Sarojini had overcome her husband's death, pushed back thoughts of suicide and pressed forward when failure seemed imminent. But the doctor's words shattered her triumphs as if they were nothing. Would her fight end so simply, with a diagnosis she couldn't afford to treat? With her children left as orphans?
She had two days to find out.
Woman Widowed with Two Children
Sarojini's husband, Vaibhav, had died in an accident, giving the mother of two no time to prepare for life as a widow. She had no source of income, and her family could do little to help. Her parents were too old to work and her siblings had hungry families of their own.
Her in-laws provided a small house, but paying for food and other daily needs remained an almost impossible challenge for Sarojini. She couldn't find work, and as she and her children struggled for mere survival, her family's emotional support felt increasingly meaningless.
Heartache and loneliness overwhelmed her, and thoughts of suicide flowed easily through her mind. . .
But Sarojini couldn't give in to such thoughts.
When it all seemed too much to bear, she thought of her son and daughter, Yuvraj and Arpita. If not for herself, she would press on for them. She would find some way to provide for her family.
Sarojini agonized over her inability to properly provide for her children.
Widow Scrapes by with Factory Job
Sarojini found a job at a factory. It required long hours, but the pay was hardly sufficient for running a household. To stretch the wages further, her children had to drop out of school, ruining any hope Sarojini had of giving them a better life than the one she was living now.
As she watched other kids going to school, it broke her heart to think of Yuvraj and Arpita sitting at home, waiting for futures as wage laborers, or worse.
There was nothing she could do about it except continue her work and dream of a promotion or another job opening. But one day on the factory line, she felt a sudden pain, and even her most meager aspirations were thrown into jeopardy.
Medical Emergency Leaves Future Shaky
As Sarojini clutched her abdomen in agony, her co-workers rushed her to the hospital. The doctors ordered a battery of tests she couldn't afford, so her friends pitched in to cover the costs. But there was more bad news on the way.
Sarojini had a dire case of kidney stones, the doctor explained, and she needed to have surgery within two days, or risk permanent damage.
The operation was expensive and Sarojini certainly couldn't pay for it on her own. She left the hospital with the doctor's warning ringing in her ears and headed back to work, toward her only chance for survival.
She desperately explained the situation to her manager and asked for an advance in pay, but the manager offered no mercy. He told Sarojini to go home so he could replace her with someone in better health.
Widow Loses Hope after Losing Job
That evening, Sarojini lay in bed, fighting the pain and wondering what would happen to her children. When there was a knock at the door, her daughter answered it, and soon the girl returned with a small group of women. The leader introduced herself as Manjari.
Seeing Sarojini's condition, the women kindly shared about the love of Jesus. Then they gave her some water and prayed that God would heal her.
After the prayer, Sarojini felt a little better, and Manjari gave her a book about God's power to heal and a phone number Sarojini could call any time. She also invited Sarojini to come to the church her husband pastored and receive more prayer.
The pain returned as the night wore on, so Sarojini asked her daughter to give her more of the water the women had prayed over and to read the book to her. As she drank the water and Arpita read, Sarojini felt as if someone were touching her.
Suddenly, the pain was gone.
Sarojini's long days at the factory barely provided for basic needs, and her children had to drop out of school to make ends meet.
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.