In May, it will be 20 years since I left UBF. Has it really been that long?
When I first left, I didn't know where I would live because I had shared apartments with UBF guys for most of the previous 10 years. (In the mid-80s, I changed apartments so many times that I used the center's address on my driver's license, instead of having an out-of-date address on my license most of the time.) I didn't know whether I would be able to find a church I could trust and where I could be comfortable. By the grace of God, both of these situations have been resolved. I won't say more about them here because I have discussed them in previous postings.
I think my subject line for this posting -- "Any regrets about leaving UBF?" -- has two sides. The first can be expressed like this: "Am I sorry that I left UBF?" The answer is a resounding "NO!!!" Leaving UBF was one of the best decisions I have ever made; the only taste of regret associated with it is that I wish it hadn't taken me 10+ years to reach the point where my eyes were opened and I had had enough.
The other side is something like this: "Is there anything I regret doing while I was in UBF?" This is the more difficult question. During my early days in the Columbus chapter, when the UBF misdeeds and atittudes which would later make my life such a turmoil were just mild misgivings, I encouraged my little sister to come to Bible study. She eventually moved into the women's apartment. She was confused when I left UBF but stayed a few years more until her own eyes were opened and she left on her own. Another person I witnessed to on campus also joined UBF and then stayed for a while after I left; he experienced the same confusion that my sister did. But at least they both woke up and left on their own terms when they realized what a trap UBF was. My only regret here is that I didn't feel I could talk to them while I was leaving and encourage them to leave sooner. But we have all since discussed this and we are happy that we got out when we did. So that regret is now all but nonexistent.
However, during the early 80s, I witnessed to a classmate who was interested in Bible study and began attending Sunday services. She eventually moved into one of the women's apartments and became as heavily involved in the chapter as my sister and I were. Then, about 3 or 4 years later, she was chosen to marry someone from the Chicago chapter by faith and was extremely excited and honored by the prospect. The last time we talked before she moved away to get married, she told me that she would never forget me or the influence that I had on her life.
I wish there had been a way I could have reached out to her when I was leaving and told her the truth about what UBF really is. I often wonder if she is still there and if she is still happy there. If she isn't happy, does she blame me since I'm the one that got her into UBF in the first place?
I think my only real regret about leaving UBF is that one of the people I got into the group might still be there, be unhappy, and consider me the source of her misery.