Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In Search of Myself: Digging Up Roots

Posting has been slow here, and the writing has not been flowing. I have been distracted between the responsibilities of life and dreaming about the future. Every time I sit down to write, it seems something gets in the way. 

Kids need feeding.

Cat needs attention.

Meals need to be prepared.

Emails need to be answered.

Minds apparently need to wander.

Social media creeps into my writing time.

It seems like the days just blend together and I am getting nowhere. Having gone this way before, I know it isn't true. I know it is a mirage that makes me want to stick my head in the sand. CS Lewis said it best when he said, 

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, 
but when you look back, everything is different..."

While each day seems the same, struggling against the clock, my journey over the last couple of years has been anything but stagnant. God has been connecting me with some wonderful women over this time and nudging me to open myself to some new adventures. 

One leg of that adventure includes speaking about my conversion and my journey to/with Christ with a larger audience. I have always felt that my story was nothing special. At best it was a very long-winded and winding road. This is why I have particular difficulties in keeping those conversion story posts coming! Just this weekend, after I shared my story at auctioneer speeds so I didn't bore the world, I joked that I was still working on coming up with an elevator moment that more concisely encapsulated my experience. One young woman raised her hand, and with a giant smile on her face told me not to change a thing, but rather just to push all the buttons on the elevator because every bit of the story was beautiful and captivating. I'm going to work on believing that . . . and only telling my story in giant skyscrapers.

Another new opportunity that presented itself recently was the possibility of writing a book. After a very preliminary conversation and meeting with Heidi in acquisitions, we agreed that the timing isn't right and the story isn't ready. While there is a story there, it is still brewing. Her main advice was to seek out MY story - what is it about my unique blend of experiences and identities that make my story powerful for the glory of God?

As I struggled to answer that question, I left that conversation (and a few others recently) feeling  as though I wasn't Hindu enough to tell a good conversion story, that I'm not Indian enough to present a compelling story of transformation into something new. I just felt not enough, though I knew that wasn't what was being said. 

During that portion of the conversation, I did have an epiphany about my struggles in telling my story. Heidi helped me to reach a conclusion that I have been avoiding for many-a-moon. It is not that I am not Hindu enough or Indian enough. It is simply that in seeking to belong to the world I grew up in, I rejected both without ever claiming them. They made me stick out like a sore thumb, so I ignored them, buried them, and walked away. 

While finding Christ has helped me to understand my deepest identity in a powerful way, I have been holding back part of myself from the light of His transformation. I used to recoil at the word convert. Why? I didn't want to admit I once did not belong. I shy away from the description of myself as Indian-American. Why? In my head, I am simply a red-blooded American because I was born and raised here just like everyone else. 

That's the thing, though, isn't it? We are none of us "just like everyone else." God did not arbitrarily create me with an Indian ancestry to be born in the United States. There is purpose in that. God did not arbitrarily have me raised in a Hindu household only to feel like none of it fit. There is purpose in that. To discover that purpose, I now recognize I have to go back to the beginning. While I have run away from my Hindu and Indian roots, I am coming to realize that if I do not understand them, if I do not embrace them as part of my story, then I am not allowing God to use all of me for His purpose.

I feel more strongly than ever that there is a story to be told. Now I just have to hit pause and rewind to see where to begin. I hope you will be patient and take this journey with me. 

If there are pieces of my life and story that particularly intrigue you, please - ask! Your interest, your questions, your prodding may be just what it takes for me to keep on this path. Thank you for getting me here, and I hope you will walk with me in this next chapter!

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  1. Yo- this is crazy. This weekend, when we were talking and you said something about how your 'conversion' just isn't all that interesting, I was so surprised, because I find it fascinating. your series on this blog has been totally captivating to me. I can't wait to see how God connects you to your story and how you continue to use that story to bring yourself, your family, and others closer to the person of Christ.

  2. What I know of your story so far is captivating as that lady said, and I look forward to reading the details, all the twists and turns, that brought you into a relationship with God. He made you YOU for a purpose, and those things that make your story unique should be shared all for His glory.

  3. I think your story has great impact. After reading your post, I see clearly God's hand in prompting us to reach out to you to share with us on Thursday! He is giving you affirmation!

  4. You know what's cool? The more we look at all of the details in our life, the more we see how God has worked in and through events and people. I always feel like those moments are little pieces of Heaven, when we will be able to understand more clearly what God brought us through on Earth. I love how you want to embrace your roots; God uses every single breath, every single moment to create your unique, fascinating story. So, I am really excited to see how He has done things in your life! (Also, ever since some college friends have gotten me hooked on Indian movies, I have been fascinated with Indian culture and its religious background. And I've never ever known of a Hindu convert, so I'm quite interested to learn more about your story!)

    1. Thanks, AnneMarie! I can already feel His hand at work as I look back on what it meant to be raised Hindu . . . at least what it was for our family. What is your favorite Indian movie? My husband loves Bollywood flicks, and I'll sometimes indulge him. :)

  5. I can't wait to hear the rest. Blessings and prayers for you on this journey.

  6. Great post and I love the revelation at the end! I can't wait to hear more!

  7. I'm so excited to read more of your story, especially after you hit rewind and go back to the beginning! I've struggled a lot with what to share of my own conversion story and have put it off for a long time (and continue to) so I especially look forward to reading about your journey!