ANISA BUTT - TESTIMONIAL
I am very new to Christ, it's been a year and a half journey approximately getting to know Christianity is not about religion, but about relationship. My church in Mumbai has been significant in helping me develop this relationship. For me a few of my friends told me about this church, specifically. Although initially it was very sporadic. I could not attend every Sunday because of other commitments. Something really resonated when I was always there. When pastor Ryan spoke it really spoke to me. I used to feel many emotional pangs. I felt like the reality of who I was. Someone who did look happy and fine on the outside, but was not quite full or complete on the inside. I felt like even though I was a "good" person, in the generic way we may define good. I didn't feel like a good person. I felt I had done things wrong...made mistakes and that I was a slave to those mistakes. And I felt patterns being repeated again and again.
For me this has really been a process. I didn't go to church and immediately have an epiphany and change. It doesn't quite work like that. At least not for everyone. It took some time.
For me the end of 2017, to be precise I made a conscious decision of wanting to change things, and change the way I see things. When I returned to India after my London January trip they announced about the baptisms. I knew I was ready for that step. I can't quite describe it.
Jesus has spoken to me in dreams, and through situations. Through reading his word in the Bible I feel peace. In times when I want clarity I know I can pray. It doesn't matter where I am. I don't have to go to mosque or church or temple technically, I can pray on the bus, on the train, when I'm working...at home. I can pray in my mind. It doesn't have to be out loud all the time. I enjoy praying before sleeping. Because I sleep peacefully knowing I have reached out to my saviour who loves me.
The concept of being so loved by a Father was initially difficult to comprehend. I had never heard of such love before. The sacrifice Jesus made. On the cross, His Father had made with his son. To bear the sins of the world, is just too immense. Even saying this now, it's hard to really understand it. Could you and I do that? I don't think so but that's why we are the children, we are not Jesus. And though we aspire in our journey with Christ to be more and more like him, we can be close to him if we are obedient to his words. We are not perfect and yes we may continue sinning in some ways because it's hard to ever reach that kind of perfection, however we have been forgiven by the blood of the lamb. And how beautiful is that? That rather than striving for perfection we can rest in the fact that we are still loved despite of our imperfections.
I was born into an Asian family. And I don't want to really get into religion. I was taught beautiful values. But the God fearing aspect of religion drove me away from it. I lost the connection I had once,às an innocent child with God. And then in 2017 for me something beautiful happened. I found that again. I found peace in knowing that he is alive. He's there. And the Holy Spirit is all around us. That I can be, choose to be born again. And truly, it may sound crazy but I have been born again. It's a new life. It's a new way of love. And I know whatever I am going through I can just pray to this amazing Father who loves us. Who loves us sinners. This amazing Father will always be with us, like he always has been, but we just didn't know it.