Friday, October 5, 2018

Always Growing

I have learned that even when God shows me something, it doesn't always mean exactly that. It's interesting.  But I do think Jesus shows us things for us to grow in Him.

I keep hearing a song over and over. It comes to me many times in the day. It is I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.  Each time I hear it in my mind, it makes me feel warm and stronger.  I felt encouraged to keep praying for the prayer ministry of Grace Haven and so many families. I saw little kids who come who are confused and don't have understanding of who God is.

In my mind I keep seeing an image of myself playing a guitar. I know it doesn't make sense so I keep asking God to show me why am I playing the guitar? I think Jesus wants me to rest in worship so much. It's when I focus best and I feel certain. I really think I am supposed to keep praying.

For a season this year I was feeling so much pain and during that time I was tempted to stop worshipping and to stop listening to bible teaching.  It was almost like I wanted to hide from Him and zone out to TV shows. The shows weren't bad, but they were all about emotions and feelings, and not really telling me the truth about the healing God wants to do. It was like I got wrapped up in my own world and not seeing what God's doing. 

Sometimes I have to do what I don't feel like. Even if I try, God never leaves me alone and keeps reminding me to come back to him.  And the thing is, I am never sorry for turning back to God and listening!

The Message bible says this in Isaiah 14:24-27 and I like it so much.  It says:

God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks:
“Exactly as I planned,
    it will happen.
Following my blueprints,
    it will take shape.
I will shatter the Assyrian who trespasses my land
    and stomp him into the dirt on my mountains.
I will ban his taking and making of slaves
    and lift the weight of oppression from all shoulders.”
This is the plan,
    planned for the whole earth,
And this is the hand that will do it,
    reaching into every nation.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies has planned it.
    Who could ever cancel such plans?
His is the hand that’s reached out.
    Who could brush it aside?

   I pray that whoever is reading this would know that whatever hard thing you are going through, when it is finished, you will understand.  Our hard things are for growing us even when we can't see it. I'm glad I'm not stuck in my TV zone anymore because I feel so much better when I am connecting to Jesus!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Yes You Can

Happy Spring to my friends and followers! I hope you are all doing well.  So much time has gone by since I have shared here.  My family has had a year of many surgeries and recoveries but I am happy to say that we see healing and we are doing the best we can with God's help.

Easter day was joyful in our home and I was feeling good too and spent most of the day up in my chair.  We were laughing and joking and being very silly as usual with my brothers and sisters.

But....then it happened. That night as I went to sleep with peace, I had a dream and not a good one!  I was back in Ukraine and the caregivers were saying to me, "Your family doesn't want you anymore. You aren't fun. Everyone talks bad about you! You have betrayed us by telling them about us.  You didn't tell the truth!" In the dream I was arguing back with them, but when I woke up my mind was no longer peaceful and happy as it had been just the day before!

As I woke up I also noticed I felt extra sore in all of my muscles and I couldn't see clearly. It was blurry and I wondered if I was going blind!  I felt a fight inside of me, as if everything is against me.

I began praying and asking God what's happening.  God told me to look up and find what's good.  I thought about it and realized we become blind when we stop looking at Jesus.  I just kept hearing to make my focus on him.  Even if I'm in pain, I know so many others are hurting too.  It's not just me.  It's pain we all feel at times.  After a short while I could see like normal again.

God kept speaking to my heart and I heard, "When Satan tells you no one cares about you, THAT is exactly how you can know I care about you."  Wow.  I just kept thinking about this and I began to realize that even when I can't know things - maybe I can. For example, I can feel the prayers of my friends even when they don't tell me they are praying. 

I just wanted so much to share this with those out there who feel like giving up right now because everything feels like a fight, like it's just too hard.  I want you to know I understand that feeling but even more, God knows what's going on with you right now.  I am praying for you to feel hope.

With God all things are possible.  
Matthew 19:26

Love is in the Light,


Monday, March 13, 2017

The Ones Left Behind

My heart cries out for orphans left behind.  I always want to do something.  I know my prayers help but I wish I could do more.

