I do not know why it took me so long to write about it. Maybe because out of everything else this one seems to be most personal.
I was born in communist Russia. At that time people were no longer punished for going to the church but they themselves were not sure what or who they believed in. Both of my parents are atheists, dad more so than mom. Mom is a spiritual atheist, I would say 🙂 She was baptized by my grandma but she is not sure whether she believes in God or not.
When I was 6 or 7 they gave me a book (of course what else could it be?) for my birthday. It was called “My first Bible stories”. The book was brand new and had that intoxicating smell of a freshly published book. It had the old Russian language in it and that made the book even more mysterious and attractive. I had read and heard some stories from the Bible before but there was something special about that particular book.
At the same time, a very interesting structure appeared right by my school. It was something that looked like a train car but smaller. And inside of it there was an orthodox chapel. I was drawn to that chapel as if it had a magnet inside of it. I loved going there, looking at icons, talking to the lady who was sitting by the entrance, smelling the inscents. I was looking for God and I found Him.
A few years later the chapel closed but I was too busy at school to notice or care. When I was 16, my English teacher at University said that if we wanted to practice our English we can go to the Protestant Church which had guest native speakers. And I went. And I stayed.
I am a very liberal Christian. But regardless of that my faith is strong. My New Testament is covered in side notes, foot notes, highlights, and stickers. I have brothers and sisters all over the world. And I want to go back to the church. I have faith that it will happen again. And I am thankful for that faith.