A new story from By His Grace
Life. This is your first time listening. Thank you so much for joining us. This podcast is now being and listen to all across the world and I just WanNa take a moment before we get into today's episode to thank you so much for listening that it really means the world to me and I would appreciate you taking time to subscribe and leave a rating and review on Itunes to help other people find the podcast. Thank you so much watch. Welcome to another episode of by His grace. Today I am with my friend. Shelly Sang Shelly. Welcome to the PODCAST. Cast thank you here. Thank you so shelly till my guess a little bit about yourself. Sure sure Well My name is shelly seeing I grew up in Canada and I was raised in the Sikh religion. It is an north Indian religion. It's about five hundred years old and it combines elements An influences assist from Hinduism and this Sufi branch of its farm However if you speak to a Sikh in general they will always tell you how a unique we are and how distinct the religion and culture is like most other eastern religions? It's a culture where the culture and religion really closely intertwined and so the concept of of identity is really formed in the collectivist type of culture. And so I'm just someone who happened to collide with the greatest of Jesus and my life is transformed. Absolutely you know once we come come in contact with Jesus we are radically transformed. But you mentioned something a collective culture. What does that mean is? I'm not familiar with that term short. You're still in North America. Our culture and our values are very individualistic. And so we're very independent. We are driven people people on but we love our personal space In collectivist cultures The the concept is based on community. And so I generally is based on community and therefore shame and honor play a huge role. Yeah and that's we're going to talk about. Today is finding grace in the shame on our culture. So what would you tell me about your journey. Money there. Sure so in my case The first person that came to faith in my family was my mother and so being a female from ashamed honor culture that where as a big step of faith for her she had someone witnessed to her in Canada and she instantly and she began witnessing to me and my siblings. It wasn't a very clear cut process for me. I had a people in university. Start giving me books about Jesus and so I read a book about Jesus that triggered my first dream and so it was a confirmation of what she was trying to communicate to me was in fact true am and so I was a very liberal person. I I believed in all religions and the end so the concept of God just being one and being one way was was very surprising and and very challenging for me and But I was willing to go to church and tried to understand and More about Jesus. If so what happened with me was I didn't really Have a an interest going to disciple and because of that I didn't have a good foundation of the Gospel. I understood that God was real. NFL challenged by it. But it did not know how to apply any aspect of Christianity to practical life and therefore I made a lot of mistakes on the way. And that's kind of why I WANNA talk to people about this. Non recalled culture just want to encourage people to know that the Gospel that they carry carries power in having a Ho spirit in the having. The word of God is enough to reach out to people who look different. -Ly who may be a CO worker a neighbor abor or Someone they just meet along their journey on people are empty and they are hungry for the truth and and so a lot of people in the shame honor cultures. They really look like they're doing well but in my story I up with that that facade Assad a of a perfect life on the outside but I was struggling with depression anxiety suicidal tendencies and university Sydney and so all of that was tearing me apart on the inside because they didn't have a foundation of identity. So tell me about your the dream that you had sure it. So I had a series of dreams and to the first one was I had Catholic Catholic friend and he gave me a book about a Muslim woman who came to Jesus in the testimony of her story and so it it talked opt about how she was wealthy and she had chosen Jesus and it was based in the country focused on on and so it was easy for me to relate to this woman because when she was a woman and she was going against this culture is religion to to follow a totally different path. And so I read the book and ahead the I dream and all I remember was this That walked away knowing what was real was in the book but it was also what my mother was trying to convey to me was real. Oh in so I had no doubt after that but I still was stop Kerr couple of years in a mode of. I don't know what to do with this truth. Gasso trying to process that and figure out what following Jesus looks like so for those who are listening. Who'd dude don't understand the shame on our culture? Can you explain that a little bit more. You sure so because in our family values matter so much in the shame and honor culture if you make one mistake it brings shame to the entire family really In so for example if a child doesn't achieve a certain level of education that brings shame came If they marry the wrong person that can bring shame in so people tend to blame the parents in so even even parents feel shame. And so there's a high level of perfectionism An it's unhealthy striving driving To achieve goals that are usually unrealistic. So once you make Jesus and you learn that Jesus is is the only perfect person that that probably rocks your world because you've grown up in a culture of You know you have to you know and I think that's probably why we have some some of my boys. Best friends are in the end and you know