Where He Leads

by Shelby D’Souza

I am a cradle catholic and my parents are Sunday mass goers. To me, life in Christ consisted of attending mass and saying the rosary. In addition, I journeyed with a community and also immersed myself in many church activities. When I first heard about SOW back in 2015 before heading into university, I thought it was a great opportunity but felt like I had to give up a lot to attend. A big part of me was not comfortable with giving up my time.

As years went by, I continued to busy myself with school, work, church ministry, and friendships. I was always trying to find something to do and felt empty when I was alone and had no plans.

There was a hole inside of me and I was constantly trying to fill it but nothing would fit. When I saw the registration for SOW last year, there was a nagging feeling but I pushed it aside. As the registration closing date got closer, I decided that I did not want to have that “what if” thought about coming into SOW anymore, and finally gave Jesus a shot.

Shelby (left)

The first week of SOW was challenging for me. I felt like a fish out of water and I really missed home. I was comfortable with my routine and way of life back home, and being here with so many people made the adjustment hard. In addition, I was also holding on to feelings about not belonging and wondering if it had been a mistake to come. Upon sharing this with my cell group leader, she told me that I should not be asking whether I should be here. Instead, she encouraged me to make the most of the eight weeks since I was here. This helped me to slowly break down my walls and learn to be okay in the discomfort of the school.

As the weeks went by, Jesus revealed many truths of His love for me, but also hurts which I had suppressed. It was very difficult for me as I did not want to revisit certain things. I thought I was in a good place before coming here, but I realized that it was what I wanted to believe.

The inner healing session was very significant for me. Even though I was very upset and hurt by God for revealing these past hurts and wounds in my life, there was a shift in my attitude because I realized that I did not actually want to be carrying the weight of this burden anymore. A lot of these wounds and hurts came from my parents. It was very hard for me to accept and forgive myself for even thinking about these hurts because I know that my parents had sacrificed a lot for me. But I think God was using these hurts to reveal to me that He is the perfect Father and that I should be surrendering this baggage to Him.

More testimonies on the love of God the Father:

As I think about my time in SOW, it is really grace which led me here. The word that comes to me is “progress”. I had a lot of expectations about how I needed to be fixed by the end of SOW, but I have slowly come to realize that God will not be done with me during these eight weeks. He is continually still choosing to work through me and it is up to me to allow Him. As much as I know how great God’s love is for me, I still struggle to claim the truths that He speaks in my life. However, SOW has taught me that I need to choose daily to cast out the lies of the evil one, and hold firm in His truths.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is constantly challenging us and calling us out of our areas of comfort and familiarity to go into the unknown. Will you dare to go where He leads?


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