Hello everyone! Here below you can read the story of my conversion to Christ. I was strugglig with drug addiction and wrong style of life but one day God by His mercy delivered me. This is directed to everyone who is found in a similar situation, but as well to those who are not, as I think that everyone has a need within himself.
I will tell you some of my story. What is important in this story, is not actually me, but what happened to me and what made me well. This is a story with a good ending because whenever God is involved in a story, there is a good ending, even if there are plenty of obstacles and some failures throughout it. But God knows how to make a beauty out of the ashes.
I was an ordinary boy as any other and sometimes even had more than the rest of my peers had as my parents have always provided for me what I needed. I studied well at school, did all my homework, and listened to my parents. I had everything and didn’t lack anything. There was this emptiness however that was in me and I didn’t know how to fill it properly. I played with other kids, I practiced sports, I had almost all of the video games available at that time, but I still wanted something more from life. My desire was to be different from the rest of the people and in this way to attract the attention to me and to feel important. I started to get bored too with my life style as a good student at school. I thought that this wasn’t cool and I was a loser if I had to carry on in the same way. Slowly I started to change my surroundings and friends. I started getting together with all the notorious guys from my school. In this way my life style started changing as I started going to parties, discos and all the activities of the kind. Obviously all the stuff accompanying these activities came along. I started smoking and drinking regularly. I was only 13 when this happened. I didn’t want to conform with this alone. I wanted to go even further than what my friends were doing. At the age of 14 I started smoking marijuana. I quickly embraced it and only after three months I started buying bigger quantities with the purpose to sell them. This was again a way in which I could have appeared as someone more special and distinctive than the others. From just smoking marijuana, I passed on harder drugs such as ecstasy, tranquilizers and eventually heroin. At the age of 16 I had tried almost all kind of substances available at that time. I started having issues with the police too. All of this brought issues with the school I was attending and in two years I changed four of them. Not to think that in the previous years I was given as a good example in front of other students for my good votes and efforts when studying. Things really got worse and I started having really serious issues with my surroundings, with my friends who eventually left me on my own and with my parents which I kept on hurting. I really got almost everything this kind of life could have given me in a short time. At the end I couldn’t fill myself the way I thought it was going to happen. Things just got worse and out of hand. I started feeling the void in me stronger and stronger. At the age of 17 I was feeling empty and emotionally destroyed. My parents spoke to me for a long time to go to some rehabilitation program to cure myself, but I always denied as I though this wasn’t for me and that I was going to find a way to manage the situation. One day I felt so down that I couldn’t handle it any more and I agreed to go to the place they spoke about. I remember meeting with someone to speak with me about how the place was, before getting there. I didn’t care much and that’s why I barely remember what they told me. After a while I was admitted.
I am originally from Bulgaria, but the rehabilitation place I was admitted to, was in Italy. This made it just harder for me and I didn’t manage to understand a lot of the things the people were trying to explain to me while guiding me through the program. I understood that the center was Christian as the people there were having the Bible as their main literature. It was a Christian based rehabilitation center and community. It was formed by volunteers that in their past had experiences with wrong style of life and addictions, that were delivered by the faith in God. Most of the people however, with myself in that number, were there just because of the program they were undergoing. Many of the rules as well were based on the Bible. All of this was too much for me and I was also on the contrary as the religion I grew up with was different. The religion I was brought up with was Cristian orthodox (even though I wasn’t following it properly) and it was different than the one they presented to me, which was based entirely on the Bible. I saw also that it was taken quite seriously, and I wasn’t used to that. The message delivered in the services was in Italian and I couldn’t also get much of it. I wasn’t actually listening at all.
Along with all of that, my state wasn’t getting better. I kept on feeling empty and depressed. I remember that I recovered physically, but on the inside I was the same, still desperate. I also had still desire to keep on with my old style of life with drugs and everything else I was used to. I didn’t actually want to change. I didn’t find a motivation for it.
