Jasmine: I Am Home

I’m a woman who has made mistakes and is imperfect, but now knows deeply the grace of God.

I’m first generation British Asian, my pop is a Vedic priest and religion played a huge part in my life.  I read and sang in Sanskrit and obeyed rituals with my family, and then I studied the Bible and Jesus Christ at school. I realised even at 10 that something didn’t feel right. There was no framework for who I was and I didn’t know my purpose.

At university, I lived with committed Christians who spoke about Jesus like they were talking about a close friend. I’d go seeking out churches, I hid at the back not speaking to anyone, why would they want a sinner like me?  I knew I needed to find Jesus and prayed for peace.

I used to relocate every few years, trying to flee my angry mind; and like everyone, I used humour to cover up a dysfunctional childhood.  I treated churches as places to repent of my sins; but my faith was confined only to Sundays.  As time went on I needed to create headspace in my life as arguing with family almost became a blood sport, so I turned against religion and life had lots of emotional trials and tribulations.  I struggled psychologically and God, in His mercy, always kept knocking, but I never opened the door to Him. 

Well into my forties, I was addicted to painkillers; there was a pleasure to be had when taking them, until I realised that place was a false reality.  Everything I was doing had a detrimental effect on me and I couldn’t stop it. I wasn’t ‘feeling’ or making real connections with people; life was effervescent, ebullient and all encompassing.  Confession, when I was low was when I knew I needed a different conversation. I realised I couldn’t sustain myself through external behaviours which, ultimately, became painful and detrimental.

But God, in his infinite wisdom, pulled me right back with His plan. He is the only thing that I have found that can give me any kind of sustenance, not acquisitions or attainment on a material level.  I was looking for a connection to His higher power and that journey began during my divorce.  I surrendered. I admitted I had no power or control and started to believe that I could live differently.

To help me become a Christian I was introduced to the Alpha Course by my manager, the hospital Chaplain, David.  There, I got to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour and asked for forgiveness for my sins.  I started to pray that He would come into my life …. and He answered my prayers and hasn’t stopped! I now give everything up to Jesus; I’m fascinated by Him! I move into the action of forgiveness and also forgiving myself. I forgive all the feelings that I hold; my anxieties, resentments that I’m not spiritual enough or worthy of His love, and let them go in a breath.  I begin to see Jesus illumine my mind and radiate loving light through my body and I sit filled with His joy.  In the areas I still feel disturbances, I breathe out that I don’t need to understand it, just give it up and let it go.

With Jesus, I’m much calmer now and more reflective, my relationships have substance and I live honestly in front of others. I recognise the impermanence and the irrelevance of anything not connecting to His delicious love; that everyone is deserving of. Now, I love the simplicity and purity of life going forward. When I feel insecure, I call on God’s light and bring myself into that place of loving.  His light radiates into the earth upon which I walk. And when I forget, I forgive that moment and choose to turn back to the loving again. It’s just that easy to return to.

The most valuable thing for me right now is continuing to grow and deepen my personal relationship with Him.

I am paying attention.
I have stopped running.