Simran, 22, Darjeeling, India
“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” – John 14:18
I was one day old when my mom passed away; three years later, my father left me with my grandmother. My grandma loved me and took great care of me, but I couldn’t shake the emptiness; I longed for the love of a mother and father. As soon as I was old enough to understand my mom’s death, I blamed myself for it. I also figured that I was being cosmically punished for it, which, I thought, explained my many hardships. I had really low self esteem, so I kept to myself throughout most of my youth.
In elementary school, my grandma encountered financial troubles and sent me to live with my aunt. It was there that I was molested. I was 8 years old. The abuse broke me and completely rid me of all will to live. I spent days and nights crying in the bathroom, but I told no one.
After five years of battling anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, I decided to move back in with my grandma. That’s when things changed.
One morning, I woke up to a blinding light. It was so bright, I couldn’t even open my eyes. I then heard someone call my name: “Simran.” It was a gentle, soothing voice; I’d never heard it before. I wasn’t a believer of any sort, but in that moment, something inside of me shifted. I knew that I’d entered the presence of God.
A few days later, I got baptized in a Catholic church. I was overjoyed; I thought that my past, and all of the depression, was behind me. But, something was missing; I was in a church, but like many Catholics, I was not hearing or reading Scripture. Knowing that God was real wasn’t enough; without the Word, I remained vulnerable. Sure enough, at age 17, I got addicted to pornography. I tried so hard to get out of it, but I couldn’t. With this bondage came all of my old thoughts. I was again plagued by shame, loneliness, and a sense of abandonment.
Then, I went on a church retreat. There, finally, I heard the Word of God. When I heard John 14:18 — I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” — my life changed. I dove deep into the Word of God. The more I read, the more I healed. My knowledge of the truth of Jesus’ triumph over sin and death enabled me to walk in the Spirit, instead of the flesh. By His grace, I was freed from the grips of depression and pornography. By choosing the path of repentance, I received the grace of forgiveness.
This life of faith is a life of peace. As He promises in John 14:18, He did not leave me as an orphan; with his agape love, Christ filled my voids, healed my hidden wounds, and made me whole. He even helped me forgive both my father and the man who molested me. As Scripture says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Indeed, the old Simran is long gone.
Today, I am a strong and victorious woman in Christ, a worshipper, a youth leader, and a preacher. And above all, I am a daughter of Christ. Because of His love, I am more confident and joyous than ever. To anyone who has struggled as I have, know this: there is hope, joy, and love in Jesus.