My name is Shalu and this is my testimony of how I came to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour after coming from very conservative Hindu background.
It all started when my Aunt told my mother about the love of Christ to console her after their father died in 1986. My mother, who was struggling at the time, in a new country with three children and an emotionally and physically abusive husband, accepted Christ into her heart. She knew that Jesus was her only hope for peace and joy in her future. After years of facing opposition from my father, by the grace and mercy of God, my family, including my father, came to know and serve the Lord by the time I was 7 years old. I was now living in a Christian household that never missed a Sunday service, with members of my family playing important roles in the church ministry and community.
In all this time that my parents and older siblings were finding their identity in the church and in God, I just kind of got lost in the mix. There was a lot of anger and resentment that had festered watching my father’s behavior in my early years that led me to express my feelings in an aggressive and confrontational way. Though I craved acceptance and love, everything just came out in a way that left me isolated and labelled a problem child. My parents couldn’t understand why I was not like my older siblings who were talented and popular. Left untreated and misunderstood, my eccentric childhood personality became a rebellious and condescending one in my adolescence.
By the time I got to high school, I learned how to be clever and funny, which got me a lot of attention and popularity. So much so, that it became like a drug and I couldn’t get enough of it. I had absolutely no sense of commitment to my education and no fear of authority. I was brash and sassy, and loved the image I had created for myself. No one messed with me because my tongue was sharp and my entourage was just as fierce. In all this time, there was only one thing I feared; God.
I never had a real understanding of who Jesus was and the extent and importance of the sacrifice He made for me, I just knew that He existed and I felt like I had disappointed Him far beyond repair. So I stuck with what I knew and did everything I could to maintain my persona, but I had horrible guilt and shame that consumed me when I was alone. My fear of being used or hurt was so great that I had completely become something I never really wanted to be. My relationship with my parents was hostile and bitter, my siblings and I were hateful towards each other and I didn’t care one bit because I was high school royalty. Well, reality hit me like a ton of bricks when it was the last semester before graduation, and everyone was excited about prom and the universities they were applying for; and I had barely just earned 19.5 credits and could only graduate if I had completed 30.
Between my last year of high school to about the age 25, I just drifted with no real vision or sense of purpose for my life. My parents were so disappointed they just checked out of my life and the only friends I had were just as deep in the gutter as I was. I had to go so far down that the only place left to look was up, and when I did, I finally noticed Jesus Christ’s hands reaching for me. I asked God to forgive me for how I had been leading my life and begged Him to fight my battles from that day forward. I verbally asked Him to “soften my heart” and to change me into a new, pure vessel ready to receive from Him and Him alone.
Since then, my life has never been the same. My God took me from the miry clay and set me upon a rock and transformed me into a living, singing testimony of His goodness. He turned my mourning into dancing and took not some but all my sorrows and gave me joy, peace, purpose and love. I am now 29 years old and happily married to my best friend and husband Jey, and we have two beautiful little girls; Selah and Victoria. I am also currently finishing my first year at Canada Christian College doing my Bachelors in Christian Counselling and Psychology. To God be the glory!
-Shalu (Nizalinee) Chettiar