I was born a Hindu and worshiped my Hindu gods. My family didn’t discuss other religions. When Christians came to our home, we listened to them sweetly but ignored what they said.
I went to a Catholic school. We sang songs about Jesus, but I had no clue what those songs meant. No one shared the gospel of Jesus with me during those years. I did, however, feel a sweet presence of the Lord there. In fact, it brought me much needed peace.
As a young child, I worried and was always anxious. Hopelessness and fear hovered over me, threatening to consume me. My father’s family had a strong history of suicide. My grandfather committed suicide, and we suspect my grandmother also ended her own life. My aunt, my father’s sister, committed suicide in her twenties as well.
It’s hard to explain the dark oppression that would settle over me. I never told my parents or anyone else. No one talked about deep matters like these in India, especially a girl.
My saving grace was school. I loved to read and immersed myself in my studies. I was an excellent student. The schoolwork gave me something else to focus on other than my fear and the darkness. But my success in school kept anyone from suspecting anything was wrong. I kept my struggles hidden very well.
Looking back, I am certain that the prayers of the nuns provided me with a strong spiritual covering at my Catholic school. Without that, the darkness would surely have overtaken me.
In India, students typically finish high school at age 17 and go straight into their respective fields. I went into medical school. While there, multiple layers of dark clouds hovered over me. Anxiety, fear, and panic ran amok inside my mind. I was tormented by worry day and night. I fought back the only way I knew how, by immersing myself in my studies. Once again, I excelled in school and no one suspected anything was wrong, but inside, I was being torn apart. I desperately needed hope, unconditional love, peace, and stability.
Something significant happened in my third year at medical school. I needed advice, so I spoke with a peer named Dominic, who happened to be a born-again Christian. Dominic listened to me, shared a few things, and we went our separate ways. But the next day, he returned to school and told me he had been unable to sleep that night. He said God had told him to tell me that I was His (God’s) daughter, and that he (Dominic) needed to tell me about Jesus.
I was very uncomfortable during that conversation but listened just as politely as I would have done as a child. My discomfort, I know now, was the darkness within me shunning the light of Jesus. Those dark forces didn’t want me to hear anything Dominic had to say about his Jesus.
I didn’t speak much to Dominic after that because I did not want him or anyone else talking to me about Jesus. But around the same time, Rohini, a good friend of mine who was also Hindu, accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Rohini showed me unconditional love. She cared for me without expecting anything in return. This was very different from anything I had experienced before. Love had always been conditional. If I did well in school, my family accepted me. If I said the right things and acted certain ways, my friends accepted me. If I didn’t, I expected to be rejected.
Christ’s love shone brightly through Rohini and sought to draw me close, but I would not surrender to His love. I was so stubborn and set in my ways. I would go to the chapel and Christian bookstores with her, but still, I refused to accept for myself what I heard about Jesus. I refused to read the Bible or even look at any Christian books. My heart was so hard, but thankfully, Christ was breaking through, bit by bit.
My rejection of Jesus took a toll and left me vulnerable to the darkness. My depression, oppression, and anxiety grew worse every day. I felt hopeless.
One December night in 1997, I was on call at the hospital. Exhausted and in complete despair, I looked toward the ceiling and said, “If there is any power up there that can help me, then help me. If not, I am going to end my life.” And I meant it. I knew exactly how and when I would do it. I was only 22 years old, but I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had no will to live any longer.
The next morning when Rohini saw me, she said the color was drained entirely from my face. She quietly took me to the chapel and read to me from the Bible. I sat there helpless and hopeless and finally listened.
She turned to Hebrews 13:5 and read, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you” (GNT). The Word of God seemed to jump off the page and straight into my heart. Instantly, the spirits of oppression and suicide left me. The light had overcome the darkness!
Rohini could see the transformation as the expression on my face changed completely. Being science-oriented, I knew things like this didn’t just happen. I knew I had experienced a supernatural, divine encounter with God. I finally understood that Jesus was God.
Jesus had revealed Himself to me through His powerful Word. I walked out of the hospital that day feeling tall and unashamed. All the weight I had carried had lifted from my shoulders.
I felt a divine embrace as God whispered to my heart a promise that He would always take care of me. I no longer needed to be afraid or fear the future.
It has been 20 years since I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. It’s been a daily journey of renewing my mind and learning to follow Him completely. To this day, God has kept His promise. Not only has He met every need, but also every one of my deepest longings and desires that have lined up with His will. My heavenly Father has blessed me more than I can ask or imagine in every way.
I don’t know where you are in your faith. Maybe you’re still unsure about Jesus. Maybe you’ve heard about Him, but like me, you’ve refused to accept Him as truth. I challenge you to give Jesus a chance.
Let Him into your life; give Him just a little bit of space in your heart. He will gladly take it. His relentless love will break down every wall and flood you with His peace. His truth will expose every lie of the enemy and drive out those fearful and anxious thoughts. His love will wholly consume you and change you from the inside out.
It’s a chance worth taking. †