Max Chooses God Over Drugs – Poltava, Ukraine
May 11, 2017 1140
The first time I tried drugs was when I was at university. It was just for fun. Fellow students offered me marijuana and then I started taking other drugs too, such as amphetamines. I was 20 at the time.
Drugs lead me to gamble. I also began stealing things from home and selling them, so I was sent away. I was soon discharged from work. It was then that I understood that I had to do something. I didn’t know what to do, but I had to do something.
One evening, when I had lost all my money again, I remembered that I used to pray in my childhood. I never understood why I prayed, but prayed every evening anyway. As time passed, I stopped doing this. But that night I prayed before going to sleep. The next morning I called my psychologist, who recommended that I go to the rehab centre in Poltava, the one that GNU works with. That day everything changed. I went to Poltava and started treatment.
Although I owned a Bible, I had never read it. But when I was getting ready to go and have treatment, I took it with me, almost as a reflex. When I was undergoing the treatment, I was thinking about my debts, loosing my job, and my wife leaving me. But I noticed that when I read the Bible, I felt better. I never realised that the Bible talks about practical things such as marriage and having food.
After a while, I discovered that spiritual meetings were being conducted in the rehab centre by a GNU pastor, so I started attending. I was sure I would not understand the Bible on my own and I needed somebody to explain it for me. I made friends with the pastor who explained the Bible in a way I could easily understand.
So I read the Bible frequently and each time I felt peace. However, when I started going deeper, challenges appeared. It is still like that and I feel that I am now going through a stage of humility.
Every day I used to argue with my parents. They would question me about my new faith and I didn’t know how to answer which caused doubt. But now they have started reading the Bible.
I am facing many challenges. Part of me still hesitates. I know I need to choose God. But there is a struggle. I am afraid I will mess up. I thought if I began attending church, I would immediately stop sinning and wanting to do bad things. But that did not happen. Maybe it will happen. I understand that sin is wrong. I know that God will give me the strength to get rid of it, but for the present everything is still hard. But I have made the decision to be baptized. You have to consciously choose God.
– Maxim (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)