Ask a Former JW: Stuttering Son Prohibited from Preaching

Ask a Former JW: Stuttering Son Prohibited from Preaching

Isabel: How do I deal with my son’s frustration that is still harming him. After 5 years {he is 21 and an Asperger} when an elder told him he could not preach because he stutters. The story is long. Since I left the Jehovah’s after 30 years, I would like to write a book but I do not know where do I start. Shattered. Isabel

H: I have never heard of an elder who would say something like that – that is an extraordinarily cruel and untrue thing to say. You might remind your son of Moses, who described himself as “slow of speech and slow of tongue.” God does not prohibit anyone from speaking – only humans do that. No-one has the right to prohibit another in that way. In all fairness, I do not think that Elder was right to say that even within the bounds of the Witnesses. You do not say whether your son is still a JW, but in either case, please assure him that the God he loves supports and cherishes him. All gifts are necessary. It may be that he can use even his frustration to good purpose – he may understand the frustration of others. If he learns ways to navigate that frustration, he will be able to share that with others. Many people have difficulties speaking to others – he will have compassion and understanding in that area! Without minimizing the reality of his difficulty, encourage him to think about it creatively to deepen his own spirituality and relationship with his God.

Regarding your own question about writing a book, here is how you start. You start. That’s it, and that’s all. You sit down after dinner some night and write one paragraph. The next night you write another paragraph, or a page, or a few pages. Try to capture one whole thought each time you write, and write everyday. In a year, you will have a complete draft. At that point, rearrange things into chapters, put things that go together in order, write an introduction. Then send it out to readers for suggestions – friends, people you respect – ask for comments. Get an agent. Get it published.

Ask yourself, what is the main point of the book – what are you trying to say with the book? What would be a good working title for your main point? Then just start. Write every day. Even if it only one sentence. Write every day. And again, write every day.


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