Spiritual Sunday

On this Spiritual Sunday, we also celebrate International Women’s Day and the accomplishments of women worldwide. I noted that Russia applauds women on this day particularly for homemaking and motherhood. This made me think of a friend of mine. She declared while still in college in Russia that one day she would fall in love with an American and move to the US and raise a family. Our friend in business, Richard, married Yana (not their real names) and they had two children: first a boy and then a girl.

Yana is well educated, speaking perfect English and I learned to pitch a lot of my slang hanging around with her. She excelled domestically as well as managing the family business. She is gorgeous, slim, fashionable and smart. Yana lacked only one thing: faith in the real God.
It was Yana who attended a notary seminar in the mountains with me the year we became notaries. It was Yana who shopped with me in the mall before I left on a trip and helped me find stylish clothes to pack. It was Yana, when learning I was going to be a grandma, sat with me and shopped online for newborn things. Dinners with Richard and Yana were always fun. He married young and Yana could actually be his daughter (or mine.) Her maturity always amazed me.

Our friendship changed when a diesel truck backed up over their little 2 year old daughter, Nastia, their youngest child. The funeral service was comforting to them and love poured out from co-workers, friends and family. Shortly thereafter, Richard told me that Yana fell into a deep depression. I never prayed so hard for someone’s repressed anger. The ladies in her office asked me to come. Worried, they said all she does is stare at photos of Nastia on her computer. I prayed for wisdom as I walked over to her office. I found her starring at her computer screen. Now it was my turn to be a friend to Yana. We sat together and cried. I held her in my arms and we both balled the kind of crying where your shoulders shake and the mascara disappears. A week later, Yana agreed to have lunch with me and I took her to a lovely spot on the golf course. She only ate one bite, but talked a lot. I felt privileged to be the first one she told that she just got pregnant. Weeks later it was Yana who picked me up this time and took me to a favorite Mexican place we like. She talked a lot about her new found faith in Edgar Cayce’s philosophy. I listened and ate my food. My expression must have told Yana that I did not believe Nastia is being reincarnated in the fetus she carried. I grabbed her hand and told her I don’t agree but will always love her and cherish her friendship, but as a student of the Bible, I can refute philosophies that do not agree with what the Bible teaches. A few days later, I received an email from Yana that should have been titled: “What Does Bible Say About…” My head began to spin with her questions. I felt like Esther for such a time as this. I called my evangelically bent friends, Lila and Carla, and asked for some intercessory prayer. I boned up on apologetics for hours. I called Yana’s secretary, a born-again Christian, and shared my email assignment. After her critique of my written answers, she prayed with me. Then I confidently sent the reply. As the secretary predicted would happen, Yana responded to me in love and grace with a desire to learn more as usual, being true to her fine intelligent Russian mind.

I lost touch with Yana when she moved her family to the big city. I didn’t blame her since that is where her support is from the Russian community. It is hard for Richard to make the long commute to his business located across the street from our office. I’m thinking about Yana this week because I was able to attend a meeting with Richard a few days ago. It felt good to connect again. I asked all about the family and they are doing well. I asked him who the baby looks like and felt queasy when he replied that the boy is a dead ringer for Nastia, the little girl they lost. I left it at that not knowing if they still believe it is Nastia reincarnated. I continue to pray for my friend never losing hope that she will come to the knowledge of the truth that Jesus loves her and offers her eternal life. She’s heard the words, but only the Holy Spirit can bring the revelation. Spiritual Sunday seemed like a good time to talk about it.

Since we are celebrating women today, a special thanks Charlotte and Ginger for providing us Spiritual Sundays, a place of refreshment and inspiration.

Comments

  1. I shuddered as I read this post and hurt for your friend. I will pray that the Lord will continue to plead with her. Thanks for sharing. Happy Spiritual Sunday.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this touching story. I just read the comment my blogging friend Smilinsal left and I say "Amen." God bless you.

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  3. I will pray for your friend and her family. You did good, we should all be that good of a friend.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  4. I will be praying for Yana! What a moving post...Have a restful Sunday...Julie

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  5. Wow what a powerful story. It made me think of the guy at our church who gave his testimony this morning. He was born in Japan and didn't know anything about Christianity. After he came here he studied New Age, all kinds of eastern religions and finally was introduced to Christ by a friend and eleven years ago he accepted Jesus and now sings in our choir. The friend that led him to Jesus was with him on the stage as he was giving his testimony. It's amazing how God puts people in the right place at the right time to do his work. He obviously used you in a big way in this lady's life.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  6. What a touching story! How it must grieve God's heart! I pray that she will find the answers she is looking for. God bless her and you.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  7. What a touching story, Thank you for your visit and sharing your heart on my blog. I'm glad you dropped by or I would not have been able to read your post today. I had a Yana in my life and I now wonder how she is doing. I hope she sees what a wonderful friend you are.

    Aloha Lorie

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  8. I don't know how God will ultimately get Yana's attention, but I pray He will keep sending people into her life so she is never satisfied until she finds Jesus. Thank you for sharing, and for making me remember that we share a special bond with women across the globe, and that our God unites us.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your heart, I will pray for Yana :)
    Take care & God bless you :)
    Melly:)

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  10. Keep interceding! My husband was an (Russian) atheist when I met him, but the Lord put him in my path to shine His light through me. My hubby used to use the Lord's name in vain and that was a spring board for a 2 year journey of witnessing and befriending him. You've planted the seeds. The Lord is watering them and drawing Yana unto Him. We can't change anyone's heart.....only the Lord can.....
    By the way my hubby is born again now and serving the Lord faithfully!

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