The children are hungry.  They always need food.  They ask for food but the caregivers tell them they don't need anymore, that they have had enough.  I know it's not true.    Where I lived there was food, but they often took it away.  It took so long to feed the weak children and they didn't want to be bothered by us.  When I asked them why, they told me it was none of my business. Often food would be thrown in the toilet or taken to their own homes.

I know God sees this and knows it isn't right.  I want to share with the world what really happens inside of many institutions because once, I couldn't find anyone to help me.  I couldn't share my hurts with people who knew and could do something about it.

My friend Lena, who was very sick with hydrocephaly laid beside me.  Before she died, she and I talked a lot about what to do to help but we didn't know and we were helpless.  We wanted to help the other children but we couldn't even move ourselves.  I know there must be other children who were feeling the same way.

Nikita (died in 2006)

One day Lena's biological parents came to visit and they asked about the bruises on our bodies.  The caregivers said that they weren't anything for them to worry about and tried to shut them up.  I remember being so tired but I spoke up right then and said, "That's not true.  They beat us."  Lena's mom was standing beside me with big eyes, unable to believe what she was hearing.  The caregiver explained that I always lie and not to believe me.  I could tell Lena's mom believed me but she couldn't really help us.  She was just a poor woman without power and the caregiver knew it.

I remember her mom being so surprised that we were so strong to speak like that.  I think it was my will to live.  I didn't want to die.  Now, I know it was God in me that wouldn't let me give up.

The other day I had a dream that I went back to Ukraine with my adopted family.  I don't know how that happened but it was a dream, so I guess anything can happen in a dream.  I was visiting the old institution and the caregivers told me not to worry about the kids.  I told them, "They are not fine!"  The caregivers were trying to hide information.  I saw a boy with dried blood on his face and I told them I saw it.  They said back to me, "You never stop. You are a liar."  I was so angry in the dream and right then my mom stood up and said, "I know what you did to Lucia."  They continued lying to my mom and telling her that they loved on me.  I was crying so hard and they accused me of pretending.  Inside I felt such a sharp pain.  If I could, I would adopt all of the kids because I am just so tired of them being hurt by people who are supposed to care for them.

I realize that the way I see people now is different than how I saw them before.  I used to see grown ups as mean or angry.  Now I understand that people can be beautiful and kind.  I see that my mom stands up for me.  She isn't at all like I thought she would be.  I thought I would come here and lay in the bed and do nothing but none of what they told me was going to happen to me, has happened.  Mom says we don't always have the answers about why this happened but God will tell me one day and that is good.  I want so much for the children left behind to know it is not their fault and God will one day show them everything too.

I feel myself sharing more and more about my past.  When you are told you are a liar all of the time, you learn to stay quiet. But staying quiet doesn't help adoptive families understand their children and it doesn't help the children left behind.

I hope the things I share here don't just make you sad, but help you realize what truly happens to orphans.  It is hard to hear, but even harder to live it.  Maybe together with God we can make a difference in the world.

The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From his dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions them all, He who understands all their works. 
                                                                                                                     Psalm 33:13-15

Love is in the Light,


Friday, October 7, 2016

The Lord is my Strength

 My mom has been doing this fun activity with me and my brothers and sisters that has helped me to know the bible better.  She writes a bible verse on the white board and we say it together and then she erases one word at a time, and we say it again until no words are left. The other day I memorized,

The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

After we finished the lesson, we went to Amanda's house for horse lessons.  We each take turns while mom reads to the others in the van.  This time she is reading from Gideon about how God called Gideon to fight against the Midianites but he was afraid because he was the weakest one in his family.  He asked God to show him several signs because he wanted to be sure to do the right thing.

Right then, Amanda comes over to the van to say that she is selling their ranch and we were surprised.  We love to go there for horse.  My mom was quiet and soon she asked Amanda questions about the ranch.

