Testimony from Rosa Hopkins

When I was growing up, I attended the Jehovah's Witness church with my mother, brother and sister.  We would attend regularly for years and then take long breaks I learned enough to know that we weren't doing enough to attain salvation, and so the guilt and fear was horrific.  I was afraid of thunderstorms, and thought at any time that I would be destroyed for lack of service and participation with the Watchtower Organization.

As I got older I grew more and more depressed.  I was verbally abused in my home as well harassed by classmates at school.  I felt worthless, and by the time I was seventeen had turned to drugs and other dangerous behaviors to cope.  My senior year of high school my family and I moved from Pasadena, Maryland to Great Cacapon, West Virginia.  My first day of school I was introduced to a girl named Tammy Smith.  I did not realize that she and her family were Christians.  I made friends with her and her cousin, Joe Hopkins.  We began to date and in the year 2000 were married.

Although the three years when we had dated we were happy, our marriage was not. We began to work opposite schedules and were saving money to build our first house.  The project was long and expensive.  I began to develop stress related illness and quit my job and we filed bankruptcy.  When things continued to deteriorate with us I thought that a Bible study with the Jehovah's Witnesses would fix things.  Things only got worse.  As time went on, it seemed that a divorce was inevitable. We divorced in 2004 and put our home up for sale.  

I had no money and went to a homeless shelter for women and children.  I found myself soon in a life-threatening situation, which Joe helped me out of.  After this turn of events I decided that I wanted to reconcile with him and we were married again in February of the following year.  I sought to get right with God again after all this, but found that the Witnesses were not receptive to me.  I tried very hard to be accepted into the organization, but was unable.  At the same time, some of their doctrines began to hold less water and I no longer wanted to attend services.  A few years went by during which I focused on work and did not go to church.

One day my husband and I were watching a documentary about rock n' roll music from a Christian perspective.  Afterward the gospel was presented.  I was mortified to learn that I regularly break God's law and that as a sinner I had no hope apart from Jesus.  I asked God that night, December 21, 2008 if He would please forgive me of my sins.  God began to change my life from that time in many, many ways.  I began reading a King James Bible, and God delivered me from my smoking, drinking and lying.  

I had always been a self-centered person and was always only concerned about making money.  After I got saved I spent two years battling severe illnesses during which God showed me where true value in life is.  Money doesn't matter when you believe you are going to die.  Only what God thinks about what you're doing in life matters.  God and His will become the sole focus.

God has given me assurance so many times when I have had fears and doubts left over from a time when salvation was so uncertain.  I have had to relearn all the things I thought I knew.  I have gained values which are drastically different from those of the the watchtower society, my family, and the world in general.  When you leave the Jehovah's Witnesses, your family and friends don't come with you.  In my case my family was deeply offended at me.  We have not been in communication for over four years, as of this writing. But the Bible says this:  

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things; 
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! 
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness 
and streams in the wasteland.'

The blessings of God are more than I can even express.  He has given me a new family, including a mom, dad, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins...many times over the family that I ever had before.  And the best part about this family is that they love me unconditionally and are proud of the transformation that Jesus has brought about it. They are supportive of the work in Christ I feel led to do and they truly are my brothers and sisters in Christ.  God has given them to me and me to them and I am truly blessed and happy.  I also have a wonderful church with an amazing and supportive church family.  For a time, God even blessed us with a job in foster care, and has been restoring my health, has given me music to write, songs to sings, people to minister to as well as eternal life.

Job 23:10 says 'But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold'.  Jesus has delivered me from error unto truth, death unto life and chaos unto peace.  God pulled me out of the watchtower.  He kept me alive until I was ready to hear the gospel and respond to it.  I was lost but now am found.  

Jesus said that He is the truth, the way and the life.  And at John 8:32 He says 'And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'.  Hallelujah!  It has made me free indeed!