I had a difficult childhood, growing up in foster care in Bulgaria until I was a teenager. This caused many struggles that led to me constantly chasing after unholy things. I felt empty, lost, and lonely, and nothing I tried could fulfill me. Since I had no knowledge of God, I didn’t understand why my life was not what I had imagined or wanted it to be, and I kept wondering: Would I ever have a family that loves and cares for me? Would I ever have true friends? Would I ever have a normal life?
One day when I was 13 years old, some of those questions started to get answered. My foster care director came to tell me that an American family wanted to adopt me. I started crying with tears of joy and excitement! On September 12th, 2015, I came to America and met my adoptive family who live in Jackson, Tennessee. They started taking me to church every Sunday. I had no idea that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit even existed! On top of that, I was still in the process of learning English, which was just one of the major challenges of adjusting to my new life.
When I was 15 years old, I attended my first church retreat. After one of the sermons, my pastor prayed a simple prayer for anyone who wanted to accept Jesus into their life. I prayed the prayer with him, and after that night, I felt like I knew about who God was, but honestly, my life was not reflecting that because I didn’t truly desire a relationship with Him. Despite this, I claimed to be a “Christian” and wanted people to think I had a great relationship with Christ, but the truth is, I was still lost and confused. I lived most of my life as a huge lie, trying to please everyone around me just to feel accepted.
During my senior year of high school, I started to become aware of the sin in my heart and realized that I wasn’t living a life that honored God. Instead, I was living for the world, distracted by things that were pulling me away from God. As I graduated high school, my plan was to start college in the fall, but God revealed that wasn’t His plan for me. Just a few weeks before I was about to start classes, my friends Lydia and Jeff invited me to come live with them in Louisville, Kentucky. The Holy Spirit gave me a confidence in my heart that this was God’s calling for my life, and when I moved here, Jesus began opening my eyes to the true Gospel and how to live it out.
Now, I have a genuine desire to learn about God and build a relationship with Him. Coming here and going to Sojourn has been an absolute blessing. It has helped me learn, grow, and deepen my relationship with Christ. I’m so thankful He has come into my life and changed me into a person who desires to glorify Him above all else. God’s grace has saved me, and my sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ!
Galatians 2 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”