It had been a hard week, and it more than just an ounce of God’s strength to help me go to church that Sunday morning. Although I could have worshipped God from home, a still, small voice encouraged me to trust and obey Him by going to church. A good friend from church asked if I had met a woman named Jessica. “Have you met Jessica before? I think you should really go and speak with her.” I accepted this new friend suggestion and made my way up to Jessica where we had met for the first time.
As strange as it may sound, Jessica and I became friends after learning about how we had both been going through a very relatable hardship. After listening to one another voice our deepest concerns, we couldn’t help but think of how amazing God is to bring two people together who are hurting on the inside, in order to bring Him glory. He brought us closer to one another as we both were walking through a similar trial, and allowed us both to listen to, pray for and encourage each other.
It has been a privilege getting to know Jessica, and I hope that someone out there will be touched by the Lord’s work in her life.
Please welcome my dear friend, Jessica, to the blog today!
My name is Jessica. I come from India, born in the year 1990 in a Christian family.
My dad Paul was a soil biologist and my mom Lydia was a homemaker with four daughters of which I am the youngest. My parents were not too happy about my birth as they were expecting a male child and I turned out to be a female child. Mum had hard times from her in-laws for giving birth to 4 girls. Someone asked me for adoption but my good parents decided not to give me away because I was in Gods plan.
My sisters and I grew up together with love and fights mostly caused by me. I was the bad, stubborn and angry one amongst all and always claiming to be the pigeon among the crows. Even with all this behavior, I was a very homely child wanting dad, mom, and all sisters to be around me every single day.
My schooling was in an English medium school and by Gods grace, I was very good at my studies.
As it says in Prov 22.6: Train your children in the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Dad was very strict about having family prayer every day at home right from my childhood. I learned reading English mostly from the Bible during family prayer time.
Going to church was a regular practice and I loved going to Sunday School because of the songs, stories from the Bible and great missionaries. We had Vacation Bible School called VBS every summer and I looked forward to it every year.
Our Church service started at 10am and went until 2pm. But my father made sure we go to church very early at 6 or 7am. Most of the times we four sisters walked for almost 40 mins to get to the church. Dad instructed us to help at the church in cleaning bathrooms, cutting vegetables, doing dishes, serving and helping in all sorts of work saying it is a great blessing to work at the church.
In the year 2000, during VBS the teacher told about the story of a little girl who gave her life to Jesus. After the story was done, they gave an altar call saying anyone who would like to believe in Jesus can stand up so they can pray for them.
I liked the story about the girl and with a great courage I stood up saying I want to believe in Jesus too. The moment I stood up I was able to picture a small heart with many black spots and a big thumb wiping them off. I felt my heart was white and clean. Days went by but with no big change in my life. My sinful life was the same old with no difference between me and the non-Christians.
In the year 2002, one of my church youth leaders asked about my salvation pointing me to Rev 20:15 and a few other more saying if my name is not written in the Book of life, I will be in hell and that I have to be forgiven for my sins by the blood of Jesus.
This time I was in great fear. I gave it a lot of thought. I panicked thinking I’ll be dying alone in hell while my whole family will be in heaven. I read those verses again after going home, knelt down and this time truly confessed all my sins, gave my heart to Jesus. I acknowledged that only by His grace I can be saved. I asked Jesus to come into my heart, write my name in His book and make a difference in my life. I slowly started reading my Bible every day morning and evening. I was given a lot of encouragement and support from the Bible, Church Pastors, my family, Sunday school teachers, young adult groups and friends. I realized the importance of reading the Bible and I continue to do it getting nourishment for my soul and body every day.
After that, my life continued to be smooth having good family, relatives, friends, church, and school,
Until the day came in the year 2005 January when my dad went missing for almost 4 days. With lots of prayers and searching, my uncles found my dad in a faraway place from my city. They brought him home. (Till date we do not know what has happened exactly). Dads mind was very confused and there I was constantly following him around the house because I missed him a lot already.
The same day my uncles took my dad to the hospital. Dad got into the car waving his hand at me. Little did I know that it would be his last wave home. My uncles reported to the doctor saying the wife and the daughters are responsible for his condition. He was started on a neurological medication which made him worse each day.
I went to see him one day, couldn’t stop crying to which he said “Don’t cry I’ll come back home!” which he never did.
