The Lord put it in my heart to write about the path along which He leads me, maybe it will be useful for someone, but for someone it might bring comfort and encouragement.
Today I am a beloved wife, a rich mother and a happy woman, but it hasn’t always been this way.
My name is Pogosyan Yulia, I was born on November 6, 1979 in Ukraine into an ordinary family, I had a father, a mother and an older sister. Since childhood, I tried to understand what we live for, what is happiness. I tried many things, but it all ended in disappointment, pain and tears. My last attempt to find meaning in life was by working. I really liked sewing and my family helped me start a children’s clothing business. So, at the age of 23, I became the head of the company, immersed myself in work and thought that this is happiness and I will achieve everything I want. I work from morning to night and I will definitely succeed. And I didn’t even notice how work had became my god. I said that only work understands me and only work heals me. As an alcoholic, I tried to forget myself, work late into the night, so that later I could crawl into bed very tired, fall asleep and not think about the reality that years fly by and life passes.
I tell you, work of course is not a bad thing. To work, to create something and to realize our abilities is natural and it is placed in us by God, but it is NOT THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE.
No one and nothing can ever replace GOD and only He can fill the void inside every person and make him/her truly happy.
But unfortunately I didn’t know that back then. At that time I was married and nothing was going well in my family life. In addition, I was tormented by nightmares, I was terribly afraid of the dark and being alone in the apartment.
I had no one to talk to about my experiences. At work I was known as a practical and enterprising person. And from the outside it seemed that it was not so bad, I had a large number of people working under me, I had a personal driver and a branded clothing store. I was even featured on TV presenting my new collection of children’s clothing as a designer.
But no one did not even think that I was deeply depressed and almost every day I cried and thought about suicide because I had emptiness, inner dissatisfaction, no one understood me and I didn’t understand myself either. But the Lord saw everything and when I was in a very bad mental state, God organized a meeting with my an old acquaintance, Oleg, who was ready to listen to me. I complained to him for a long time about my life and told him how tired I was of everything and that I just couldn’t do it anymore. After listening to me, Oleg said: “Hey, that’s great.”
“Great in what way?” – I protested in surprise, – “I’m so sick that I’m going to die.”
“You are disappointed in everything possible and therefore your heart is in a good condition to receive God into your life.”
Oleg invited me to the home group and that evening I sat in a circle of believers. These people were very simple, they read the Bible and sang psalms, talked and smiled sincerely. Even though they didn’t have all that I had been given, it was clear that they were happy. And I really wanted to be with them – to be like them. I can’t say that everything changed that day, but I can definitely say that from that day on, my life began to change dramatically, but I was burdened by the burden of the past.
I was told that if you ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive and never remember it again.
It was a great discovery for me and really happy news that you don’t need to earn it, you don’t need to cover it with good deeds or spend half your life worshiping or lighting candles, but He does it simply because He is very loving, because He gave His life for me.
God gave me deep repentance, my heart was broken, but it became soft because of divine unconditional love. God gave me complete freedom, filled me with joy and desire to live and love.
The church where I was born again by the grace of the Lord is mostly made up of those who received rehab through our church. I admired not only God, but also my brothers and sisters, they had lost almost everything in the world, sank completely into the mud, but blossomed in the Lord, they served fervently, sincerely and very sacrificially.
I also saw many people living in darkness like I used to, I really wanted to help them find a way out as they had once helped me. The business I had at the time required total commitment to be successful but I didn’t want that anymore.
I said, “Lord, until I was twenty-seven I lived as I wanted and almost went mad, now I will live as You want, I dedicate my whole life to You, guide me, teach me, train me, use me just don’t leave me.” ”
I left the company and immersed myself in children’s ministry. Over time, my ex-husband left me because I became a believer but he had married a godless business woman and now his wife prays, reads the Bible and tries to help somebody all the time.
