Julia’s Story: My Way To God – Poltava, Ukraine
Feb 13, 2018 2291
I grew up in a Soviet family; we believed in Lenin, not in God. We believed that God was invented by capitalists so poor people’s lives would be easier for them. At that time I imagined God as a kind, bearded old man in the sky.
My life was shattered when I was 17. I suffered sexual violence. For two years I was being caught and tortured by the same perverts. I was afraid of telling my mother because she demanded and insisted that I had to save my virginity until I got married, but things went differently… In order to drown out the pain, I started drinking alcohol.
I had a question for God: where was he when such things were happening? At that time we were already attending the Orthodox Church – it was all the fashion to go there then. But to me God was a punishing and cruel God; I was afraid of him. At the age of 21, I took drugs for the first time.
I had a question for God: where was he when such things were happening?
Once I went to a monastery in search for help. I met a few people there, one of whom read the Bible a lot. That man even tried “driving out of demons” from me. I was afraid of that. For some time I was very afraid of the devil and often had nightmares. My new friends and I spent a lot of time together there talking about spiritual things, but the whole time we were under the influence of drugs. Then one by one my friends died, and I was left, having been infected with HIV. After this I stopped taking drugs. I learned more about God, especially about the Bible, through which he can be known. I began to read and understand more.
After this, I got married. My husband was a drug addict and I started taking drugs again. Then I became pregnant and my child died. I felt terrible desperation… One of the people closest to me died of a drug overdose in my arms. I imagined my life as a boat without any aim or destination. I remember myself crying to Heaven at that time, “Lord, I am in a boat on the sea which knows no destination. Lead it and wash it ashore. I have no strength.”
God has been with me and loving me all my life, even during the difficult times
Soon after that my husband threw me out me. It was a blessing – we lived badly, and at last we separated. Immediately I went to get help for my drug addiction at the hospital. It was the year 2016.
I began attending Gospel meetings led by GNU pastor. For the first time in my life I was able to really study the Bible in peace, together with other people, and I was able to understand many things. I’ve now realised that God has been with me and loving me all my life, even during the difficult times. For example, being born in prison and then being given to the orphanage meant I was taken and brought up by another family. It means God cared for me.
I have given up smoking! For me, this addiction was even stronger than drug addiction. I have changed my social circle. Now, for the first time, I have a few real friends. God reveals Himself in my life through people who share his love with me. Now I am confident that everything will turn out well. I can really say that now God is everything to me — He leads and give me strength.
– Julia (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)