Here is the story of a young woman from our church in St. Petersburg, Street Cry:
I am presently 26 years old. I come from Novorossiysk – a port on the Black Sea, but I have lived and traveled all over Russia.
Together with my brother, I grew up in a family where our father was an abusive alcoholic tyrant and our mom a workhorse for our family.
My conclusion about family life during those years of our father beating us all, and mother enduring, and trying to please everyone was that I WILL NEVER GET MARRIED. Why should I if the man in the family is a murderer and an adulterer while the woman is a silent slave who must endure everything plus keep four jobs to support the children and the husband’s drinking habits?!
If the world is such, I did not want to belong to this world.
So I left home at the age of 11 and began my quest for a different life.
Joining different groups of young people, I traveled the country. If no one opened a home to us, we slept in the parks, or in abandoned buildings. We hung out at rock concerts and made money by playing guitar and singing on the streets and on the subway and asking for donations.
From time to time, I visited Mom and Dad only to see that nothing had changed, so I had to go on the road again. I was really bitter and hated people, often using them for my own gain without any regrets for my behavior.
Life went on under the motto of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. At some point, I became really interested in the occult, literally sold my soul to the devil, and did rituals, etc.
Sometimes I felt the horror side of it but curiosity won in every case and I continued on this road to hell. I did not think that hell in the afterlife could be any worse than the hell I was born into and grew up in.
When I turned 16, my Mom died. Finally, she was relieved! The last years of her life, she suffered from cancer – but no one told me about it! And I wasn’t even there when she died! I was deeply offended at all my relatives.
I cursed God. I blamed Him for Mom’s death and hated Him.
The conclusion I came to after my Mom’s death was that life is fleeting and that I can die at any moment. This mentality drove me to even more dangerous experiments with my soul and body.
Basically, I decided to waste my life to the full. I got deeper into consuming alcohol and drugs, practiced eastern religions, meditation, free sex and whatever came my way in order to fill the painful void inside – all in vain.
I expected death, but would come back to my senses again and again to find out that I am still on this earth and asking myself a question “Why?, Why am I here?, Why still alive?”
So I stumbled all the way to the year 2004 when after another suicidal fit I “coincidentally” found myself at a Christian rock concert. The songs of the “Sons of Thunder” band touched me so much that I stepped over my pride, left behind my loose company and started talking to one of the band members.
He told me about Jesus and how He changed his life. He was telling his story but it sounded so much like mine, only his had a happy ending, and mine was still unresolved.
He asked me how I came to the concert. I said – “I just did not have anywhere to go, so I came here…” He said – “Oh, it was for you we prayed!” and went on to explain that before the concert they prayed that God would bring people who were desperate and just had nowhere to go.
He invited me to the church the next day and I went. They seemed like angels who came down from the sky; their eyes were shining with light and love. God was speaking to me personally but I did not have the guts to forsake my old life and really follow Jesus.
So I went back to my old ways. More drugs, more sex, more rock-n-roll… Only now I was sort of playing hide and seek with God. One day I was asking Him for help, and the next day I was foolishly running away from Him. But it was impossible to escape the Omnipresent!
In 2006, I badly overdosed on drugs that resulted in some of my organs shutting down and partial paralysis of my body. I went into what they call clinical death but God in His amazing grace and inexplicable mercy visited me at that time.
I remember burning from the fire of His holiness and the great fear that came all over me and shocked me back to life…
Something changed deep inside of me as I found myself back to earth and doctors hovering around.
I did not want to continue life as usual after that incident.
I knew God had given me another chance and I grabbed a hold of His mighty saving hand! I really repented and dedicated my life to Jesus and He took me out of my pit and transformed my whole being.
He took out that wounded, bitter, hardened heart and gave me a new one, alive, soft and loving.
I became a new Nastya – a new creation in Christ Jesus! He gave me a new life – without sin, fornication, drugs, occult and hopelessness!
I can’t thank Him enough for what He has done!