Author E. A.- OCP News Service – 13/01/19
I am a writer, and through my works, I try my best to cultivate hope among people (things can change for the better). However, these changes come with certain conditions. One must have a strong faith and hope in God, and as well as in the belief of a good outcome. If you have an unquestioning faith that God will help you, even in the worst situation, you will not feel frustrated or hopeless. You will have a strong determination to move forward. When you follow God’s way, He will bless you with Thy Grace.
My granny used to tell me that my gift of writing came from Jesus. Why? Because of a dream that she had. When my mom was pregnant with me, my granny had a dream. She dreamed that my mom was ill in bed. Jesus, holding papyrus and a quill came up to my mother and touched her head. It wasn’t until after that dream that my granny found out about my mother’s pregnancy.
Therefore, I try to use my gift of writing to bring positive changes in people’s lives, as well as to entertain them with stories that everyone can relate to themselves. My stories guide, teach, sometimes inspire, and show how to deal with various issues. They also show that with God in your life, everything is possible.
Today, I would like to tell you the story of my journey to Orthodox Christianity
I was born into a modern Azerbaijani family in Baku and was raised in the Islamic faith. However, my great-granny, Semenikova Mariya Fedorovna (b. 1918) was an Orthodox Christian Russian woman. Her father and uncle were Orthodox priests (who were forced to flee Russia and moved to France). Their fate remains a mystery to me.
Mariya moved from Russia to Azerbaijan and got married to a Muslim man and gave birth to my granny as well as other children.
Even though my granny (Mariya’s daughter) was a Muslim, she always used to tell me stories from the Bible and encouraged me to read the Holy Book. She used to say that the Bible is full of wisdom. Surprisingly she believed that Jesus is the Son of God. At my home, we always had the Bible and the Quran, as well as a book on Orthodox Christian faith. I have to admit that, as I grew up, I did not give attention to that book.
As a child, I believed that Jesus was our savior, and I promised to build a Church for Him. I even defended Him when my Muslim friends used to say that he was only a prophet.
In 2012, while lying in bed sick, burning with fever and in a lot of pain, I felt saddened to be away from my mom, my people, my country. At the same time, I realized that I wanted to get baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church because I believed that we can only be saved through Jesus Christ. I wanted to go to my country to get baptized, but could not get a ticket. When I realized that I would not be able to get an airline ticket, I asked God to open up my way so that I could go home and get baptized. Not long after, I got my airline ticket.
When I arrived in my homeland, I told my mother about my plans to get baptized and spoke to a Matushka to arrange a date for my baptism. My mother was not happy with my decision.
She told me that if I betrayed my Muslim religion, my life would get worse; in their eyes, it is a huge sin. I got worried, and the night before my baptism I prayed to God. I told Him, “Lord do You really want me to get baptized? Is it coming from You? Please give me a sign.”
Shortly afterward I fell asleep (for a few minutes). During that time, I dreamed that I was lying on the floor in the same bedroom. My hands were crossed over my chest. A blue shiny circular light approached me. In my dream, I knew that the light was from God, and it was approaching me in order to baptize me. Then I recalled my mother’s warning that if I get baptized my life would change for the worse. I got scared because of her words.
However, the light surrounded me and I woke up right away. I felt so overjoyed and happy because I knew God had given me a sign. The only thing that puzzled me was why the color of the light had been blue. I looked up on the internet and found out that It spiritually signifies the Healing Power of God.
The next morning, I went to Church and got baptized in the freezing water. Because of the cold water, I got sick again and had to stay in bed for a few days.
However, I was happy and at peace because I became an Orthodox Christian.
We had the book on Orthodox way of living and the Bible at my home (for more than 8 years). I took them with me.