Journey To The Wellspring Of Love

How could one be a Christian and never feel like one? What was missing – was I even a true Christian – was I wearing a mask I denied?

JOURNEY TO THE WELLSPRING OF LOVE
Tanisha Mascarenhas, UK

For those of you who do not know me, I am Tanisha Mascarenhas. Most people know me as Tani but for most part of my life I wasn’t even known by my name. In my early years of school life, teachers knew me as my brother’s sister, in church I was referred to as my mother’s daughter, labels such as “good girl” or worse still “church girl” followed me everywhere I went. I figured I was a church girl because I followed my parents to church all the time. As paradoxical as it is, I hated the label “church girl” and I hated the label “good girl” and I certainly detested being identified by someone else’s life even though they were my own.

What made my spiritual struggles worse was that I felt all alone in this predicament. I believed in God, but why wasn’t I proud of it? I belonged to a church yet felt miles away from it. I did my regular devotions and yet had a deep void in my heart I couldn’t explain.

How could one be a Christian and never feel like one? What was missing – was I even a true Christian – was I wearing a mask I denied? These were the broken pieces of a puzzle I couldn’t bring together.

I bless God for my parents. I greatly appreciate their determined efforts to draw and guide me to the path of God, their diligence to love, worship and serve God is commendable and so I figure it is easy for people around me to think “hey Tanisha, it must be so easy for you to serve God and live this Godly life without any difficulties” …
To be honest, I wish it was. But it wasn’t. I’m here to tell you that discovering God and his love was a journey for me – a long, often times stressful and patiently yielding journey – it is a journey I had to discover alone, personally, because God is Father and He is a personal God who desires an intimate relationship with us. Each of our journey is different – each of our time is unique – each of Gods ways for us is different but I tell what should not be different – Our response to His love.

St. Augustine is one of my favorite saints. Born into a pious setting Augustine loosened on the Grace God gave him and squandered it on money, lust, women and wild living. His response to God’s call seemed like forever late but nevertheless when he gave his heart to his maker, His life became a phenomenal influence to the world. In a world where great thinkers of a secular age are forgotten Augustine and his writings are legendary and they will continue to live on. He wrote in one of his writings “Late have I loved you Lord..Late have I loved you”

In many ways I feel like St. Augustine …”why did I love you so late Lord?” “How much worth and wealth of life I could have received – and how much waste and loneliness I could have avoided without it”. If only I had responded to His relentless Love pursuing me in so many ways as I look back. If only I could peek at the grief of His tender heart, I could have enjoyed the privilege of being his child even when I was tagged as my brother’s sister or my mother’s daughter or that “church girl”

But outside that relentless love of God, I was an insecure person, an angry person, a person trying to fix the missing puzzles of life to find meaning to the loneliness I felt deep down.

I filled my life with all kinds of things. I made friends all over the place – I could have filled this entire hall with people I called my “friends”, I became too attached too quickly and became obsessed with being “the cool kid”. I ignored the loneliness I felt and desperately sought anything or anyone that could accept me. I trusted too easily and I always had a hard time say “No” for the fear of being an outcast.


But outside that relentless love of God, I was an insecure person, an angry person, a person trying to fix the missing puzzles of life to find meaning to the loneliness I felt deep down.


I immersed myself with the music of this age. The songs I sought seemed so apt for the way I felt. I began to listen to a lot of Eminem because all my friends used to talk about it and I didn’t want to be left out. Eminem is an artist who speaks boldly of his anger and even boasts of it. I began to see startling changes in my behavior – temper outbursts, disobedience, and mistrust to name a few. Then there were romantic songs that are flooded my soul with a sensual fantasy that brought an altogether different struggle. I sought the latest celebs, followed their lifestyle aimlessly, explored every new song, every new artist and yet night after night all it brought me was the same empty spot.
In a remarkable event in Feb 2010 when I experienced the harsh reality of a betrayal that left me broken and hopeless – my journey to Christ began – Halleluiah! I had no one left – I was all alone. And yet I wasn’t. Jesus was with me, just as He was always with me. At a prayer meeting which quite ironically I went to that day, I experienced an overflow of God’s love, quite unlike anything I had experienced. His love began to fill my senses, my being, my rationale and my personhood. His love invaded the broken places, the empty places, the dull and confusing places. I was face to face to where I was before I came into this world. I had met my Creator, my God!

In 2012 we started the youth ministry in Qatar, today called Youth Ignited for Christ (YI4C)! I am eternally, eternally grateful to YI4C. I don’t know how longer this journey would have been without it and its leaders.

My life has never been the same again after YI4C and yet it is a journey. A journey of discovering His relentless love for me. The more I seek Him, the more I realize it is He who is seeking me. It is He who loves me. My choices in life – whether friendships, activities outside, parties, parents, music, movies, morality remarkably changed after I found a place in the communal expression of YI4C. In Christ, God gave me the assurance and the confidence I never had, and a life that exceeds joy, a life that can never ever be lonely.

I moved to UK a few years ago to study sound engineering. My grounding and foundation at YI4C enabled me to face the giants in this world. It gave me courage to be in this world but not live according to its principles. It gave confidence to believe that even if I was lonely, the God who always was with me; would remain with me. And more than anything it gave me a renewed passion to go forth with the Gospel.

By the Grace of God and through the experience of Yi4C a friend of mine and I started a young adults ministry in York, UK. I feel a sense of deep purpose as I say this because I am able to give away what I received in Qatar.

If you have a background like mine, I want to encourage you as you read this: God chose me before the foundations of the world to be His and God has chosen you. Your Life is filled with purpose because of His love for you. Wherever you are placed, He is moulding you for a higher call, a greater destiny. Stay with him – fix your gaze upon him and steadfastly hold on to faith. Stay true to your calling by being submissive to your elders and mentors. You will discover in the end, how you so wonderfully fit into this grand scheme of Life where your story finds place with His.


Your Life is filled with purpose because of His love for you.