they are very aware that with then their culture. There's a lot of people who commit suicide because they can't live up to that standard of perfection. But once you know that Jesus is the only perfect one well. What does that do to you? Well that took me a long time to really get to that revelation a maybe it was almost maybe twelve years. It took a really long to understand his character so I only understood that he was the truth and the beginning and those still living a very secular university type of lifestyle And I didn't have Christian friends. I didn't have Christian influences. I didn't even know where to look it. It was just very overwhelming in the beginning because I grew up in a very conservative. SEE COMB which. I didn't even cut my hair. Telo is eighteen. You know I wasn't allowed to date which I did but nobody knew about it. Ettelaat at things that were so new to me An moved to the US in two thousand four for graduate school. And I didn't even we know where to go to church and so I looked for familiar Churches and and people that spoke the language that I knew and so I didn't know how to navigate denominations at this point so it was so interesting that at ahead you know being someone with going into a graduate degree and living in North America the majority of my life I'd have to say that. Don't assume education means revelation more evens good And so one one mistake I made was married and unbeliever In two thousand eight and I had received a couple of warnings not to go ahead with this marriage and it broke down in a couple of months and that brought more shame To me and that was probably the first time that I brought Qalat ashamed. My parents I grew up being one of the the children. That really Aimed please my parents and so that was a big turning point for me because in my faith I did not know how to resolve Culture and Orm Christianity and godly values yet. And I didn't have the mentorship to understand. So what got you there. So what got you through that process. How were you able to understand and then I would ask you like what part does forgiveness plan that? That's an excellent excellent question So what happened was I ended up leaving my marriage And then I went to a process of great intimacy with the Lord and because before that I just knew God was real and didn't know how to process that relation but in that moment and in those years of broken I had to really come face to face. With what were my values and how to you really learnt to communicate with God on on my own level it had to be my own relationship and it had to the derived from my mother's influence and so that was kind of a very unique process where started growing in the word. Crying out in my broken is You know sharing with God about my struggles of my own desires and what my life that look like And coming out of perfectionism learning to surrender to God Dreams and desires in Being shaped into somebody who was able to forgive because there's no concept of forgiveness in in religion yeah and Jesus comes and offers forgiveness and even while we are sending dies for us so oh that must have been a difficult thing for you to understand especially not having someone to disciple you but what you talked about how about getting basically to the end of yourself and having to cry out to God. That's what we all have to do. I teach my children apologetic and but I also teach them. You can't believe like your faith. My faith will not get you to heaven. You know you have to believe you have to have that personal relationship because It's your face that will stand one day you will stand before the Lord because every knee will bow and how. How will you you respond to him so so let me ask you this? How would you disciple someone? WHO's in an eastern religion? And how would you first of all. How would you share the Gospel with them? And then how would you disciple them in the process. I think that's an excellent question and Eh one that I hope everyone wants to ask I would first of all begin at a relationship with them Be Open and honest with with them. They are going to have questions about the smallest things though. Patients is GONNA be a really important uh-huh answer questions in teach them the basics of the gospel before throwing big concepts because they we already have stereotypes about Christianity For example when I would look at the cross as as seek I would look at it and think well Christian. She didn't seem to worship weakness. You know and seeks really value victory and defending people. I'm being strong in valiant and so I didn't understand the redemptive side. I didn't understand the power forgiveness. I didn't understand the power of of grace and how grace transforms our life for the better and how abundant life can really come into play when we allow God ought to heal our identity And so I would say that that big of relationship combined with consistency distance is really important and just and just showing them the grace of Jesus because graces aces what sets Christianity apart. It doesn't exist in any religion. Sikhism mentions the word grace but it actually actually does not have the same connotation at really refers more to a whole lease pity kind of attitude of God just feeling alling story for us in. He'll just kind of you know Sprinkles mercy Occasionally but that distance exists you. There's no real communication or dialogue but now through Jesus we have the Holy Spirit and we have the word of God where we can connect to him through so many avenues and we can receive from him in a creative way every day. Yeah I love that. That's really good I Met a Sikh woman and shared the Gospel with her while she was doing my eyebrows and she did have a lot of questions questions and I just sat there with her for a long time and.