Mum somehow explained to the doctors he had inhaled carbon monoxide a few weeks earlier while on a work trip and possibly this could be the reason. But the doc replied its too late as the brain is already dead.
While dad was at the hospital, my uncles never allowed us to see our dad at the hospital instead they bought mum home and started big arguments blaming us.
After 13 days at the hospital on Jan 25, 2005, my dad was called to glory. Mum came home that evening, held all of us and we all wept with great pain, ache, and deep agony. It was the biggest pain of my life and it still remains fresh in my heart even after all these years.
Things went really worse. My dads’ side of the family took our house, claiming money and left us alone. Mum gave away everything they asked for trusting God for our future. We were left with nothing. My mums’ side of the family was a great help by sending us provisions, including our food supplies. My church pastors and believers were a great comfort during this time. There were days we dint had proper food and I missed my dad more because we never experienced the lack of anything in his presence.
The reason I told you all this is because my attitude towards God changed after all this. I still read my Bible but having no relationship with God. I did not believe in His decisions or plans and I was filled with anger, hatred towards God for taking my dad away from me.
Mum sent me to prepare for med school but I did not study well.
My elder sister, Emelia finished her engineering and worked for the family and later got married to a blessed family from the church. Later, my second sister, Rebecca got married too.
One day my elder bro-in-law, John asked me about my salvation and Baptism to which I replied I believe in God but I am angry at God. He shared a few verses with me and very patiently spoke to me asking me to trust God in everything, He will do good for His children and that His plans are exceedingly beautiful. I took a long time to think and eventually went to God again, asking forgiveness for my behavior and limited knowledge about His perfect plans and this time taking part in the waters of Baptism on Oct 21, 2007, testifying, declaring to everyone that through Jesus I have been forgiven and saved. I think I am the only weird person falling so many times and turning my back against God. I started trusting in His plans for my life watching all the wonders He did.
My life slowly started to change, although I’m still the weird one. Communion at our church was given every Sunday and I had to examine my life for the whole week trying to live a life pleasing to God. It was very difficult for me and I think it is still difficult but God has been my help and He still is. Our church Pastor and his wife were our next parents who were a lot responsible for our spiritual growth.
I later chose Physiotherapy, graduated, worked for two years but for a very low salary. Almost 120$ for a whole month. I knew this would not be enough for me, mom and my family in the future. My dad always aimed for higher education outside India, hence, I decided to move to Canada.
As I was praying about it God gave me a promise from Proverbs 16.9 Plan your course but the Lord guides your steps. I planned my course OTA/PTA at Conestoga College, fighting against all odds I applied for my visa. My mum borrowed money and paid for my fee. I lost my visa the first time.
God gave me a promise that year Job 22.26. Then you shall delight in the Almighty and look up unto God. I liked the way the verse says ‘then’. I was confirmed I will get the visa. I reapplied and I got the visa the second time and as it says, then’ I really looked unto God.
I left my mum with my third sister Joanna. It was a very big decision for a homely person like me to move out of India. But I blindly trusted God with this.
I came to Canada in the year 2015, found a room in Cambridge, went to the nearby church. After the service, I went to the guest center and they introduced me to two families from India but from another state. Our languages were different but God already made this a part of His plan.
I struggled with finances, jobs, assaults and many more but God has been with me in all this, never letting me go from His hand.
Due to some bad experiences, I moved to Blessing’s family for one and half year and Caroline’s family for 7 months who took no money either for rent or food. I later found the best room God has prepared even before I thought which is right across my work which was again a part of Gods plan. I work as a Physio Assistant at the Westmount Long-term care home. I am studying to take my Physiotherapy Licence exam in a few months.
I had no church for two Sundays which was making me very upset. I was praying about a church and one day while talking to Howard I learned that he became a Christian and he offered me a ride every Sunday to Rosebank Church. God gave me good friends here who pray for me, spend time with me in all my ups and downs. And again, I will say this is a part of Gods plan and His faithfulness.
I still struggle to understand God and His plans for me even today. I still have questions unanswered. I still fall back many times. But in all this, God never ever left me. I aim to change into Gods’ image. Would like to conclude by saying Gods’ faithfulness towards me has never ended.
Gods love, grace and faithfulness are still holding me up.