Oh these uncertain times…it’s very easy to feel depressed, stressed, and anxious. I want to share with you one thing that might help you, as it helped me. I understood it a few months after the car accident and it greatly empowered me in the years ahead. At first, it might seem too simple to take it seriously, but it is one of the most powerful self-management aspects. It makes a tremendous impact on us and on our lives.
What makes a huge impact on how we feel and how we experience life is what we focus on. For example, here are two sets of facts from my life. How different would I feel and experience my life if I chose to focus on either of them? I could focus on the fact that:
I don’t have legs and cannot walk, my left arm is paralyzed and I can’t do things as I could before; it’s been 20 years when there is not even one second that I would not feel severe pain in my body; I live across the globe from my family and I cannot see them or spend time with them; I am alone in this country; I can’t walk, can’t run, and can’t do many things I wish I could do. Furthermore, in these uncertain times many bad things can happen and what if.. what if… what if… and I cannot do anything about it.
2. I can move at all; I can think clearly and express myself even though other people cannot do that with the injury that I had; I still have my right hand which I use to do whatever needs to be done and I find ways to be self-sufficient; I get to live in a beautiful land of sunshine that gave me the opportunity to live a full value life despite my physical limitations; my family is far away but I stay in touch with them via the internet; I am surrounded by wonderful people and therefore, I am not alone and I am not lonely; I have so many blessings and I choose to focus on what I have and what I can do; and in these uncertain times, instead of fear I focus on my faith – the Lord has shown His providence and provision over many years and, will He leave me trouble now? No, of course not. So I put my trust in Him who is faithful and with whom all things are possible.
The facts I wrote in #1 and #2 are all true realistic facts as we speak. Which ones should I focus on?
What if I would dwell on facts #1 daily, constantly focusing on things I don’t have and cannot do? My life would be total misery, anxiety, and depression, wouldn’t it?
Even though all of these facts are true, I choose to focus on different facts of my life, the ones I wrote in #2. As a result, I have no misery or depression, but gratitude, joy, hope, peace.
It’s as simple as that, but what a tremendous difference it makes when you intentionally choose to focus on what’s good. And, what I will focus on is a choice. We can live on auto-pilot, so to speak, but we can choose a conscious living, being aware of our thoughts and feelings, and we can intentionally choose how we want to think and feel.
Begin paying attention daily on where your mind goes. Notice what you pay attention to and what you focus on: problem or solution; fear or what gives you confidence and certainty; what you are annoyed about or what you appreciate and feel grateful for; what you don’t have or what you do have; what you can’t do or what you can do; obstacles or your aspiration; how difficult it is or the reason why it’s important for you to achieve your goal; reasons why it cannot be done or possible opportunities? Train yourself to focus on things that uplift you and empower you. It’s just a matter of your habitual thinking. It can be changed if you don’t like it.
It’s not easy to do. But, once you train yourself (yes, you can control your mind and thoughts) you will see how dramatically it will change the way you experience life and how much easier it will be to deal with difficulties.
When you see that you focus on negative sides of life, change it. Begin intentionally stopping yourself from thoughts of what’s not good in your life and direct your thoughts unto things that are good. It might not be easy at first, but with practice, it will get easier and easier. I had to do it myself at some point. Once you begin changing your thought pattern, you will see an amazing shift in your life – you will feel better and you will see more good things around you and your life experience will change. Trust me.
Be safe and healthy, all is going to be well, Inga
Human psychology has a huge influence on whether or not a person will achieve his goal – 80% psychology and 20% of his skills. The psychology aspect depends on how much you grow and improve yourself and are ready to do more than you thought you could possibly do.
One of the things that made a crucial impact on my personal success in achieving my goals was a RESOLVE. It is a determination to achieve a vision that is not negotiable and does not depend on circumstances. Often we can hear “I will try”, “We’ll see if the circumstances allow,” or “I’ll do it if nothing prevents me.”It is a mindset that, from the outset, directs a person in the wrong direction, because he has already determined that the achievement of his goals depends not on him, but on external influences, and if the circumstances are unfavorable or there will be obstacles which will prevent him, he will not be able to reach that goal. His decision to achieve is conditional.
As a result, when obstacles arise, his way of thinking will play against him – he will consciously stop pursuing his goal because his deep belief is that he can achieve the goal only if there are no obstacles and nothing prevents him. And, he will justify his decision to give up by saying “It just didn’t work out, there were too many problems, I don’t think it can be done, I guess it’s not meant to be, it’s too challenging” and so on.
Our goal cannot depend on whether there will be obstacles or not. Why do some people expect that there will be no obstacles and no difficulties in their path and that nothing will interfere with them when they attempt to achieve something? Let’s face it, when you set your intentions to achieve something great, you will face obstacles. You can count on them to show up. The reality is that you will have to conquer the resistance before you reach your success. The greater the vision and loftier your goals, the greater the resistance and obstacles you will meet.
Therefore, there must be a non-negotiable decision, a resolve when you can say to yourself, “I will achieve this no matter what.” It is a resolve that will not change when obstacles arise and will not depend on weather conditions, problems, motivation levels, difficulties, challenges or other people who convince you that you will not succeed anyway, and it will not change no matter what the circumstances are. And, no one will be able to stop you from achieving your goal because you have decided to go all the way until you reach it. It is a decision that has no “if” or “maybe”, but instead sees your goal as accomplished and it’s done, period.
