Many years passed since those beautiful dreamy encounters with my Lord Jesus from my childhood between 4 years and 9 years.
10 years passed in fashion and frolic.
I spent life without another thought of God.Wordly, fashions, movies, novels, Telugu literature English novels and friends occupied my whole life.
But in the heart of hearts I was clinging to the name of Jesus once in a while.
I have exam phobia, so my mother used to take us to church now and then to pay her oath of some amount in oftry box which she owed for the success of her Higher grade teacher training exam. So I developed a habit of praying before each exam and used to take an oath that I would come to church if He helped me to get through the exam successfully.
So praying before the exam and offering some amount in the church became my lifelong habit.
Once I finished my owe no more church.
Thus I remember i went to church along with my friends to Lutheran Church in Guntur, and once with my mother to zion prayer hall where Br. Bhaktha singh gave the word of God we participated in communion too believing that we love Christ, that’s all.
“Leela you believe in Jesus Christ, stop being friendly with so and so , I say this for your good only. Pray to Him and get rid of those friendships’ ‘~ My friend Salma Siraj admonished me once I was eating lunch in her home. It struck my heart at once. I immediately went into other room knelt down and claimed victory in the BLOOD OF JESUS in tears.I promised Him”Lord Jesus here after I won’t be friendly with such and such people, I claim victory in Thine blood” ~
That’s all my life changed my concentration from waste friendships to studies.
I chose only two friends Radha, and Ruth, throughout my degree studies. Radha tried to inject idol worship into me through her deep friendship but in vain.To please her I went to idol worship places but I felt a lot of darkness pursuing me, though I did not worship those stones. Disappointment and depression are constantly chasing me. We both spent time reading Telugu literature discussing various subjects.
Ruth tried to invite me to a college prayer meet to which I reluctantly attended twice or thrice during three years of my degree years.
I still remember how I teased her for her dressing habits etc.”Ruth you dress up like an old woman. You don’t see movies. How will you get knowledge? You don’t read fiction novels, how will you know the world ? You don’t like to come to picnics. What joy do you have in life?”
I used to pity her a lot but in my heart of hearts I had a surprise for her life pattern and pitied her.
You will be surprised to know how God used her in my life later. The names I mentioned in this chapter are very important, they played an important role in my conversion.
Because of her persuasion and Margaret, my senior, I went to college prayer meetings twice during my whole three years of study in ASD Women’s college Kakinada.Mrs Swarna latha Home science lecturer used to conduct those meetings once in a week. These two girls used to coax me to attend these meetings but Radha used to pull my hand standing beside me objecting to me attending those meetings. To please her and to go to movies I used to give some lame plea to escape those meetings,
I heard Ms Swarna Latha giving her testimony in one of those three meetings. I remember her saying “I lived a dirty life against Jesus. But I set right with Him and He forgave me and gave me a new life. He forgave all my sins and told me that I am forgiven, my life changed now I am His child” She spoke for half an hour about her confessions but I was struck in heart and remembered these few lines only. The first thought I got was ,”Oh this lady must be a very good person, that’s why God spoke to her and forgave her. Will God forgive a sinful person like me?”
This was the first time that I realized that I am sinful to call upon the name of Jesus Christ.In the next meeting they asked us to pray one by one. Which left me in utter confusion. I did not like it at all. So I stopped to go to those college meetings. Margaret used to beg me to come to the meeting week after week but Radha and myself stealthily escaped her successfully.Ruth and Margaret, (Br. Edwards’ sister) pursued me to attend a sunday worship in police lines, I went there Br. Vijaya kumar was giving the word of God,the people are different from the people I used to attend Lutheran Church in my school days in Guntur.
Once I remembered very well when I attended there with a big Bounded Bible, kept it carefully in my lap and listened to the Pastor’s message. Though I did not follow a single word and was confused by the congregation standing suddenly to sing the last stanza of the hymn, I was engulfed with the presence of God. I was a fun loving friendly type girl. But even after the worship I was reverently into the church compound, but seeing my friends chit chatting and laughing even in the church campus made me uncomfortable, whereas I felt the awe of the presence of God. I used to think ‘How can these people laugh like this in a church compound in the presence of God? But for me I cannot. I kept quiet till we reached our home, not even uttering one single sentence though I was a chatterbox, otherwise. Soon after I kept the Bible on the table I used to feel relieved and started to be myself funny and joking talking non stop. But in this worship place I found people talking softly, their way of behaviour was quite different. I felt the Holy presence of God surrounded me.
I was introduced to two medicos Dr. Lalitha Aseerwadham, Srilankan, and Dr Mercy .(Later I came to know that she is none other than my friend, classmate Miryam’s sister.) They stay adjacent to my house in Rangaraya Medical College ladies hostel. So we three walked back home after the worship. I am mentioning these names of these people to tell you how God arranges every person in our lives to woo us to love Him back. Once I left the campus I as usual chit chatted with them but their conversation was quite different. I invited them to my home, my mom as usual served them some savories but they nibbled them unlike my devouring free friends. When my dad came home he used to be friendly with my friends, joking and making them laugh loudly, but these two medico responded quietly and gently. I found their nature quite contrary to my other friends and acquaintances differently. Wondering why they are like this, I bid farewell to them. But they insisted that I should come to their hostel prayer meeting. Reluctantly but out of curiosity to see the inside of the medical college I agreed and attended twice. I don’t remember much but the way they received me and prayed was very serene and gentle.
Later I avoided them completely. Neither I attended the Sunday worship nor hostel meetings. I completely avoided them. I once pursued my sister and mom to attend the police line meeting. My younger sister left her new pair of chappals outside the worshipping place which were stolen. With utter disappointment they returned home and never stepped into the church again during our stay in Kakinada.
Meanwhile dad was trying to get some marriage alliances for me. Once guests came to our home to see me. I don’t know what made me tell my dad, I called him out to the back yard and told him in tears, “Dad I don’t want to get married now. I want to do PG, and work for three years and then marry please, dad” I was 20 years old. He respected my wishes.
I was good at studies. Ruth failed in English subject in 2nd year BA. She used to come to my home to get some guidance to appear for the exam. I used to help her.
For me the exam means very studious study timings. I stop all outings, all friends, all songs from radio, I used to study from 6 pm to 6 am, and take rest for a few hours, take breakfast, and bath, at at 9 am start studies and continue till 2 pm eat lunch, take rest till 5 pm take bath once again with some light food and jump into study.
As there were holidays for the supplementary exam of Ruth she used to come to my home, but she used to insist on praying for a few minutes before commencing studies. I was wondering about seeing this puny short girl so much insisting in prayer. I used to pity her for wasting time in prayer instead of preparing for the exam. She used to read a few lines from the bible and used to pray for a minute.
One day she read from Rom 3:10-12
“There is no one righteous, no even one; there is no one who seeks God. All ahv turned away, they have all together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Continuation)