India (part 3): Encouragement   10 comments

I have many Indians that are dear friends to me and whom I love, so I was sad to go to Kolkata (Calcutta) for only 5 days and under such tensions.  It would be wonderful to spend a month or two there.  Of course, when I speak of my own sense of failure in India, my friends there should remember that “success” and “failure” are relative terms, and in my youthful idealism I had highly unreasonable expectations, so I was setting myself up for inevitable “failure.”

In the end, my impossible expectations and sense of failure turned to a blessing for me, because it forced me to see that my sense of worth was tied to success, and healing could only come by freeing myself from that crippling deceit.  Folks reassured me that I was indeed successful,  but when they tried so hard to prove my successfulness, it only made me think that success must be a crucial support to my worth.  For my own well-being I could not listen to such words, because I had to establish my worth apart from what I did or did not accomplish.

On this trip my renovated perspective on grace had largely freed me from this emotional success trap, so I was able to take pleasure in the good things God had done through me in India.  Whether or not this passed the bar of “success” really did not matter to me any more.  As I walked the streets again and all the old feelings flooded back in, I realized that, however misguided I had been, I was also very sincere and genuine while living there, and I saw evidence that this had been used by God in the lives of many.

Some children from the new branch school

Friday was a very special day for me because I went to visit the school which David Nallathambi, Hemlota Das and I had started together in Taldi.  I believe they have some 350 indigent students who would otherwise be uneducated and trapped in the generational cycle of poverty.  This year they started a branch school in a nearby village to facilitate the education of 5 and 6 year old children who were walking 2 miles through the mud to come to school.  Young men in Taldi held a special program for me of singing and sharing, each one rising to relate how dramatically our presence in Taldi had transformed their lives.  It was a huge blessing for me.

Young Taldi boys

Thanks to all of you who have supported this work through the years.

Posted August 29, 2011 by janathangrace in Personal

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10 responses to “India (part 3): Encouragement

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  1. A timely lesson! And count me in the column that sees you as a success. 🙂

  2. Dear Kent,

    It is so heart-warming to hear you speak fondly about your time in India. I couldn’t care less about ‘success’. And I agree with you – it is a death-trap – to run after success. I have learned in all these years of being a christian that success does not matter to God one bit – faithfulness does. I am among many Indians who have been tremendously blessed by your time in India. I haven’t stopped to thank God for you, whenever I remember you. God bless you and Kimberly. I would love to meet her someday and tell her that she’s got a wonderful husband 🙂

    God bless you. If God so wills, we will meet again someday this side of heaven. If not, then definitely on the other side 🙂 You are always remembered very fondly by us here 🙂

  3. Dear brother Kent,

    It is indeed nice to hear from you and your words experience. There is no great blessing than the blessing of having good friends by God. You are having many good friends who have been praying for your good family. I heard that you will visit to Kol soon and we love to see you and your better-half.

  4. My sense of worth has been tied to success since the day I was born…..certain I am not the only one to have this expectation placed upon them, as well. Because I did not fit the role of being most successful, play the part asigned to me to attain family “graces, support, love, etc”, and rejected this because it was tied to what I could, or could not do, I was deemed an outcast, lost my family, my family inheritance, etc. Had I received a job I had nearly received for a big company, I would have been nose to nose with these same people who play their part, but would not have known in myself how to love them….I still do not know. When our parent’s and brother’s, sister’s did anything for the other, there was an expectation expected in return. I chose to do without in many ways. Related to Cindarella very well as a child. Really had hoped I was Sleeping Beauty. Today, I prefer to live and speak the truth.

    In addition to sexual abuse from my brother’s as a child, their friend’s, and emotional abuse from my “genious” father, left me very little options in my mind in the end for ways to move forward as an adult. All advances of men who were interested in me were deemed worthless and as “garbage” instead of this possibly being God’s way to move forward. Had bitterness toward all men because of what I learned from birth to adulthood from my brothers and my own father. Being young, age 18 to 25 made relationships much easier to attain at this time. Wondered at that time if a marriage to men who said they loved me would have lasted a lifetime and realize they may not have because I could never bring myself to tell them the truth of what happened to me from the start. Trusting others has always been my biggest hurdle in life yet before the end only found myself trusting the wrong people. Have seriously struggled to survive for 20 years now.

    One such person I got involved with was a man who after we became pregnant, abandoned me and went on to build his own dreams and whom is very successful today with another wife and children too. Was left pregnant, homeless, attending college (until a week before my child’s birth), no job after work study was completed because I had no way to go back to school once the child was born, and went to live with a Christian family whom I never met in my life because this was my only option. Had this couple not taken me into their home prior to my child’s birth there is no telling where I would’ve ended up. Had asked my two sisters prior to my child’s birth if they would take Guardianship for my child if something happened to me and they both said, no. My mother, and two sisters talked to me, or would meet occasionally over the 20 years thereafter when I made the effort to go see them. Did not see any of my three brothers unless there were family get togethers, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. In the end I see their value is tied to their successes and this paid them money in the end, but that is all they have aside from their grandchildren.

    Had I made millions – received the job I came so close to receiving, I would not have had my child, or much of what I brought on myself as result of the choice to raise them on my own. Turning my relationship around with the people who were supposed to be the closest to me in life – blood, is my greatest focus today, I cry to Jesus Christ and God the Father to save me.

    • So sorry for the way life has battered you. There are many others who can empathize with what you have been through, but like you, most have been hurt too deeply to share freely with others, which leaves everyone feeling all alone in their life’s journey. I hope you find some few trustworthy people to share your heart with.

  5. Appreciate your condolences. Did I not find a trustworthy source here? God will work no matter who I tell my story to.

    Have talked with others too. Know some who have had worse happen to them and justice was brought to their violator’s by their being put in prison, etc. Being hurt deeply must be removed by talking freely about it as far as I am concerned. Talking with others will never be able to remove what happened. Hiding these violations, abuses, and lies for decades only kept me in the same pit and I was never able to see them for what they were, or who I am in spite of them. Parts of me seemed to die over the years, but God has given me the ability to rise again.

    Have myself committed horrible sins as a result of my life experiences (don’t know how much better I would have been had these violations, abuses not happened to me) for which I have asked God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Praise God, for Jesus Christ sacrifice! Have known for a very long time I am to be the one to choose how I will respond and God’s grace kept me from doing the same, or worse to those who have offended me. I am no longer fearful today. I also choose not to retaliate, respond likewise, or abuse myself as a result. Those who abused me won’t do it ever again, as well. Doesn’t mean something else horrible may not happen to me, but this time I will have a different response because I am an adult and know I am now capable of handling whatever it is. God will allow what He will. Understanding this in spite of what happened to me is difficult. – For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jer 29:1, NIV). Maybe this means heaven for me.

    Have granted forgiveness to my offenders and today work through getting the pain and bitterness off my hands. Thank you, for reading and responding.

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