I decided that because he doesn’t need my love, then I give it to those who need it. That’s how my first daughter Polina appeared in my life. She was born in a prison, then lived in a public house, her mother often left her to starve and at the age of three she walked in the market and begged for alms with her very old grandmother. You know it was such a difficult child, but I cherished her from the first minute, now we are friends with her. Sometimes I joke that after I had her I wasn’t afraid to have my other ten children.
At that moment I was living with my seriously ill mother. In short, it was difficult, many in the church offered to help, but I mostly refused. I cried before God, asked Him for strength and said: “Lord, if I can’t cope, then You don’t trust me anymore and I want to serve You like this.” And the Lord strengthened and supported me.
Half a year later, Polina and I ended up in the hospital, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the lymph nodes and my multi-diagnosed mother ended up in another hospital and I tried to be with my four-year-old daughter and at the same time take care of my mother, whose hospital was nearby. It was very difficult, I was very tired, there were many questions in my head and to be honest, there was grumbling and resentment in my heart.
The next day, I put Polina to sleep in the ward in the afternoon and ran to see my mother. I needed to buy the necessary medicine and something tasty for my mother and I had time to do a load of laundry, because my mother, sorry for the details, was incontinent and because of her very heavy weight, no matter how hard I tried, a lot of laundry ended up getting dirty anyway.
So at one point I was standing over the sink, in the bathroom of the hospital, doing laundry and the nurse repremanded me about how my mother got into such a state. I could barely hold back my tears and I felt directly that someone wanted to break me down, but I, despite of the enemy, told God that I would not think any more about murmuring and discontent, but in complete humility I would go through everything and do as much as was necessary and at that moment I received strength and the Holy Spirit filled me, I helped my mother do everything necessary, hugged, kissed her and ran to my daughter, hoping that she was still sleeping, so that she would not be afraid if she woke up and I was not there. In the morning I was informed that my mother had died.
Lord, where to find comfort. I cried a lot before God, the pain tore my heart. Oh no, I definitely wasn’t ready for that, why now. And then I thought, what if God had asked me what day I would like my mother to leave this earth. And I realized that there is no suitable day for me. And I told the Lord that I trust Him and that He knows better when something should happen in my life. I praised God and thanked Him for everything.
After two months in the hospital, Polina and I returned home. And we learned to live together in an apartment where everything reminded us of my beloved mother. Six months later, my daughter and I were asked to go to the hospital for three days for examinations, we made an appointment. Strange things started happening at the hospital, once they postponed the tests for a long time, then the examination was postponed, then the MRI images disappeared and then without any explanation they said that we have to stay in the hospital for another two weeks. Not understanding anything, I began to pray: “Lord, if this is not just a coincidence and You want me to be here, please show me who or what for, so that I can fulfill Your will.” Literally half an hour later, a doctor came and asked us to take care of a little four-year-old girl who was brought from a boarding school for treatment of hepatitis. Of course, I agreed and went to the next ward to get to know the child. The little girl was curled up on the bed and crying. I sat next to her and started stroking her gently, she looked at me with her big teary eyes and said: “MOM”. It touched me very much, then the businesslike Polina came to us and began to calm her down:
“So, don’t cry now, everything will be fine, I’ll protect you, we’ll be together.”
The girl’s name was Milana, she was very happy to have such a defender and she followed Polina. In the evening, when I still did not fully understand what was happening, Polina and I began to pray, I thanked God for that day, that He entrusted us with a child that we can take care of in the hospital. Polina was more decisive and said briefly: “Lord, thank You for my little sister.”
A few days later I realized that we simply could not go home without Milana. First, I called the pastor and told him about my desire to have another child. Ilya Borisovich approved my wish and blessed me.
Preparing all the necessary documents was not easy, but the Lord was with us and two months later the three of us came home from the hospital.
So I started raising two daughters alone.
I once told the Lord that I really want my daughters to have a real loving father and I don’t want to be alone. But since I do not understand people at all, I asked the Lord to give me from His hand whomever He wants and told Him that I trust Him more than myself.
At that point, my life had become much smoother. I lived in a comfortable three-room apartment, the girls went to the first grade, we went to all the children’s services in the church and the results were good.
