I was born in Bulgaria and was 10 years old when communism fell. Nobody believed in God. My parents never went to church. I thought I was doing fine in life. I was a good kid and always did well in school.
When I turned 14 years old, I started to look for more in life. I did what I saw other people do.
I made a lot of bad choices. I had a best friend who I did everything with. We did some bad things like smoking and lying to our parents.
I didn’t have a good relationship with my parents and my relationship with my best friend was ended because her parents would not allow us to spend time together any longer.
I was angry with everyone and decided to try and commit suicide. I jumped from the sixth floor of a dorm in my high school.
Miraculously, I stayed alive. The doctors saved my life and I was in the hospital for 10 months.
In the middle of my stay in the hospital, I was asking God, Why? Why did You let this happen to me?
I heard about a prayer to accept Jesus in my life from a brochure. I memorized the prayer but didn’t know the meaning or anything. I would just read the prayer when I was in trouble. So I was praying regularly, Jesus, I believe in you, come into my heart.
In the midst of asking God these questions and praying this prayer, I was moved to another hospital.
At the new hospital, I met a nurse who was the first Christian I’d ever met in my life. I knew immediately that she was different. I had never seen anyone show love the way she did. She became a friend to me and my mom.
One day she told us that she’d been an alcoholic but she had seen the JESUS Film and it changed her life.
I saw that her life was different, but thought, That’s great, but that’s boring, that’s not for people like me who want to live an exciting life.
Six months later, I was at home ready to start school again. I was recovered and my health was back to 100 percent - everything felt like a new beginning.
But something was missing and it really bothered me.
I still questioned, Why did this happen to me? What’s the meaning of life? I had conversations with my parents and people in my little town about God, but they were all atheists and didn’t know or understand.
One day I prayed, “God, if you really exist, please let me know.”
One week later, I was walking home and thinking about my life and had a vision where I saw all of my life like on a movie screen. God was there and I felt like God was wanting to get to know me and come into my life but I didn’t want to let Him. It was very interesting because I saw for one second that everything made sense.
Everything — the bad decisions, the hospital, the nurse — it all happened to get me to Jesus.
Everything finally made sense.
I remembered the nurse because she told me that God is here with us and alive but we just don’t see Him. His spirit is with us. Suddenly, it made sense for me. For the first time, I prayed that prayer I knew by heart, but this time I prayed and understood it, “God, please come into my heart. Forgive me that I took so long. Thank you for dying for me. Please come into my life.”
I went back home and the emptiness I had felt was no longer there.
I stayed two more years in high school and then went to the town of Sofia and met Campus Crusade for Christ staff, got involved, started growing in my faith and God put a desire in me to do His work.
I joined campus staff in 2002 after attending University in Sofia and have been here doing ministry for 10 years.
Jesus is always the reason. He is the purpose. He is life.
Didi likes to hang out with friends, walking around, jogging, reading and snow-skiing. She is a team leader in Bulgaria on campus at Sofia University. She wants to help raise student leaders to continue God’s work in Bulgaria. She hopes to begin long-term ministry in Central Asia very soon.
If you are reading this and for some reason you hate God, and you feel alone, know that He is constantly loving you. He will turn the situation around. Therefore, choose God as He chooses you.
It could be said that I grew up in the church, however, my heart was not entirely in it.
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