“No matter where you live and who you are, you can be completely happy,” says Nadya Georgieva from Bulgaria. She herself experienced what she is talking about and is willing to share her story with us.
Nadya sits next to me with a smile on her face. I offer her a glass of water; I wonder what she wants to say. Nadya is 36 years old and works as an accountant. In appearance, she is a quiet and calm woman who does not flaunt herself. She exudes warmth and love, which is worth paying attention to and I want to know more about her.
Nadya grew up in a small town just ten minutes from Bulgaria’s border with Greece. Communism was at that time the dominant ideology in the country, and values such as equality and unity held strong positions. Nadya and her two sisters lived with their parents in the town of Petrich. She had a good and calm childhood.
At school, Nadya was among the best students. She, like most of her peers, was very active. Every evening was busy. Nadya has taken part in many groups, ranging from basketball and math group to dancing and singing in the choir.
Already in her youth, Nadya heard reviews from others about her behavior. People thought she was angry a lot. When her mother asked her for help, her very first reaction was: “Why should I do this?” At school, she always considered herself right and she argued until she got what she wanted.
I suffered because of my nature, from these negative manifestations of my behavior when I was with my relatives and friends. The ideals during the regime of communist ideology were, after all, to share, to help each other, to be kind, etc. Even though I heard about it, I couldn’t do it.
In the evenings, Nadya liked to visit her grandmother, who was a Christian. Although she did not believe in God herself, she loved to listen to her grandmother tell her stories from the Bible.
“It was like a different world was opening before me. A world that was far from the material world in which I lived, where everything was based on the human mind.
I was particularly inspired by the story of Joseph. How he was sold as a slave in Egypt and thrown into prison. But he received strength from God to be joyful and grateful.”
Nadya saw the difference between the life she saw in the heroes of faith in the Bible and the life she herself lived. However, at the age of 15, she experienced a turning point that changed her life forever.
A small and simple Bible verse her grandmother read to her opened her eyes to who God was. This shook her atheistic beliefs, in which she was brought up and which dominated the country.
She quotes this verse from the Bible: “No one has ever seen God…” 1 Jn. 4:12.
It suddenly became clear to Nadya that she should not expect to see God with her own eyes. Nobody saw Him. It’s about just believing.
– To believe that she, too, can receive the help and strength that the heroes of faith from the Bible received.
Nadya turned to God, not fully understanding what exactly this meant. But God made the words of the Bible come alive to her.
I have experienced tremendous grace and anointing from God. I was able to change myself. I was able not to get angry, only because of the great joy that I received through my connection with God.
Nadya was absorbed in God’s word. She could read the Bible day and night.
“It was like a living water,” she says enthusiastically. It can be seen that the memories are still fresh in her memory.
I saw “old Nadya”
After a brief period of joy at being saved, Nadya experienced her old nature again. She saw “old Nadya” – with her natural inclinations and behavior.
The Word of God gave her a great need to end it all. It’s not enough to just clench your fists when you feel angry. She wanted to be free. Become free from selfishness. Put an end to all the demands and discontentment that wanted to splash out.
When Nadya was baptized at the age of 16, the priest in the cathedral asked her why she became a Christian. Nadya replied that her testimony was the verse written in John 14:15: “If you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15.
This was her hope. She loved Jesus and desired to keep those good commandments that she had read so much about.
“After the baptism, I experienced a strong disappointment. My old nature began to torment me even more. Now I was a Christian, but I couldn’t change myself. I was in need.
Nadya constantly heard that Jesus died on the cross so that we could receive the forgiveness of sins. However, this was no longer a consolation for her.
I have experienced an urge and the desire not only to receive the forgiveness of sins but also to become a completely new person.
Shortly thereafter, the church in the town of Petrich was visited by several believers from the Christian Church. Nadya heard a song from the songbook from which the guests sang, and this song gave her new hope.
Nadya sips some water from her glass and continues her story.
– I paid attention to the words from the song: “I want to carry the word of the cross to the slaves of sin.” – I needed it. This is the way, I thought.
Nadya, who felt like a slave, now saw the cross, which was the door leading to freedom. Although Jesus was completely innocent, He had to die on the cross of Calvary so that we could receive the remission of our sins.
“But I saw that the cross was much bigger than that. Jesus mortified and rejected His own will every day in temptation. He chose to always do God’s will instead of His own. He says in Luke 9:2, “Take up your cross” Lu. 9:23 – long before He was crucified at Calvary.
Nadya now understood that Jesus rejected not only manifestations of sin – evil words, bad deeds, etc. But He wrestled with the lusts and desires that reside in His human nature—in His own will, or “sin in the flesh,” as the Bible calls it.
On this “daily cross” sin received its final death – and did not result in deeds. Jesus not only died to forgive us our sins, but He left us an example for us to follow Him. The fact that He never followed his lusts and desires – to be angry, jealous, offended, etc., this also gave Nadya the opportunity to follow the same path.
— Paul’s words in Gal. 2:19-20 took on a whole new meaning for me, she says: “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
It became clear to me that if I mortify selfishness and all the demands that I feel inside myself, then the life of Jesus will also manifest itself in me,” Nadya explains enthusiastically.
Experienced that the cross works
Now Nadya’s life has begun to change. She recalls with a smile her mother’s reaction when, after asking for help, instead of the usual answer, she heard from her daughter: “Yes, I will do it.” Her 17-year-old daughter, who had previously objected and argued, agreed even before her mother had time to express her request.
– I experienced that the cross works. I thought that if he acts it works in small situations, then it will work when I meet big temptations,” she says with a wide smile.
Faith and hope for the future
It was a great consolation for Nadya to finally get the victory. It gave her hope and faith in the future: faith in a life where she could be transformed day by day. Instead of being angry and gloomy, she could be joyful and grateful.
Watching the 36 year old woman sitting in front of me, I see no trace of the stubborn personality she describes from her childhood. I jokingly asked her if she has already become perfect – maybe she no longer needs the cross.
Nadya laughs out loud and replies that she is not perfect
“I need the cross like never before. Even though I have received victory over many things, God still sends light to those areas in me where the cross should work. I must continue to reject my own will so that the life of Jesus can reveal itself even more in my life.
As a guide, Nadja uses the connecting words from the Bible: “For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Ro. 14:17. When she has this peace and joy in her heart, then she knows that she is doing God’s will.
I experience this joy! I feel it when I am obedient to God’s word,” says Nadya.
Start with small situations
In conclusion, I ask Nadya if she has an admonition she would like to give to those readers who have not yet received the faith she received in her youth.
“Yes,” Nadya says calmly but confidently. “Trust in God and not in your mind.” God is omnipotent. He can change everything. He can make unhappy people happy. No matter where you live and who you are. – you can become completely happy.
Nadya speaks with confidence in her voice. She experienced it first hand.
First, turn to God. You must be willing to serve God with all your heart. Start with the smallest situations. When you begin to do this, then you will experience that God is faithful. He will make sure that you can always be joyful and grateful, no matter what your feelings say and no matter what circumstances you are in.
Source: Новая и счастливая жизнь, благодаря кресту! (aktivnoyekhristianstvo.ru)