And when I had already forgotten my prayer, the Lord came to me when I was at home and spoke to me. Of course, I did not see Him and it was not a voice from heaven, but in my heart I clearly understood that God was talking to me, the voice of the Father cannot be confused with anyone. He asked, “Are you ready to leave everything you have to receive what I have prepared for you?”
I fell to my knees broken at the thought that God Himself was speaking to me. Crying, I said that I can’t even imagine what awaits me, maybe it won’t be easy for me, but I want to be where You see me, I don’t want to live for myself, so my answer is yes.
The next day, I suddenly started thinking about the pastor of our church who went as a missionary in 2000, recently his wife had passed away and he was left as a widow with eight children in the village where he served.
I was very afraid of these thoughts, I thought that the devil was tempting me, because I was sure that soon the Lord would lead me to a special service, for example somewhere in Africa or India, to save poor children.
I began to repent of the thoughts that came to my mind, but they kept on ticking and ticking my head. Well, how does he live in that distant village without a wife, with so many children. Maybe the sisters and I should go help him… For three days I was in trouble, oh devil, you’re teasing me, I thought.
On the fourth day, senior pastor Kravtsov Ilya Borisovich came to me and said that Pogosyan Slavik (a widow with eight children) would propose to me.
But he added: “Consider it well before you accept his proposal. It won’t be easy, you have to leave everything, service, apartment, friends and go to a village 70 km away. And become a missionary, a pastor’s wife and a mother of many children.”
At that moment I understood everything, this is what God has prepared for me and these thoughts came from God. For the first time I did not hold back my thoughts and let them into my heart, at that moment such heavenly bliss and love was poured into me straight from heaven, it seemed that all the angels were singing Hallelujah at that moment. The next day I said yes. In my heart was the understanding that I was going to this family not to replace someone but to continue the work of Slavik’s first wife, Tanyušha. We got married, on the wedding day I became the mother of ten children and in seven years of marriage I gave birth to five children and we adopted another girl from the hospital, her name is Milana. As you already understood, we have two Milanas. And it’s not an easy story either. Someday I will take the time to write about this and many other things the Lord helped me through.
Now I have 16 children, each one of them is a blessing, I am very happy in my marriage, I have the best family and the best husband in the world. We don’t have an easy road, sometimes it’s hard, but I would never change my destiny for another, the Lord fulfilled all my dreams and I am happy in God. Since I am in a calling, the Lord Himself set this path for me, it was He who gave me the ability to have children and raise them, I see a lot of God’s glory every day.
I remember when I became a believer and went to church, I dreamed of having my own family, I dreamed of walking in the park with my family, how we eat breakfast in the kitchen, how we kiss and hug our children. I awoke from my sweet dream when I reached the gate of the church house. And then I realized that everything was fine, but there was no God in my dream. I did not dream about how we pray, how we serve and how we read the Bible to our children. I was startled to realize that if the Lord had given me all this at that moment, I might not need God anymore. Therefore, with tears in my eyes, I said: “Lord, You know that I really want this, but even more I want to be with You, so I ask that You do not give it to me until I cling to You, so that nothing can separate me from You.”
The Lord answered my prayer and now I know for sure that He fulfills the desires of those who love Him and also that God comes in due time, especially to those who know how to wait.
And this does not mean that now everybody has to quit their jobs, move to the village and have a lot of children, of course not. This is my personal path. I wish with all my heart that each of you will have a personal and sincere relationship with the Lord, that you will have a revelation from God for your life, that you will be led by the Holy Spirit and that you will also be a part of the church where the Lord brought you. God brought you into His family.
I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. I wish you peace, joy, love and inspiration to act for the glory of God.
P.S. I am a part of the church “Resurrection Power” in Bucha, Ukraine.
My husband and I are missionaries in the daughter church of Olyva village.
If you have any questions, you can call, write.
+380972566251 (Whatsapp, Telegram)
P.S. At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the family fled to Germany, where they currently live. Some of the older children then remained in Ukraine. They are all safe.