My mom shared with Amanda about the vision we have for Grace Haven and pretty soon Amanda tells my mom that the land has always been used to minister to children.  Really amazing is that Amanda's mom had the same kind of vision for the land that mom and dad had written down for Grace Haven!  Even more exciting, Amanda would like to join us in ministry!
Soon, I see that we need God's help to know what to do next. He is our help and our strength. I reminded my mom of the verse we just learned in Psalms.  And I think we are like Gideon, we need signs to know what to do. 
I have great people who help me.  They have big hearts.

The next Monday that I went to horse, I wasn't as quiet. I was more excited to work and this time I worked not with the mini horse, but with the big horse.  I held the rope and I called to the horse using a loud voice. That is unusual for me.  I felt strong.
I think this is joy and what God gives and this is what I hope every child feels. I believe he is leading us into new exciting things coming up because I feel it inside of me.

To parents:  It really helped me when I could memorize bible verses.  It is good to hear the bible, but it is even better when I am by myself to be able to use verses I have in my heart.  If reading is hard or paying attention is hard like it is for me sometimes, then listening in song really helps.  

I have had it on my heart for hurting children to know God sees their heartache and that he hurt when he saw them hurt.  I also pray they do not blame God or their adoptive parents for the pain others gave to them.  

Love is in the light,


Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Am Fully Known

   I want to say hello to everyone because it has been a long time.  Today I found out some sad news that my birth grandma passed away.  It has me thinking about death and life and suffering.

  I want to make everything right.  I want to take away suffering.  I can feel Satan try to take my joy away. I even want to get angry.
I fight him with my prayers and I use my words that I know are true and still sometimes it just hurts.

 I wish I can do more. I wish I could help more.  When kids tell me they feel sorry for me because I am in a wheelchair,  I tell them this is part of God's story.  Sometimes I wish it didn't have to be, because I can picture myself doing so much more.  I really don't want anyone to feel sorry when they are with me, but to feel Jesus when they are with me.

No matter what, it's not my strength, it has to be God's strength.  His power breaks wrong thoughts that want me stuck.  I understand I need to stay close to God no matter what.

I think I should share that today when my mom gave me the hard news about my grandmother,  she talked to me too about the bible verse God showed her this morning in prayer.  It is:

Now we see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

Amazingly, today in the mail arrived a new book she bought for me and she opened it after we discussed this verse.  The book is called, Why Do People Suffer? by James Jones.  As she reads to me the first verse she comes to is once again 1 Corinthians 13:12!  I believe he really wanted me to hear this today.

For parents:  Believe God is doing a good work in your child.  There may be things today you cannot see and understand why, but one day you will.  I know it's especially  hard when your children can't or don't speak to you about their problems, but know that God knows all the details.  He will lead you in the right time, to know what is best to do.

Love is in the light,


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hearing God's Voice

    Summer is here and I have been enjoying it.  In June I spent a week at Bible Farm.  I met new friends and I really liked this one activity called Listening Tree.  We would spend time learning how to listen to God's voice and hear him in our lives.   One teaching was about how God has a special plan for each of our lives and I see how important it is to hear Him more than my feelings.

    I have continued to work on writing with my mom on my book about all of the things that happened to me before I was adopted.  I told my mom that I often have feelings of anger and I won't realize where it came from.   I see how important it is to listen to myself and be aware of these feelings so I can deal with it.

   I am spending time doing bible time with my brother Maxim too.  I listen to a bible app on my ipad and talk with Maxim about what we learn.   We have been taking notes on what God is doing in us.  For instance the other day God gave me a picture of
 a pastor and preaching to people about God's love.  I pray for many people.  I want to spend my life helping others who were abused to know that it's not their fault and to help them hear God's voice too.

   Writing my story is important to me.  It's not just my story because many children are still living in mental institutions and suffering.  I know some of these children have been adopted and if they don't know how to talk or are too scared, I hope my story will help them.  I hope it helps their adoptive parents to understand their child better too.

    Healing takes time.  I want to be happy all the time but sometimes memories come and I need to deal with them.  I want to see this for families where they understand the hidden pains.   My brothers do not deal with their memories and feelings the same as me.  For them they try not to think about it or try to keep busy playing to not feel it.  Everyone is different but they still feel.

