My name is Irina. I am 36 years old. I am from Kiev. The history of my life began quite well. My family had mother, father and elder brother. My parents were doing their duty, making up for my physical needs like food, clothing and education. But I never knew what love and acceptance is. My parents didn’t talk about love, I wasn’t called their daughter, just Ira. I often communicated with my father because most of the time I spent with him. I was growing up and my dad was distancing himself and started drinking. I almost didn’t communicate with my mother; I only heard criticism and everything I did was wrong.
When I was 11 years old I started looking for love and acceptance on the street and found it in drinking, cigarettes and fornication. When I was a teenager I was sexually abused several times, at the age of 9 I was raped by my cousin, when I was 15 years old, I was raped by a man who accidentally knew me. I had absolutely no one to talk to about it and no one in my family was interested in how I live and what happens with me.
When I was 15 years old, I already used drugs by injection. I lived with horrible thoughts about myself. I thought I was a mistake of nature, that I am nothing, that I am ugly with a terrible figure and I do not deserve a better life, and I am destined to be unhappy. I hated my life at all.
At 23, I married a guy who was also addicted to drugs, and a year and a half later we got divorced. Then there were a lot of temporary and long-term relationships. I searched for love without even understanding what is love, what love is really…
At the age of 29 I gave birth to a son, his name is Denis. When I was pregnant I used drugs, and he was born with withdrawal syndrome but by a miracle the child is completely healthy. My child was growing up and saw all the “charms” of his mother’s life as a drug addict. At the age of two he could demonstrate how and where his mother makes the injection…
My family and the church prayed for my salvation during the year. And in my life came the moment when I was completely alone, the “street” turned away from me too. I stood on the balcony of the 12th floor and flew down in my mind to finish this miserable life. God stopped me. He reminded me of my son who needs me. Internal pain torn me from the inside to a state of screaming… I didn’t want to live, I didn’t see a way out at all and in such a desperate situation I turned to the Christian church “Rock of Salvation”. The church helped me find a rehabilitation center for women with children, the “Bertine House” in Poltava. In July 2016, I entered a rehabilitation program. The attendants of the center lovingly accepted me as a blessing from God. And it still lives in my heart and works in my life — I am no more nothing, I am a blessing! I came to the center broken and trampled as a person, with the thoughts that there is no way back. Year of rehabilitation was special for me. I remember this time with a warm heart. God has radically changed my mind and revealed his love through the servants. He taught me to live a new life, to accept and love myself as a woman, to care for myself and my son, and he also taught me to build relationships with my son and others.
In the process of rehabilitation, I met with internal pain and disappointment with self-hating and hating others, and in such conditions I was heard and accepted. And for that I am infinitely grateful to the servants and God. I learned to build honest and trusting relationships, learned to solve conflicts, not to run away from them as before. I received strong support in prayer, in words of encouragement from the servants and leaders of the center, and also support in practical needs. I have got a strong foundation for growth and development as a person, daughter, woman, mother and a servant…
After that I returned to Kiev to the same apartment where I had been using drugs for 17 years and at that time I was very supported by the church.
God has restored me as a person. I know that I am a peculiarity in His eyes, I am His daughter, He woven me in the womb, He chose me and endowed me with gifts and talents to carry His love to those people who are dying in sin today. I believe He has a special plan for my life.
Now my life is full of meaning it is fascinating and interesting. I have dreams, goals and achievements. Even when I am wrong, stumble or fall, the Lord says: “Get up and go, I am with you! I am developing in the church administration ministry, I participate in the organization of Christian conferences, seminars, trainings, participate in evangelization in drug clinics, as well as counseling and accompanied by addicts to rehabilitation centers. Also my field of activity is the administration of events and legal support of public organizations.
Most of all I appreciate that my relationship with God has been restored; moreover, my relationship with my family and my son has also been restored. Only in Him is life and true freedom. I strive to grow and develop as a person in Christ. Only in God I have life in fullness and joy. Only in Him I found love and acceptance.
I am sincerely grateful to all those involved in the rehabilitation service in the “Bertine House”.