Guest post by Dasha
This is part two of Dasha’s story, read part one here.
I was searching for hope. God turned my head and I saw light in the darkness, it was the end of the tunnel, because darkness pulled me in so far I had to run away from it.
Running toward the light was the turning point in life. I still fight with depression, but I have God to fight for me.
I used to not smile, and always walk with my head down. I wasn’t able to make friends easily and God changed that, He gave me my family!
Let me back up to tell you how I got to this point of finding the Light in my darkness.
I heard the Gospel often for about 6 months and for me it was just words, some theory.
Anybody can tell the Gospel, but to live it is something that takes sacrifice and being willing to go out of the comfort zone.
For me, seeing the love Laura and Landon shared with each other was eye opening, the way they treated people was so different from what I've known all my life. That right there was love of Christ, it was impossible to miss it.
But, I guess I needed to see something else, now I know that it is called fellowship and the body of Christ as a whole.
Five months into Landon and Laura’s year in Russia I was invited to attend the Christian conference that was held in St Petersburg. Of course I wanted to go, solely for my selfish reasons wanting to see this beautiful city. Little did I know the conference was held 40 minutes outside the city, but I would never regret a minute spent there.
There I saw that Jesus is personal, I saw that Christians are not only elderly women at the end of their lives (which is much more typical in Russia, grandmothers that held on to their faith in spite of many years of communism).
I saw that Christians can be young, fun and full of life! I saw what Christian fellowship meant. I saw a big family of 250 people coming from completely different families, cities, backgrounds, and nationalities. It was a breathtaking, life changing, extraordinary experience.
While we were there we had a day of outreach where we partnered up to share the Gospel in the dorms. I had not accepted the Gospel as truth myself, but was obedient to share what I knew and saw a girl trust Christ with me that day!
After I came back from the conference, I asked Landon for a copy of Passion of the Christ to watch at home. As I watched it, right there there God touched my heart. Before that I was only perceiving Him with my mind and finally the truth pierced through my soul, travelled through my mind to the wellspring of life (proverbs 4:23).
I am a visual learner, so everything that has been told to me about Christ before came on to the screen and it was as if I lived through the whole experience.
It was a life switch for me, I finally knew who Jesus was, I got it!
I then opened the good ole 4 spiritual laws booklet, skipped to the last page where there was a sample prayer and I frantically read it.
I didn’t know back then it was SO important, that angels rejoice in heaven when yet another child is accepted in the kingdom of the Father.
The Father I so desperately was longing for all my life.
I decided to keep this secret and tell Laura later to make it a going away surprise in the letter she was supposed to open on the plane. Well, I shared a little earlier.
Laura is my sister I have always wanted; this year marks our 9 year anniversary. What a journey it has been to live with God as Daddy and to have such family as Laura and Landon.
Laura is my example of how to be gentle as a dove and wise as a snake. God has given her a genuine gift to love people.
We have been through thick and thin together.
We've shared endless laughs, best walks, jokes, stories, tea (iced or hot), peeling and eating pomegranates, cooking, taking pictures, shopping hunts, Bible studies, praying together, road trips, playing games, playing with my nephew Liam, taking pictures, being goofy, doing make up, pajama parties.
We have also been together for some heartbreaking news, weeping, grief and sorrow, and sickness. We’ve spent hours studying Russian and coming up with the craziest ideas, painting the walls, and eating ice cream.
We have taken turns literally saving each other’s lives in scary situations (taxi rides, walking across busy streets, etc.). This post definitely won’t hold all of our memories, and I hope that we will have many more to come.
Landon has the official status of my father-brother who always cares, first of all for my spiritual growth. He has supported and encouraged me when I needed it most. He is the man representing what a godly husband, brother, and father should be. Believe me, I have watched him closely and know he is not perfect but God has made sure I would have a great example.
And Liam, my nephew, no words to describe what a blessing he is to me, what a picture of joy and love, of God's redemption. I miss my little hedgehog.
God sought me out and I am forever grateful I get to share His greatness with His children.
So, love did ruin my life as I knew it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.