    For me it is better to let my feelings out.  If I keep them in I will feel crazy.  I think God wants us to share our feelings with Him and with our family.  I learned everyone in my family has a story and we all need Jesus.

   It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.          Galatians 5:1

   So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:6-7

   I remind myself that I am not in the past.  I am new and its ok to have feelings but they don't control me.  I often think things are my fault and then I stop myself.  It's not my fault and I won't give power to that feeling.

    I hope if you are reading this that you will know God is with you all the time.  You are never alone.  God watched what happened to me and he knows what happened to you.  He heard us and He comes to help us.

Love is in the light,


Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Spring Update

      Hi everybody!  Lots is going on in the house.  I'm praying a lot and talking to mom a lot but we haven't had as much time to write.  There is a lot God is doing in me the last months.

     I went to a Valentine's dance with my brother, Cephas, and we had a good time together.  I met new people.  There was a special lady who helped me there.  She asked me about my family and I told her I was adopted.  She was surprised I was so old when I was adopted.  Not many children are adopted at 16!  Cephas and I were even able to sing karaoke.  We sang Amazing Grace together.    

    The most amazing part of that day was it was a hard day for me.  I wasn't feeling good that day.  I am also quiet a lot and go to bed early.  This night it was very loud and I talked to many people. I saw it was after 9 pm and I was feeling great!  I think this was God who was making me feel better.  The next morning when my Dad came to get me up, my stomach was feeling great, my body wasn't hurting, and I was ready to go to church.  

    Another new thing is I started going to home school classes.  I go to Brain Exercises, Reading, and Science classes.  I really enjoy my classes.  Brain class is my favorite.  It teaches me what to do when I am stressed out with my ipad school.  I learned some good breathing exercises and it helps me.   I am so happy God gave me an opportunity to go to classes.  The people are very nice to me there and I feel welcome.

    The Grace Haven house is being built and there are lots of meetings going on.  There's much to be done and I ask Dad all the time when it will be done.  I can't wait for groups to meet at the house.  It's amazing what God wants to do.  I feel passionate.  Recently a teen girl came over with her dad and I got to talk with her.  I talked to her about how God helps me in my struggles.  We prayed with her and her dad.  She is doing good and I heard she has been baptized.  I pray for her a lot.  I say, 'I know God you can do amazing stuff.  Help her know who you are and understand her family. Let her know her family has the best for her."  I pray that a lot.

    I need to tell you about my dream because it was good.   Remember, I said there was a mean worker at the institution who did things to me.  Well,  I had a dream she came to me and said, "Bring Jesus! I am sorry! I judged you. I was wrong.  I hurt you because I was hurt too. Bring Jesus, bring your family and come.  We need you.  There is war.  Help us!"  I felt so light because I was able to really forgive her.  I don't even feel bad feelings anymore about all that she did to me.  Now God is saying she needs help.

   I can let God take care of Galena.  I can release the other ones who hurt me and let God take over.  God is showing me He will do the things we need if we let Him do it.  If you just let go you will feel so much better.

  To adoptive parents - I believe your kids can release their pain to God.  I believe your kids will someday know who God is and will talk to you about their pain.  And I believe they will know you did nothing to hurt them. I pray for you to be strong while you wait.  Don't let the devil control your thoughts.  He wants you to see only the very worst. He doesn't want you to know who you are.

I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles, my JOY knows no bounds.  2 Corinthians 7:4


Love is in the light,

Here I am at the Tim Tebow Night to Shine dance with my Buddy!

Here I am with my mom 3 years ago exactly! 

 From Mom -  Lucia and I have been talking about the amazing freedom in prayer there is when there is forgiveness.  When doubt is gone, there is such a fullness!  We praise God for giving her such a beautiful and vivid dream of meeting up with someone who once caused her such pain and now when she hears her name and sees her face she no longer feels trauma but compassion.  Only God can do that!