2020 — THE YEAR OF YOUR SALVATION
Friends and relatives used to talk about their trials and tribulations and the journey down the path to salvation. Some used to narrate their experience of sending a prayer request to a church of their choice to seek forgiveness for their sins. I was a believer but not a staunch one. I had come across the term soteriology or the doctrine of salvation and also heard about the seven doctrines of salvation but it didn’t kindle an interest in me to delve deeper into understanding their etymology. My belief was limited to occasional visits to my local church and attending mass once in a blue moon. To make matters worse, I was going through a rough patch in my life and my faith in the Almighty was dwindling with each passing day.
THE STORY OF MY ADDICTION
I was a 19-year-old teenager who had just joined the college as a freshman. A friend introduced me to drugs at his birthday party. Initially, I refused to be a part of the crowd, but my curiosity to taste the unknown got the better of me. Soon, I was a regular customer and knew most of the suppliers in town. What started as a “fun” thing became a question of life and death for me. Deep down, I knew that I was on the path to self-destruction, but the lure of drugs and being on a high made me go back on my promises to get out of the addiction.
I used to be a straight-A student in school; slowly, my grades in college started slipping and it seemed that I would either drop out or be forced out. I had become so desperate that nothing could stop me or keep me away from the addiction. My meagre pocket money was blown away in a few days and I was in dire need of cash to fund my addiction. I started stealing money from my parents and borrowing from friends and relatives. My parents and friends noticed that I had withdrawn into a shell and avoided everyone known to me. They tried talking me out of it but every time I tried to retrace my steps it proved to be a futile attempt. My last hope of becoming sober at a rehabilitation centre, too, did not yield any positive results. I became the topic of discussion at family gatherings and even my best friends kept away from me. I was slowly sinking into an abyss and it seemed like I had reached a point of no return. But life had other plans for me.
HOW A SIMPLE ONLINE PRAYER REQUEST TRANSFORMED MY LIFE
A distant relative came to visit us and learned of my plight. She suggested that I should send a prayer request to a church I thought would help me seek salvation. She said that as I didn’t like going out anywhere, I could send an online prayer request to seek deliverance from my sins. Also, my parents were not ready to let me travel to a distant place and pray at a church as they didn’t trust me anymore. This seemed to be a feasible solution and I agreed to seek the blessings of the Almighty. After all, this was my last resort to get my life back on track.
I surfed the Internet to send a prayer and chose a church in the Holy Land where I thought my prayers would be answered. The process of sending an online prayer request involved a few easy steps. The best part was I would receive a digital photograph sent to my home or I could receive a video of my prayer request via email. If I wanted to send a candle request, it would be done on my behalf.
THE TURNING POINT
A couple of weeks later, I came across an online group that had members like me with similar stories of their struggles to get rid of their addiction. There were counselling sessions and most importantly, the counsellors were people who had won the battle against drug abuse themselves. They were people like me who had undergone the turmoil of seeing their near and dear ones abandon them in their darkest hour. I decided to join the group and undergo therapy to come out of my condition.
I rediscovered my belief in the Supreme Power. I felt that when all was lost Christ chose to lead me down the path of salvation. He embraced me when there was no one to realize my pain. The Supreme Power blessed and healed me when I had lost all hope.
It takes us a while to realize that we are not alone and that God alone can deliver us from our sins. I have been fortunate to experience his Divine Grace and turn my life around. If travelling is a hindrance, try sending an online prayer request to calm your mind and seek His forgiveness. A prayer request can travel a long way in cementing your bond with the Eternal Power and providing you solace in the darkest hour of your lives. May the year 2020 lead you to light and show you the path to salvation.