Picture Aman Bhargava
Growing up in India, I never liked school. Studying, learning and writing exams were boring. Despite this, I made it through my teenage years and life was good. I married the love of my life (Marina), was given two sons (Sheldon and Joshua) and then moved to Canada for a better life. But everything I had been through in my years in India haunted me. I grew up in the performance-oriented settings of home and school, So there was not much love, joy and peace in my life.
In 1998, our whole family became “Christians” at Catch The Fire Toronto. We began to learn and grow. Though Jesus already paid for all my blessings, every part of me continued to strive to find the joy, love and peace he promised.Being a performance-oriented person, I believed I had to invest time and money in order to get something back. So in 2004 I signed up for the month-long Leaders School of Ministry to learn how to acquire blessings from the Lord. I was looking for steps and tools to follow. So, even though we were told not to take notes I had a pad and pen, taking notes at every session.
At one of the sessions, we were asked to spend time resting in the presence of the Lord and to wait to hear what God was saying. I took my place and promptly fell asleep. I began to have a vision of myself as a new-born baby lying beside my mother and I am asking my mother to hold me, but she is just staring at me. As I woke up, God began to reveal that as a child I did not receive love from my mother. Looking back at my life, I realized my mother had never hugged me or said that she loved me. While, I could recall my dad playing with me, I had no recollection of bonding with my mom.
So I gathered some of the leaders, who prayed and walked me through the steps of forgiveness, releasing my mom and asking God to replace those lost years of love. Though I felt awkward weeping in front of a woman, tears of pain and anger started flowing out of me, and I felt the anguish of wondering why my mom did not love me, hug me, and say the words “ I love you, son.” Forty-two years of anger and pain began to come out of me, yet I could feel the wave of God’s love at the same time.
Each day after that, letting go of pain and anger became easier and my heart was more receptive to experience the love of Father God. It was like a stinking layer of onion was coming off my heart. In return I was filled with the fragrance of God’s love.
Some years later, on a trip to India my mom told me that prior to my birth, she had given birth to two set of twins. The first set lived for six months before dying of measles. The next set of twins were stillborn. So when I was born, my mom chose to ignore me. Thinking she would lose me, she refused to love me because she feared she would be hurt again. When I was around six months old, my parents offered me at the altar of a Catholic church. They petitioned God for my life, and they vowed to make me a Catholic priest.
When I heard this, I was heartbroken for my mom and myself. Everything in me had felt her rejection, but at that moment the Holy Spirit was right there, walking me through the healing process of letting go of the past and looking to the new relationship with God as a loving father.
At the School of Ministry the healing process began for me, undoing the hurt that was seared into me for 42 years. It was the perfect place for me: a safe environment formed in an atmosphere of love and the expectation that God will never leave us the same as we were. And that short time in the school imparted something that I continue to carry with me.
P.S. My mom is 80 years old now, and she is so proud of me. My mom and dad dedicated me to the Lord in 1962. Decades later, my mom has lived to see the fulfillment of that dedication as I now serve as a full-time pastor in the city of Mississauga.