(part one) When God Became Real
When I was twelve years old, I was very sad, and one night before sleeping I asked God, “Are you there? Do you care? What is life?”
I fell into a deep sleep in the drawing room. That night I had a dream.
I saw the sky, cracked, blue grey, and then I saw a face in the sky. He was looking down at the world. There was a look of sadness in His eyes. In my dream, I had a sense that He was sad about the condition of the world. I knew who that was, although this face did not resemble the traditional pictures of Him. It was JESUS!
I got up in the early hours of the morning and I was crying, but these were tears of peace and joy and acutely a sense of cleanness, a feeling that my soul was washed. That morning was different. I knew JESUS was real. I experienced His presence that night. I did tell my sister and a friend that I had a dream of Jesus though I did not tell them anything beyond that. I was internally at peace with that pervading sense of cleanness.
Human memory is short and needs to be reminded constantly of things. The years rolled on and that image and experience faded from my life. Jesus was a faint picture in my mind. I really could not understand the Bible and nothing ever spoke to me. I knew God was there, but it seemed He was not involved in my life and He was busy taking care of others, not me, I felt. My prayers never seemed answered.
One winter, when I was a teenager, I was suddenly hit with an unbearable depression to the pit of my soul. It seemed when evening came, I was afraid, lonely and sad, and during the day was filled with a deep sadness. I lost my appetite completely and started weeping all the time. I found no one could help me. I was going through this for a whole year.
By now, my mother was a believer of Jesus and had a group of praying friends but I saw no ray of hope and depression loomed like a grey mist ready to swallow me up. I tried to end my life.
One day, I raced up the hill from my house mumbling something to my mother, about taking a whole lot of tablets and a bottle of red wine. Somewhere I had read that wine hits the heart fast and a person can end it quick. I took all the tablets and the wine and made my way back drowsily. Though drowsy and sleepy, I suddenly had a sense of destiny.
I suddenly knew I did not really want to die. I tried telling my mother to take me to the school infirmary, but she did not understand, and she told me to sleep it off. I knew if I slept I would never wake up. My mother reluctantly went to the school infirmary with me. The school nurse worked hard to help me make it through.
I heard her saying that she was trying to avoid taking me to the hospital or it would be a police case, but if my bladder did not work, it meant the kidneys were shutting down and she would have to call the town hospital.
The town hospital was too far away, and I seemed to be fading. At this time I had a heightened sense of atmosphere. I also knew then that nothing in this world was worth the taking of human life. Also, we have only one life. We do not get a chance again.
Towards the end of this awareness, I started seeing a barbed wire which was iron hot glowing red and I saw black rats running around the red-hot barbed wire. I knew for certainty that I was dying and where I would go was not heaven; It would be a miserable sad place. It looked very grayish from the distance. I was going to an endless eternity with out God.
Very gray, it was a sad place and I had a lot of regrets about a wasted life. I felt like I was dying yet I had a heightened awareness of something beyond the earth. I could almost read the nurse’s mind. It was a strange contrast, as here I was dying, but on the other hand, I was aware of another realm. Definitely was not a nice place and I had an impending sense of being lost. I suddenly did not want to die. I was frightened of the place I was seeing.
I was suddenly aware that I did not know Jesus, the Jesus who had appeared in my dream when I was 12, the Jesus of the Bible. I seemed to know that I was slipping away to death. The message that Christ died on the cross to die for the sins of the world so they could enter Heaven was true. To be separated from God in eternity is a frightening thing. It is not just a story.
With deep sadness for a wasted life, I started talking to Jesus for the first time in my life, almost bargaining with Him, “Jesus, please save me, please, if You do, I will serve You!”
Then Jesus heard that cry. He answered, and shortly after this I started to get better. Danger passed. The nurse made me tea, and was clearly relieved. I was exhausted and fell asleep for the night in the infirmary and the next day was the most peaceful day that I had experienced in the whole year since the depression , and it has never come back with that intensity.
That suicide attack never came back in my life again, and I learned that suicide is a spirit that flew away when I called to Jesus. Suicide is designed by the devil to take people away from Earth before their time.
Wretched miserable human beings we sometimes are, thankless and forgetful, I went through a few more years where I forgot the promise that I would serve Jesus. I just did not seem to grasp the things of God. I knew Jesus was there, but I could not understand the Bible. I went through a period of spiritual mysticism, believing in all powers, forces available to help up, reading all spiritual philosophies.
READ MORE HERE to know how Rita found her place “in the vine.” Personal Testimony of Journey to Meet and Live for Jesus (part 2)
Notes from editor@ Telling Hearts:
- I would like for Rita to at some point share with our readers about the pagan or anti-Christian influences that in some areas of India are strong. May we grow in understanding of our world (India, Rita’s homeland) and hold our global church family in prayer.
- Note to anyone who struggles with depression or who is close to anyone who struggles with depression: I urge you to read this blog post which I wrote months ago at my Grandma Mary Martha blog, after hearing two mental health professionals come to my school to speak informatively about how to deal with people in crisis, or who are critically depressed. I seriously feel like people need to know: Suicide Prevention; Dealing with Someone Who is Critically Depressed
- I realize that people judge other’s stories based on their own stories, and their own understanding. I paid a licensed, “social therapist” about 25 years ago $75 an hour, to COUNSEL me, and she ultimately decided that I was CRAZY because I referenced to God in conversation with her. That is when I learned NOT to go to a COUNSELOR who was not Christian…. Anyway, I urge you to respect Rita’s story as truth to her. If you get to know her, or her writings, you will see that her walk with the Lord to this day, is vibrantly “in the vine,” and she is a rich storehouse of Bible understanding these decades after she was (as I believe and understand) touched by the Holy Spirit.