Shalom dear brothers and sisters,
There is so much to say and share that I might just explode! My name is Harshika and I am from India (northern part). I was born in to a hindu family, my parents being quite nominal and easy going. They brought us up with secular values and beliefs and that's how it stayed. I got saved at the age of 20, being given the gospel by a cousin brother. Some day, I will share my testimony. 🏽
I am 39 now, happily married to a former Catholic (which is very similar to hinduism) and we have an 8 yr old son whom we homeschool. My husband is a busy corporate lawyer and I am a stay home mom. We have been married ten years now and have lived in Dubai since we were married, so ten years as expats. We left IC two weeks ago
What a relief and what grace that I found Wayne and his writings and books and podcasts. It took is ten years to get burned out and disillusioned to get to this point. Bear in mind, we both come from a background of 'karma' Hinduism and Catholicism, both teach works, works, works. That was our baggae, although not so much for me. I got saved from my hindu beliefs and life, the very life I abhorred, the very faith that pushed me towards Christ in sweet relief. After becoming a christian I dvdeloped a deep deep disgust for rituals and acts and performances because none of that saved me from those demons I faithfuly worshipped.... And yet when I moved to Dubai after our marriage, I found myself getting stuck with IC all over again! This was too much of a reminder if what I'd left behind and rescued from. As compared to you all, I admit, I probably have greater distaste of 'religion', possibly. The longing has always been there and I will tell you why: As soon as I found Christ, I was extremely fortunate to have also found a wonderful Acts like 'church' . You see, my neighbourhood was full of missionaries who came and went. They were a floating population of visiting families from all over the world, mainly america though. And they took me under their wing. We gathered weekly or just about any day, we ate togther, prayed, loved, forgave, struggled and discipled each other freely. Can you imagine!!! I was young, hungry and on fire and God took me to them. There were no agendas ever, no programmes save for the annual Christmas party planning The older men taught me so much from scriptures, church history, missions, deliverance ( as things tend to be in my idol infested country) and whole lotta stuff etc , the women were truly examples of Titus 2 to me. Couldn't have asked for a better welcome in to God's family. I was well loved and beautifully discipled. My earthly family was persecuting me but my heavenly family was beyond amazing and supportive! Eight years later, as I moved on from this loving fold, i am happy to report, they all made it to my wedding, standing proud seeing my growth and the choices they had trained me to make in life.... They love me to this day even though I've lost touch with many. I dont remember the older folks wanting positions, wanting attention, dictating, demanding, manipulating.... It was rare and it was so close to perfect. Sigh....
Then Dubai happened! Oh dear! Before Dubai , Hillsong London happened briefly- while we were both working in UK and were so busy, didnt bother finding a way to stay away from hillsong Anyway, no harm done except ofcourse it started a lament and mourning in my heart for what I lost and what could have been. In Dubai we attended a loud, flashy, seeker sensitive and a very wealthy church. Pastor is a lovely lovely man, but even so.... I would say, he is the only reason we probably stuck it outnfor ten years! Such a nice soul.... But two weeks ago, after struggling for 18 months of great restlessness, I finally told my husband I am NOT going! And just like that, he agreed!! He likes this church business, so I was surprised that he is fed up too.... I was so upset that I didnt notice he is following me closely So that's it. We are out.
I have read ' finding church' three times in the last two weeks. I have cried and shouted and screamed in relief- no exageration here. I screamed! Every word, every line is written for me and i have been literally on my knees thabking God for leading me to Wayne's books and podcasts. I am now spent, relived and just still, resting in the knowledge that I am not a crazy rebel. And that I am enough. From where I look, it can only get better. I am already experiencing judgement from friends and one has stopped talking to me!!! But i am also experiencing human connections, new friends already too! In just two weeks! Oh mercy! My God is so good! He is so good.