The Lord has taken away my shame, my disgrace, and given me Joy which is unspeakable!
My name is Rajni*. Most people would assume I am a strong spiritual person possessing an excellent upbringing in the Lord’s ways. This was not the case for me. My father was earning a meager income, and my mother was a nurse. We were living in the staff quarters allotted to my mother through her job.
When I was 14 years old, my mother was having constant and severe headaches. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and within two months after surgery, succumbed to the disease. Immediately my mother’s hospital authorities gave us a letter to vacate the quarters and we had to move to a new place.
I was a young teenager whose mother just passed away. My only brother who is older than me had very bad friendships which created issues in our home. Living with new neighbors and in strange surroundings gripped me with fear and created an agitation about my future. All I had was the television in front of me as a friend. I became glued to the TV screen and thought that I could enjoy life in this way and forget all my worries and anxieties.
Little did I know that someone close by was watching me. A young man tried to make close eye contact with me (this is culturally taboo in India), and took advantage of my boredom, loneliness, and naivety. When I realized my mistake, I shared the matter with my father who reprimanded both me and the young man.
This event shook my father and he began to understand my loneliness as a serious issue. He began to pray for wisdom in how to deal with me and was praying about a secure place for me to live. Somewhere safe, and somewhere that would offer a bright future.
My father met with a person who introduced him to a place where he was told I could be cared for safely. When my father shared this with me, I was most reluctant and adamant that I did not want to go.
Slowly I came around to the idea, but the first thing I wanted to know was whether this place would allow me to watch TV all day. Television had become for me an addiction and I couldn’t live without it.
The Mission was definitely much, much better than my home situation, in terms of space, beauty, food, and security. In spite of all this, I longed to go back to my home and continue my old way of living. I refused to go to church or to participate in family prayer times.
I was very much a loner but was faithful to the work assignments given to me. I was assigned to help cut veggies in the big kitchen and help brush the floor of our dormitory. During the fall, I enjoyed raking the leaves in the Mission’s vast gardens.
However, during my free time, something was bothering me. I would hear voices calling me back to my home and I would respond to them in very harsh tones. My fellow residents thought that I was insane as I would carry on heated conversations with myself. This carried on for some weeks until the Mission decided that a psychiatric counselor should meet up with me and talk to me.
This was very helpful and eventually, my life began to change as I calmed down and became more subdued. Everyone thought that a miracle had taken place in my life.
One day, one of the residents my age, shared with me from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that anyone who believes in Him, shall never die.” This friend shared in depth about what this verse meant and she prayed with me as I desired to know this forgiveness and hope.
As I started to read God’s word, the Lord began to reveal His heart to me. Wow! If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away. I came to understand that Jesus put all my past aside and set my life on a new pathway.
Life has become more meaningful for me and I am enjoying each new assignment. I have been responsible for taking care of the cleaning, dusting, and tidiness of the offices. I also have been given responsibility to do the filing and dispatching of letters. I am also attending a short computer course at the computer academy which will help prepare me for bigger tasks.
I am so thankful for all the lovely people who interact with me. God has transformed my life from the shambles it was into a new and whole existence. My darkened world is now bright again.
*Names have been changed for privacy and security.