I was born to staunch Roman Catholic parents, who were raised by their respective pious Roman Catholic parents. I was born into this religion. I grew up in a very liberal, busy city bustling with dynamic energy. In the midst of this over-populated fast-paced life, my home lie there in an area dominated by Catholic people. The church was just diagonally opposite my house. So a minute’s walk I’d say. I went to Catholic school which was opposite the church….so just another structure separated school from my home. That structure happened to be my maternal grandparent’s home where my brother and I spent our time when my parents went to work. That was our 9-5 den…subtracting the school hours, of course. So, you see. I never learned to travel because I never had the need to. The railway station was a walk-able 1 kilometer away. The bus stop was exactly opposite my house with grocery and meat stores just all around my home in every direction. My parish was insanely huge. Almost everyone knew everybody there. If you didn’t know each other…you probably heard of them at least. Now that we’ve established my entire world was 80% Catholic, I obviously always knew about Jesus, right? I attended all kinds of Christian prayer meetings all through Mumbai and beyond since childhood itself, prayer retreats, pilgrimages, weekly sessions etc. Yeah, yeah we’ve run the maze all in search of God, as a family hobby 😉 In the last seven years, I too went alone to weekly meetings to many different prayer groups seeking ‘the word of knowledge’. I was basically looking for a religiously-approved clairvoyant. Then, about five years ago, I decided to make it a more personal treasure hunt. Then, four years ago I made some drastic resolutions. I began my pursuit to discover God on an extremely personal level; I was no longer interested in learning about God. Somehow, I changed quite some bit in that process. Still somewhere down the depths of my selfish heart, I was not looking for Christmas gifts anymore; I was looking for Santa Claus and his little elves who make alllllllllllllllll those gifts, eh! 😉 I received a lot of messages and revelations through the years by innumerable spiritual mentors. They were always different messages, always something new to look forward to. I ignored many of the last warnings because I just couldn’t believe certain things were plausible. I had changed a lot by then. I hadn’t auditioned my new self to the world though. It was just within my personal space. By 2017 year-end, God decided to reveal the battle field to me. He had shielded me all through training camp. You know, all the drills and patrolling in the world can’t prep a soldier for a real war. When I managed to scrape though class, He unveiled a wee bit. He showed me the first battalion. That itself overwhelmed me. Slowly, but surely, He unveiled the whole damn army, each time – just enough that I could handle. He knows me better than I know myself, because at every stage I kept crying about how I didn’t have any more juice left in me. Well, war aint text book-like. It certainly isn’t as easy as point-and-shoot like the academy. You shoot, you get shot at. Even if you don’t shoot, you still get shot at. Either way, your’e dodging bullets. The good part is He didn’t skimp on the arms. During the war itself, He gave me a very thorough practical crash course, most of which my entire lineage of Catholic ancestors probably had no clue about. On-job training certainly is stressful. He gave me access to these high-tech arms, some defensive, some offensive. The ammunition was however based on my ability to faithfully follow instructions and restock. I had to keep going back to the source to replenish and recharge. You see individual soldiers don’t have an aerial view of the entirety of what’s going on. But the General at the back does. As a soldier, you follow instructions because you cannot rely on your own strength. You cannot even see the entire ruckus. Well, of course you can quiver, be overwhelmed and quit the army all-together or you can fight for your country, your territory in it’s time of need. In a democracy, that choice is completely yours.
Remember I mentioned above, over the years I received so many different messages by these mentors who have the word of knowledge. I mostly went looking for revelations, future, solutions etc. I have had the opportunity to connect with the most delightful mentors across the country and world too. Most of them are highly inaccessible, yet somehow I easily got through to innumerable spiritual directors. I rarely ever speak much; I just cut right to the chase – “do you have a message for me?” But, in the last two years, almost all of them gave me this one same message. Do you want to know what this message was and still is? I bet you’re imagining something on the lines of, ‘Ruelha, you’re going to be rich and famous’. Even, ‘Ruelha, you will die in the year wxyz’ or ‘Ruelha, you’re going to win a lottery soon’ would make me rejoice and twirl. But, you know what I get to hear? When your’e a soldier in battle, you probably want to hear things like, ‘hey, the enemy is retreating’ or ‘we have some new age nuclear weapons that your’e gonna have access to’ or ‘don’t worry, the air force has you covered, you won’t have to move a finger’ or ‘ good job soldier, there’s nobody left in the opposition anymore’. That would be priceless to hear. I can think of a million other messages I’d like to hear. But, do you know what I got/get 75% of the times from just about every source? “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” It’s not even some custom-made sentence. It’s a scriptural verse from the book of Hebrews in chapter 13, verse 5. When I hear these words time-and-again, I just roll my eyeballs skywards shirking as I chuckle sardonically. I don’t ask for messages anymore. I know the message God has for me. And in all honesty, I didn’t really need Him to voice it. Sure, it’s reassuring, but I have so many other questions I’d like answers to. I guess He has His ways, eh? 😉