell?” I thought, “I just might be going there right now!” My next thought was, “I need to find out the truth!” As soon as that thought entered my mind, my husband let me go and didn’t move the rest of the night. I made myself a promise that I would get myself some help the next day.
My girlfriend at work got me in to see a counselor who was a Christian and he showed me the true plan of salvation from a real Bible. I told him “That’s too easy!” But when I went home that night, after I put the boys to bed, I looked into the night sky and told God I was His and I was not running from Him any longer.
That was November 2, 1978. It’s been a long, slow process, but as I began to study God’s Word in a real Bible, the Holy Spirit has untangled the confusion in my mind. One of my “defining moment” passages of Scripture is found in Isaiah 6:1 where the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord (Jehovah) high and lifted up, but in John 12:41 we find out it was Jesus he saw. This proved to me that Jehovah and Jesus are one and the same! Jesus is not merely an angel.
A harsh demanding God wouldn’t set aside His robes of royalty and put on flesh to die in order to set me free from the bondage I’d been subjected to my entire life. But I’m convinced that a God of LOVE did. Only a God like that can take someone like me and completely change me on the inside!
I found myself praying for Jehovah’s Witnesses more than usual, as I watched the news and plight of the Iraqi people during Operation Iraqi Freedom because they too had been locked up inside an evil regime, which used negative manipulation to control them. Jehovah’s Witnesses also are refused access to the truth and shunned if caught questioning things.
Today, my husband and I have a clown ministry: www.possumranch.com. I named myself “Missfit,” because that’s what I used to be. Mike’s clown name is Merkie. I so totally trust the heart of God today. I stand on stages and share how God took the little girl who was never allowed to celebrate anything and made her into a clown who gets to celebrate everything all the time!
I’ve written my testimony to the tune of the “House of the Rising Sun” and “Taking Care of Business” and many other oldies and have sung them in many places, including for a jail ministry. I discovered that my story isn’t really that different from those locked up anywhere, actually. I just didn’t have physical bars keeping me inside. Satan’s mind control did the job just fine.