Hello, my name is Maria Sangeetha. I live in Bangalore and am 27 years old. I was raised in the church as a kingdom kid. I had decided to get baptised at the age of 20 in the hope of finally receiving my parents’ love that I have craved since childhood.
However, I was soon disappointed and felt doomed to live a life without the love and approval of my parents. This was heart breaking and led me to give up pleasing my parents and the church that my parents loved so much.
I chose the world, and proceeded to look for love there. Soon after my decision, a college friend, Shruthi introduced me to her boyfriend Stephen, the area councillor's son. Stephen developed an attraction for me. When I rejected his advances to sleep with him, he resorted to pressure and harassment.
Blinded by the Ruler of This World
One day Stephen approached me and threatened to harm me with acid and kidnap my friend Shruthi. I tried running away and seeking help from passers-by, but I couldn’t find anyone. Stephen and his friends surrounded me in an empty lot and threatened physical violence. I noticed they were carrying what looked like acid and some weapons.
I began praying to God earnestly and begged these men not to harm me. As I was talking to them, a man carrying a rod in his hands appeared out of nowhere. I shouted to attract his attention. The next thing I know this stranger attacked Stephen and yelled at me to run away and not look back. I ran for my life and somehow reached home. I felt relieved and that it was a miracle I escaped, but I still did not acknowledge the hand of God in saving me.
This reminds me of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:4: “The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the message about the divine greatness of Christ. Christ is the one who is exactly like God.”(ERV)
Deeper Into Darkness
Time passed and I began working. The despairing loneliness still continued to haunt me. I was unable to express my feelings to anyone, including my parents.
At work, I befriended a man who seemed compassionate and caring. To my disappointment, I found out that he was already in a relationship. Although I was disappointed, I continued to pursue him.
One day he took me to a place known for black magic and live sacrifices. I found myself seated in a place surrounded by idols with large scary statues of the goddess Kali before me. The room was filled with human skulls and bones. Frightened out of my wits and tears rolling down my face, I desperately looked for a way out.
My mind was in turmoil, I questioned why God was letting me experience such a horror! Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, appeared a woman shouting and rebuking me for being where black magic and pagan sacrifices were practiced.
Oddly enough, she told me to seek God’s forgiveness and go to church. I was shocked as to why a woman of the Hindu faith would tell me to seek God’s forgiveness. I left that place and did not look back, but I still did not acknowledge God’s hand at work.
A Hard Heart
I became very sick. One of my fallopian tubes burst. The places I sought medical help seemed unable to help me. Finally, I found a hospital that suggested a surgery for the removal of the tube.
During the surgery I was given an overdose of drugs related to general anaesthesia which affected my breathing. I struggled for my breath as my pulse dropped to 30. Medical personnel were speaking to me but I could barely hear what they were saying. All I could hear were the words, “Your time has not yet come.” The doctors and the staff worked hard to save my life, and yet my heart remained hardened towards God.
Continuing in Darkness
Things were getting worse in my family and I was isolating myself. Knowing what I was going through, a friend proposed a match for me with her brother. That road turned out to be another one filled with miserable experiences. I realized I was being used for money and treated like a slave. Disgusted with the entire scenario, I ended the relationship.
I went into a deep depression and longed for someone to rescue me, although I was unwilling to trust anyone. I longed for peace and would cry out to God to rescue me.
Called Out of Darkness
One day a disciple named Buvaneswari reached out to me. Although I rejected her invitation for church out of distrust, she continued to persevere with me to study the Bible. While I resisted her efforts, my heart was being moved.
I began to pray sincerely for God to send a person I would trust, and with whom I would share honestly about my life. God answered my prayer in the form of Sharmila, who used to be my pre-teen camp mentor.
I started studying the Bible again. This time I was serious about my salvation and decided to repent and be baptised for the forgiveness of my sins, not for the approval of anyone but God.
I decided to be humble before God and give up all my hope in the world for fulfilment, including my worldly friends. I quit my night shift job and picked a regular day time job to start afresh. I desired to share my life with other women who needed God and prayed to be used for this purpose.
As I prayed, I learned about the condition of my aunt who was suffering from vertigo and had recently lost her husband. She had been left alone by her family due to the fear of COVID 19. Upon visiting her home, I found her in a deplorable condition. No one had attended to her needs or spoken with her for a long time.
I asked Sharmila to accompany me and when my aunt saw us she burst into tears begging us to rescue her from the loneliness and sorrow she was in. After bathing and changing her into a fresh set of clothes, I decided to take her home along with me.
My family members, fearful of COVID 19, were displeased with my decision. I was able to somehow convince them and managed to bring her home. I deeply desired for her soul to be saved and prayed earnestly for her.
God answered my prayers and soon aunty Violet was saved. I praise God for this opportunity to be used in bringing aunty Violet to his kingdom.
The scripture I Peter 2:9 has always inspired me.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”