Yeah, there's no point going into why there's yet ANOTHER long gap in between updates. There was just a lot on my mind this weekend, and I don't know who to tell. Once again, I will talk to myself.
This past week, our congregation had the Circuit Overseer visit, and if you're a Witness, you know what that includes: the Meeting for Pioneers. Now even auxiliary pioneers can stay for the whole meeting, which is great. The meeting was on Saturday, so all the pioneers were trying to get back to the Hall from service around noon because the meeting was at 12:30 or so. Here's the part where there was a lot on my mind, so I'll try to organize it for you.
Saturday was the day for the meeting, so I only planned to go out in service for that morning. Unfortunately, I ended up getting stuck at the Hall and didn't get a ride home after service. Now, here are some numbers. In my congregation, the Portuguese Congregation of the Charleston area, there are 31 publishers, baptized and unbaptized. Of those publishers, there are 18 regular pioneers. Furthermore, there are four auxiliary pioneers for the month of March (at least). That made 22 pioneers at that meeting. Just as an additional note which will be relevant later, there are four already married couples (eight people) and three soon-to-be publishers (soon-to-be six people). The point I'm trying to make here is that almost the ENTIRE congregation got to go to that meeting, and I had to sit in an unused room while the meeting was going on in the main hall, and all I could think of the whole time was one thing:
I SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THAT MEETING WITH THEM
Although I'm pretty easy to read (not sure if that's a good or bad thing), I've never been one to openly express my deepest, darkest feelings aloud. It's a good thing I didn't because I really wanted to punch a hole in the mirror on the wall across from me.
I was so pissed off about sitting in that room. It was INFURIATING! And not because I couldn't get a ride home. See, in my congregation, the average publisher is either single or married (pick one) and pioneering. I'm single and not pioneering. Oh, joy. However, my fury went beyond just feeling left out because of that. I was more furious at myself more than anything.
While I was in that room, I didn't hear anything considered at the meeting, so I ended up being the audience to the worst play one can attend: the playback of ALL the regrets one's ever had. As I sat in the room, all I could think about were the years I spent wasting my time--all the years I spent going to school, studying hard, getting good grades, and to what end?! I could have spent those years going in service more often, improving my preaching skills, starting Bible studies (yes, as in more than one), PIONEERING! I started to think to myself, "Why didn't Mom push me to go out in service more? Why did I spend nine years knowing ONLY those in my home congregation? Why don't I know more brothers and sisters in other congregations? Why is it that pioneering was such a superhuman feat to me as a child yet so mainstream to other kids of the same age? Why couldn't I start work NEXT week? Why am I not in that meeting right now?! WHY THE HECK AM I NOT PIONEERING?!" I started to loathe, despise my past and blame my parents. Even more so, I was so disappointed in myself, my stagnancy, and my lack of ability to do. Even now as I write this, I still get so worked up about it! I wasted so much time, and for what?! AAAAAAHHHH!
I've never done anything to make me hate myself, but I can truly say that while thinking about what I could have done and trying to find reasons for why I didn't (which I couldn't do), I came pretty close that day.
As the meeting came to an end, I could hear the brothers and sisters coming out of the main hall. I honestly did not want to come out of the room. I didn't want anyone to know I was still inside. It's embarrassing enough being 22 years old and not being able to take myself home, but I felt useless at this point. I knew I had to get home, but I really felt more like hiding, waiting for everyone to leave, and walking home in the cold rain. I really felt like I deserved it. I felt like I deserved worse.
I halfheartedly went back out in service for a portion of the afternoon until the time for cleaning the Hall. The rest of that afternoon/evening was a distraction from what I was thinking earlier that day. I needed it. Then when I got home, I studied the Watchtower article for the next day.
I thought about this throughout the whole study today (Sunday). Jehovah really knows what we need and EXACTLY when we need it.
The article talked about serving Jehovah without regrets. Unfortunately, the "Not-having-regrets" train has departed. There is a lot (clearly) I regret not having done. However, that time is gone. I'm never going to get it back. It's a hard pill for me to swallow, but I need it. I can't waste more time sulking about what I could have done differently. Furthermore, I can't blame my parents for my choices. All I can do now is work hard at reaching my goals for the short- and long-term. If anything, I have to work harder than everyone else if I'm going to catch up. My ability in speaking Portuguese means little if my teaching ability is lackluster and shallow. I want to be a better teacher. I want to be a useful ministerial servant. I WANT TO PIONEER! I want to be better. I want to prove myself worthy to Jehovah...and her.
That's why I've made up my mind. I'm not making ANY excuses for myself. I'm still young, so I have the strength and energy. That means more personal study, deeper personal study, more preparation for service, deeper preparation for the meetings, and more thorough preparation for my theocratic assignments. I can't make plans for Brazil or the circuit work if I'm not willing to do the legwork to get there because I am MORE than able. It looks like I talk a big game, but I intend on backing it up two hundredfold.
"There's so much I want to tell her, and I hope I'll get to do that before it's too late. But for now, I only have this wish: I hope that whatever Jehovah's will is for her, I can be a part of it someday."