With all of this came along some issues I was experiencing with the rules of the center and the leaders there. Some people in the beginning wanted to help me, but with time most of them withdrew as they saw that I wasn’t changing. I am sure though that there were still people praying for me at that time and trying to make an impact. All of these issues and problems were making me to feel weak and hopeless. This pushed me to ask God for help. I didn’t know how to pray and neither someone taught me, but I remember that in those darkest moments I used to go through in that time, I used to speak with God and tell Him about my situation. I also started reading again the New Testament. I am saying that I started again to read because at the first time when someone handed it to me, I read it for about a week as any other ordinary book and then I just left it aside. Although I wasn’t agree with the way the people were believing there, I started looking for a help from God when I had moments by myself. I don’t remember the exact way, but slowly the words I was reading in the Bible started taking life and speaking to me. In the beginning I was thinking that this was happening by chance, but then as it starter to occur more often, I understood that this was more than an ordinary book and this helped me to believe in God. As I was seeing the very situations and moments I was going through written there. I started seeing and perceiving some outer power, something much higher than me and it was real. The key moment was when He convinced me in my sins and by His mercy, I managed to really repent in front of Him. Since that moment my life started to change. I remember the service we had at the time I repented. I don’t remember the message, just remember that we bowed our heads in prayer and I don’t know if I started to pray or not, but all of a sudden all my life and wrongs came in front of me as a film and something convinced me that what I had done was wrong and I felt very displeased. Then I started asking God for forgiveness with tears on my eyes. I remember that when we finished the meeting, my eyes were still wet, but I was happy. It started with deep sorrow, but it finished with a joy. All of this was so natural!
You have to know that before this happened, I never actually realized that my lifestyle was wrong. My plan was to be in the place for some 4-6 months so that I can please my parents and then to come back and to carry on with the drugs and my old style of life, but making it in a sharper way. That was the set of mind I was having. When God convinced me in sin, I was convinced more than any other thing, in the way I was living and hurting other people, not so much about the substances I was using. Those weren’t the main things I had to repent from. After this, I understood also that the usage of substances wasn’t right too.
I am saying this, because many people want to fight their problems and issues with addictions, but sometimes they focus only on them, when the main problem is what stays behind it, it is our sin in general. All people need Jesus, not only those who struggle with addictions and an evident wrong style of life. This however is a matter of a choice. Each one needs to face the own consequences of his own choices.
What was funny in all of this was that I didn’t manage to understand any word in the church services I attended before I converted. This was obviously because the language in which it was preached, was Italian and I didn’t quite understand it, because there were only few months that I was in the country and neither did I have desire to learn it. When I received the forgiveness and I felt the presence of God, I didn’t know if any other person had felt the same. After that I started to feel much better anyway. The hopelessness disappeared from my life and everything that looked black and white, got colored and filled with hope. Not long after this, people started to see the change in me even if I wasn’t purposely showing it. I got desire to learn Italian and I started slowly to understand what they spoke about in the services. All of this was a confirmation that what I felt was felt by others too, and this convinced me more in the Christian doctrine and the importance of the Bible. After a time, I could look back at this situation and see that weren’t people or human hand to convince me in the truth of God and the Bible but God Himself through His Spirit. Today I don’t underestimate the fact that also persons can be involved in someone’s conversion however as I know that God uses people as well to perform His work. What happened to me was my own experience because I probably needed it as I was quite sceptic toward people in that time. I also saw that not all of the people in the church lived accordingly and were true believers, but few of them, and this also convinced me in the truth of the word as He says in His word that those saved are few. This made me to feel privileged by being a believer.
Things changed after that. I got hope in my life. Finally, the void I was having in my life got filled and I was having a purpose. That was knowing God. I think that this is the main purpose that everyone needs to have in his life, beside all the other activities he is busy with. People around me could see the change, even if I wasn’t showing them purposely that. I decided to stay a bit longer in the place so that I can focus more on knowing God.
The desires I had before about the wrong style of life, disappeared and replaced with the desire to share the good news of the gospel. Something that no one was telling me to do, but I was doing because what happened in me was so real. I don’t consider myself as a religious person or someone who follows certain rituals to be in peace with himself. I am just expressing myself about what helped me and I think that can help others too.
I was finally convinced that my old style of life and the drugs were wrong. More than anything because they were wrong in front of God. So, in consequence of knowing God and changing my life, I managed to quit drugs. Something that I doubt I was going to do in any other way at that time. I am saying this because I know myself and the set of mind I was having at that age. He helped me in many areas of my life and not only about the issues with the drugs. I never approached God just because of these issues, but because of my life in general, because of the need I was having, and because something convinced me that I had to repent. That was His Spirit. After the change that I experienced, I understood also that the lifestyle I was having in general with the drugs, was wrong. My repentance was involving many things, not only that single thing.
Some time later on, God made me to understand that I had to remain in the place as a volunteer, to attend the new people that were frequently coming. I had a desire to transmit what I had received. This came so naturally. See, someone in today’s days will admire people that volunteer and give out of their free time to the others with the purpose to help them, but in my case it wasn’t because I am a good man or I wanted to feel good by helping the others, but because God had placed that desire in me. I felt that I need to serve the One who delivered me and love Him, because He loved me first. I am telling you today this story to let you know that there is a solution no matter of the situation you are in. God is attending you with open arms. We just need to come to realization of our need and situation.