One of the many reasons for my hiatus from blogging is that I had the privilege to be at Hillsong Church in Sydney as one of the Pastoral Leadership students. To say that it was an incredible experience would be an understatement. I got to be up close and personal with all my real-life, not Bible characters type spiritual heroes and saw how they live their lives. And realized more than ever how inadequate my “spirituality” is.
The best part about being around people that have a longing and heart for God is that you feel comfortable to be vulnerable with them. But what stood out the most to me was the atmosphere of encouragement. I’ve lived a whole life of trying to be good enough and trying to fit in and trying to not be invisible. It was in the presence of this incredibly spiritual group of people that I’ve learned the value of being who I am, without the pressure of trying.
One of the greatest moments for me was during college chapel. Worship was in full swing and I had one of those moments when you pause and look around and take it all in. First of all, I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Me. A not-so-important-nor-talented girl from Mumbai at Hillsong. It was a big deal. And then I looked around and I was amazed at what I saw. I’d spent a few months in class with these people around me. And yet, in that moment, I was amazed to see so many young people with hungry hearts for God. A longing to serve God. Hands outstretched to heaven, reaching out for more of Him. It was in this moment that I began to understand the true value of being there. It wasn’t the opportunity or what I did, that mattered. It was what I learn from these people around me. And I resolved to do just that.
Over the year at HILC, I was given the opportunity to work with and alongside a lot of brilliant, talented men and women of God, in different spheres of church ministry. I got to see how a church runs and functions at a large scale. And it all came down to the people who served with willing hearts. I met church volunteers who had full time jobs and yet would make it to the Thursday Sisterhood sessions. People who planned their life around church timings. It was inspiring to talk to and spend time with them. Their heart to serve was pure and without any expectation of applause. But their leaders never neglected to appreciate them, no matter how big the team.
I was amazed how everything that happened, took so much work and effort from a team working relentlessly behind the scenes. These guys were my true heroes. Showing up at 6am, even before they’ve had their coffee, and being alert and quick with their responsibilities. My OCPD loved their structure haha. But mostly, I loved their enthusiasm even when they weren’t having the best day. This is what I loved the most – their heart for knowing their role in the bigger picture of the kingdom of God.
What does all this have to do with living my dream, you ask? This has always been my dream. To be around people who want to serve God as much as I do. To learn how to serve God despite circumstances. To be in the Holy Spirit atmosphere all through the week. To live at church (which we basically did, haha). Sure, I met a few famous Hillsong people and did a lot of Hillsong things. But this, to serve and to play my part in something of this magnitude, has always been my dream. And someday, I might get to go back there and experience it all over again, but until then, I’ve stepped into a different season. And I’m excited to see what adventure awaits me here. 🙂