main > testimonies > Nadezhda Titovich: “The decision on where you will spend eternity is to be taken here and now”
Nadezhda Titovich: “The decision on where you will spend eternity is to be taken here and now”
12.01.2010My vision about life and my life direction was a standard one: school, university, work, wedding, children, work, grandchildren, pension, old age… And later, well, people usually die.
I followed my course of life in accordance to this vision. I finished school, entered a university then fell in love being on my second year. It seems I had everything: loving parents, a bunch of good friends and my beloved. But at the same time there was something missing. When sharing my feelings and my thoughts with my friends I still felt I was beyond their comprehension.
Well, my studies at the university were drawing to a close and my idea was that I would have to go to work. Nothing of the sort. There was no distribution by the university so I had to look for a job myself. I was full of determination but there was no job for me, no one would take me on. I’d had my pre-graduation practical training at the customs and really wanted to work there. I collected all the necessary documents and submitted them expecting that I would be hired. My papers were under consideration for a long time and I stayed out of work all that time waiting for their reply. Then came despair. It is easy to lose hope in such a state.
My world collapsed totally when one day my boyfriend asked me to just be friends. I had something of a shock. During the four years we had never quarrelled or parted so I simply couldn’t believe all that.
When people encounter big problems or grief in their life, they either get drunk to stupor or go to an Orthodox church to put up candles or both. I also had that idea but I decided to resort to neither option on principle. I thought that perhaps I would feel well after taking alcohol but later it would turn into a perpetual headache and the problem wouldn’t be solved. What if I went to church to put up a candle? But then again who would I put it up for? Which saint? After all, it is not fair to turn to Him when the fire has already begun.
I decided I was strong and I would manage my own problems myself. But nothing worked out. I couldn’t stop thinking. Various thoughts incessantly attacked me. There was something indescribable happening in my heart. The way I felt shouldn’t happen to a dog. I was forever torturing myself: “Why? What have I done wrong? How can I make it right?” I would cry into my pillow. My parents were at a loss.
Thus it continued week after week, month after month. My depression stretched for a long time. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t even bear the sight of food. Thoughts of food made me feel sick. I made myself eat at least a bit. I lost a lot of weight. I developed metabolic disorder. I looked unwell, with my face always tear-stained. In about four months I quieted down, my tears stopped (I had no more) and I still had no job. But I cared not. How could I go to an interview with my face and eyes swollen up? Eventually I started to look like a ghost. Once I met my former boyfriend with a girl in town and it started all over again: Why? What for? What have I done? The easiest way out that I saw was to commit suicide. I thought I would at once feel so good, no thoughts would ever drill through my brain, my mind would be easy and all my problems would be solved at once.
I am a rather persistent and purposeful person by nature and once decided on something will persevere. I took a decision to put an end to my life and felt light and indifferent straight away. I had a goal of my escape and was moving towards it. I decided on the building I would jump from and the day I would do it on and had everything planned.
God, however, had a different plan for me.
Not long before I came across my former boyfriend with that girl, a friend of mine and my schoolmate invited me to her place and told me about Jesus Christ, the One who she believed, and about her church. I listened to her attentively and was very happy for her. Lena offered me to come to church with her. “No. Maybe another time. I’ll think about it”, I answered.
So when suicide was decided upon I thought I’d better go to church before I died. The only person who I knew as a churchgoer was my friend Lena. I called her and went to church with her on Sunday but I did not come forward I must admit nor did I change my plans. “I have already decided and cannot change my mind,” I thought.
I collected some of my things I regarded as valuable or important and wrote a suicide note to my parents. I put all the things into a shoebox and decided to post it like a present so that I would not be stopped should the box be discovered at home. Surely it would have been a cruel present on my part.
I was on my way home from a shop where I had bought some wrapping paper.
A little digression. My most favourite flowers are tulips. Every autumn I buy dozens of tulip bulbs to be planted so that I could enjoy them in spring.
I remember precisely that particular spot on a small staircase on the way home from the shop where I looked at the wrapping paper and realized I had subconsciously chosen paper with a pattern of tulips on it. Suddenly it dawned on me: “I have dreamed of seeing whole fields of tulips in Holland. I have also dreamed of visiting an ocean coast.” Then was another thought: “Well, tomorrow I will be no more. Can it be that I’ll never get to see it? That has been such a big dream of mine!”
By the time I was at the bottom of the stairs I had decided to live. But now I had an understanding that I wouldn’t pull through by myself. All my unassisted attempts had ended in a terrible depression and led to the decision to commit suicide. Right then, on my way home, I sincerely appealed to God to help me live further. I confided in Him so that He would change my life.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him…”
God knocked at my heart when my friend invited me to come over and spoke about Him. He knocked when I was at the service. He knocked through reminding me about my dreams. Jesus knocked till the end; he gave me hope and on April 7, 2002 I opened my heart to Him, I repented and entrusted my life to Him. He started His good work inside me.
Jesus turned my life around. He took away the pain, bitterness, anger, exasperation and fear. He healed the wounds in my heart, forgave me and taught to forgive others. I forgave my former lover and got rid of the feeling of guilt and bitterness. Jesus planted peace, joy, love and hope into my heart.
I thought I was alone with my problem, sufferings and pain. I thought neither friends nor family would understand how I felt and nobody could help me. In fact no person had gone thorough the same thing as there are no similar destinies. But Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, walked upon this earth and He was the only one who went through all the things many have been going through. People did not understand Him so He knows what it’s like to be outcast or misunderstood. He was verbally abused so He is acquainted with humiliation. He was betrayed by those who were close by so He is acquainted with betrayal. He was stoned, beaten by sticks and rods, spat in the face and was nailed to the cross so He is acquainted with physical abuse and pain. Everyone turned away from Him and when on the cross he cried out: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He knows what it’s like to be left and abandoned by everybody.
Satan scoffs at people all over the world by driving them into a corner and whispering: “There is a good way to get rid of all these sufferings, there is a way out, you’ll feel calm and peaceful at once….” But he is a thief and liar and “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10)
When taking a decision to commit suicide I thought it would rid me of my problems and I’d be free from the thoughts that were gnawing at me. I thought death would bring relief and I would feel better; I would calm down as it all would be over. But I was mistaken about it being the end because death is the beginning of your life in eternity. And this is not just 17, 23 or 36 years or even 80 - this is endless! The Bible clearly states that in eternity one will either be with or without God. The decision on where you will spend eternity is to be taken here and now.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15), “….the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” (Revelation 21:8)
Through various circumstances Jesus knocks at the door of each heart. He knocks and waits patiently and hopes His voice will be heard and the door opened so that He has an opportunity to help get everything changed and to provide future and hope.
I am grateful to God that He knocked at my door until it was opened. I believe that He who has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!