Irena Charkovienė

Vilnius, Lithuania

Which way to go


I always believed that God existed.

In the childhood prayer was my daily routine. And this wasn’t because my parents were believers, but because I have seen and felt so much pain around me.  My dad was alcoholic.  He was drinking every day and beating my mom: attached her with knife, stones, iron rods, he was trying to strange her or drown her… I couldn’t do anything about it, so I cried out to God for help.

And this continued and continued till my fifth grade. My school was far from home, so I started renting flat near the school and coming back home only weekends. I felt that I got away from everything.  No one controlled me and the most importantly I didn’t see what was happening at home.

Once my religion teacher offered me to go to Christian youth event and I agreed to come. I met many young people, who lived joyfully; it seemed that their hearts were alive, when I was full of insecurities and pain. After this event Christian youth started gathering in our village and of course I was with them. I thought: „You want to show who God really is? Good! I want to know Him“.

After a year I started hanging out with a group of people who lived free life: they were drinking, smoking, led a depraved life. More and more time I was spending with them, but I didn’t leave the Christian group either. I fell in love.  Everything was caught up in a momentum. Then I started paying attention that my new friends were not really happy. The life of theirs was just a way to run from their problems and pain.  

I was living double life and I knew that this situation can’t last log. So, I decided to choose one part of my double life. When I started thinking about life with God I realized that God loves me personally and he paid the price of all my sins on a cross; He was waiting for me patiently even when I was wasting my life. I chose to life with God and didn’t even consider staying with that friends group.   

Even till this decision, which I can surely call the best in my life, God made a miracle: I never tried to smoke, I was never drunk, I never indulged in lust, though I spent so much time with these friends and I was very curious.

Not only my life, but also my heart was brought back to life. God taught me to love and forgive in daily situations, He cured my wounds, and some of them are still in the process of curing. As one person said: “I wouldn’t change my worst day with Christ to the best day without Him”.

I trust in God and I love Him, because He loved me first.  

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