I am 45 years old and was raised in the Worldwide Church of God from the time I was seven. My father was actually in what they referred to as the “Sardis era of the church.” His entire family was in it as well. I was eleven when I realized something was wrong with a group that would teach that unless you were a part of their church you were going to go to the lake of fire. My grandmother, whom I loved with all my heart, did not believe this way. She was always very kind about my parents beliefs and tried very hard to abide by the dietary rules and feast days, but our not keeping Christmas hurt her very badly. When I was 18, I did the proper thing and got baptized, thinking this would please my parents. It did not. So I got baptized again a few years later–again they still did not seem to care. It seemed like I was always trying to please them and I was always told I was just rebellious.
My husband was not a member but came because he really wanted to marry me. That was 25 years ago and we are still happily married. I left the WWCG when I was 34 and am still trying to put this all behind me and am having a lot of trouble. I have become a part of a Christian church in our community. Our pastor has been so kind and has tried to be helpful, but I still am struggling. I do not seem to be able to grasp on a continual level that God really loves me unconditionally. In my head I can kind of make sense of it. But in my heart to believe it and keep it there is so hard. I have bone cancer and there is nothing the doctors can do. I want so badly to get this straight before it is to late. I do believe that I am saved. I don’t want to talk bad about anyone, but how does anyone get over this? It is just like being attacked by assassins, but even they don’t pretend to love you. When I got cancer, my family (whom all are still in WWCG) were not there for me. My present church had a special prayer service for me but my parents would not come because my mom said she might cry and that would be embarrassing. My life really isn’t worth very much is it? Is this the way WWCG has taught even now? I thought they had changed.
I am sorry that this probably sounds very confusing, I just have never talked to anyone who might possibly understand. I have pushed this under the carpet for years and have lived my life the best I know–and I have always wanted God in my life. I just don’t know if it has been good enough. My family has no idea how I feel about my upbringing. They seem to see me as this strong person who got out of something bad. I have feelings of betrayal to my family, and then I am angry at them for not letting me have a normal childhood. But then I try not to be angry because that is not what God would want.
So as you can see, it was easier to push it into the back of my mind and not think about it. I found your site because I was searching for a recipe that I wanted that I knew had been in an old unleavened cook book and I came across WWCG stuff and I just kept searching for something that might possibly be helpful in this area and I came across your site. I am not sure anyone can help me, and I continue to pray daily for God’s love and mercy, but even if I don’t hear from anyone, thank you for taking the time to read this and I ask that you pray for me please and I will pray that your web site will be encouraging and helpful to all who come across it and are in need.
Thank you for caring so much.
By Patti – Child survivor of WCG
NOTE from ESN: This survivor is probably no longer alive as she sent this testimony long ago. Although, this is sad to read, maybe it will help someone.
“I am not able to measure the vastness nor the intensity nor the overwhelming goodness of our God. If I could, it would break your heart,
and it would break mine if I fully knew. I can only say that God loves you.”
~J. Vernon McGee