An Unsuspecting Beginning
In 1975, Lora Haskett was born into a loving family, unsuspecting of the coming grief and heartache that would result from the arrival of these two strangers at their doorstep. At the young age of four years old, Lora watched her mother stand in the doorway and attempt to dismiss these men. Soon, her mother was slowly persuaded by their tales of imminent destruction and the promise of safety for her children if she were to raise them as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Despite Lora’s father’s desperate fight to shelter his children from this way of life, his wife secretly taught them of her new beliefs and why they must commit themselves to her new “church.” As time went on, her father made every effort to ensure that Lora and her younger brother were actively involved in the Christian church. However, his efforts were no long-term match against her mother’s persistent nature. The kids continued to study the Jehovah’s Witness faith system behind their father’s back until they grew older and moved off of the military base where they were stationed. Upon her father’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force in Lora’s teen years, the children lost access to a Bible-believing church and their mother was able to transition them fully to a Jehovah’s Witness life.
In 1991, Lora fully accepted her fate and was baptized into the Jehovah’s Witness faith. She then married and quickly realized she was in a toxic, abusive marriage, but felt she couldn’t leave due to the rules of the faith. By 2008, she had her own children and started to question what her elders were telling her. She took notice of the fact that the scriptures weren’t lining up with what was being preached at her church.
She ultimately came to realize that she did not believe in the Jehovah’s Witness religion or way of life. But, Lora was scared.
Her children needed protection and security, and the entire community she relied on for support would shun her if she admitted her lack of faith. Not to mention, she feared the reaction from her abusive husband. She began to pray often, she wasn’t sure why, but she knew she needed to pray. Two years passed as she pretended to still believe their religion and she secretly prayed to God for a way out.
Finding the Courage to Leave Everything Behind
One day while scrolling through Facebook she noticed that a man she had gone to high school with was now a Christian pastor. She contemplated it for a while, and eventually reached out to him asking if he knew anyone who could help someone leave the Jehovah’s Witness faith. By some miracle, he put her in contact with a friend of his who was a former Jehovah’s Witness and then became a Christian pastor. He and Lora communicated for several months through a fake email account she had created out of fear that her doubts and questions would be exposed. Finally, she got the courage to leave her husband and flee.
Once Lora had secured a job, obtained her own place to live, and felt secure on her own, she began the grueling process of officially leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses church. This included sending official letters to the elders and her family members, explaining her renouncement of the belief system. Just as she feared, she was immediately shunned by her mother, brother, and everyone she had been close friends with for years. The only person she was still in contact with was her father, who supported her through it all.
After several years in religious limbo due to hurt and confusion from her past faith, Lora’s beloved father passed away. Her only family member and close confidant had left her side, which caused her to reflect on life and the meaning behind it all. She reached out to a friend who sent her a Bible and a book describing heaven. This was when she started to hold firm to the idea that there was a God, and she simply needed to be a good person to get into heaven.
Discovering the Truth About Jesus
At the start of the pandemic, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother still refused to speak to her, but many people around her were praying desperately. Undergoing seven surgeries and four months of chemotherapy completely alone and isolated due to Covid-19 protocols, she could still feel the powerful effects of their prayers even though no one was beside her.
At the end of that year, a pharmaceutical representative named Brad came into her office and began speaking with her. He casually made a comment about his church and how it felt like home. This resonated with Lora and she decided to give his church a chance.
Lora had remarried and her husband was very supportive about attending this new church. As soon as she walked through the doors, she understood exactly what Brad was saying, because it felt like home to her as well. While attending this church, she began to understand who God really is, and in January of 2021, Lora Haskett went from death to life and began her own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the busyness of that season, she wasn’t able to absorb everything she learned in church. As a new believer, it was difficult to understand everything in depth. That’s when she heard about a Bible study her church was offering through Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life With Jesus.
Lora’s husband encouraged her to attend with him—and she is so glad that he did. She completed the entire 50-day journey and was able to fully absorb and comprehend all that she was learning, noting that it has completely changed her life.
Your True Story allowed Lora to grasp difficult concepts and begin to relate to God as her Father.
Her absolute favorite portion of the book is Day 8: You Are Chosen, which includes a love letter from God (see the download in Week Two).
My precious child,
I know everything about you. . .You are not a mistake. . .
I am not distant and angry but compassionate and slow to anger. I am the complete expression of love. I lavish my love on you simply because you are My child, and I am your Father—your perfect Father.
Do you know that I love you as much as I love My Son, Jesus? I do. I sent Him to prove that I am for you, not against you. . .
Come home, and all of heaven will celebrate your arrival! I have always been your Father. I will always be your Father. My question is, will you be My child?
Your Dad, Almighty God
She was deeply touched that this love letter referred to God as Dad—it struck a chord with her as she remembered how much her earthly father loved her and learned that God loves her even more. She was in awe of the fact that God wants to spend eternity with her, a concept she had never contemplated before. She always felt like it was a one-sided relationship.
Lora has since shared with others that Your True Story radically changed her relationship with God. She no longer sees Him as just God but as a dad, friend, and confidante whom she can truly trust with everything. She now lives freely and unashamed since finding her identity in Jesus through the truths shared in Your True Story. The Bible study helped her to realize Jesus is someone who has the desire to be in a relationship with her and gave her a sense of urgency to tell those around her about what she had found.
She believes Your True Story is an absolute must for new believers. Lora is confident that the contents of the book will ground anyone in their faith and truly help them to see how God works in their lives as well as affirm how much He absolutely loves us.
Lora said that if there’s one thing she wants people to take away from her story, it’s that believers should never underestimate the power of praying for others.
She shared, “I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness, what does that tell you? Don’t give up on praying for people. People prayed for me for more than 20 years—and it finally worked.”