ERROR: When a person lives in a mindset that his success depends on external circumstances (which he has no control over), he often avoids setting a clear vision and goals for himself, because he is afraid of what if he fails, what if circumstances will not be the way he expects, what if it’s impossible. In this way, he stops himself and does not even seek to improve his life, which will benefit him and those around him. And it’s not because it’s true that it is impossible, but because he chooses a way of thinking that limits his potential.
It’s easy to go the wrong way if you focus on what you’re afraid of instead of where you want to go.
Happy New Year 2020! I hope you had a beautiful Holiday Season, and you opened a fresh new chapter of your life’s book.
The New Year’s wishes sound nice and hopeful and now we are back to a routine. The question is – will you leave those wishes as your wishful thinking or are you going to make them happen?
How are you going to spend this year of your life? What intentions do you have for this year? Do you have a CLEAR VISION of WHERE YOU ARE GOING? If you do not have a vision, if you do not have a goal for a specific purpose – you are going nowhere. Then it’s not you who designs your life, but the outside circumstances created by random events and other people’s agendas and their decisions. This way, you will live another year day by day reacting to whatever circumstances throw at you and trying to handle it all.
But what about your purpose, your goals that you would like to fulfill?
Many disregard the goal setting, saying “the resolutions and goal setting doesn’t work” or, “It’s impossible”. They look at the goal and if it seems not achievable at that point, they say “It can’t be done, so why try.”
Before the car accident, I didn’t even have the concept of creating the life you desire by achieving your goals. But after losing my legs and ability to use my left arm, I took the goal achievement seriously. I could not come in to terms with my new way of life being shut at my house with no opportunity to have a life of full value, and I made the decision to change it all.My dream seemed to be an absurd. Unachievable fantasy. But I never questioned whether it was possible or not, nor did I allow myself to think in terms of how big my aspirations were nor how small chances were of making them come true. I decided what I wanted and started aiming to achieve it.
Since my ultimate vision to live a full life and not to depend on anybody seemed absolutely impossible, I began with small goals and small steps to move myself forward. When I was discharged from the hospital and began my rehabilitation process, my first goals were to be self-sufficient in my simple daily routine: independently roll over in bed, sit up from a lying position; then independently dress, make a cup of coffee and my breakfast – all using one hand. Now those memories make me smile. At the time, every such activity was a huge challenge to me, requiring tremendous effort, consistent attempts and perseverance. Every time I was able to do something independently was a huge victory to me and a step closer to my ultimate aspiration.
By aiming and achieving my little goals, it strengthened me and increased my confidence for achieving my greater goals. Over time, these small achieved successes compounded; they changed my position. I came out of ICU having absolutely no strength and no ability to do anything independently, except open/close my eyes or speak (and even the latter required efforts), and after half of the year I was staying at the Orthopedic Center in another city able to take care of myself independently and training to walk with artificial legs. As time flew by, I was setting bigger goals which, three years later, resulted in traveling independently across the globe to the USA, laying the groundwork for completely changing my life circumstances.
With God’s help and the strength that I received from Him, I successfully overcame my obstacles and today I live independently in spite of my injuries. I realized the dream that at some point seemed an absurd, an unachievable fantasy. Goals and aspirations can have a significant value in life if you take the process seriously and work consistently and diligently to achieve it.
So how to set goals and how to achieve them? In the upcoming posts I will share with you further tips on how to achieve your goals. This is the model that transformed my life after the tragedy and worked every time I wanted to achieve a goal.
Meanwhile, the first step is – determine the vision of what you want to implement in your life. Vision – it is the destination where you want to arrive, the ultimate picture of your success. It’s the point of reference you are always working toward, and when all your plans and goals are fully accomplished, this is where you will be.
Where do you want to be in 10 years? 5 years? A year from now?
What does success look like for you, for your life?
What needs to change in your life for you to feel content and good about you/your life?
What would make your year a great year?
What will things look like after you’ve been successful?
See the picture in your mind. Before you set your goals as stepping stones, it’s important to have a clear vision, your final destination of where you want to go in life. It has to be clear, so you know exactly where you are going.
Don’t worry about how to implement it or how difficult it seems to achieve it. First, know exactly WHAT you want to achieve and WHY. The HOW will come later.
Pray about it; bring it before the Lord in your prayer. Some choose to meditate, some choose to visualize, or use hypnotic methods and other. I personally bring my vision and my plans to the Lord in my prayer. Prayer does make a difference in the physical realm. I experienced a tremendous blessing when I began practicing what’s written in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, many unexpected good turns and blessings came into my life after I prayed about and surrendered my vision, my plans to the Lord.
Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. Proverbs 16:3
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:5
Ask Him to help you accomplish it. Ask the Lord to direct you according to His will and give you the wisdom how to successfully implement those plans. Ask Him to bless your efforts so that you would not fail, but achieve your goals.
In the next post, we’ll talk further about important aspects of goal setting and their achievement.
Be Unstoppable. It‘s a Choice.
P.s. My personal story of how I overcome the tragedy and insurmountable obstacles, and successfully achieved my vision, you can find in my book “UNSTOPPABLE. It’s a Choice.” In addition to a story that will inspire you, you will find helpful tips that will empower you in your personal journey.
In my last post, I talked about how our beliefs have a
tremendous impact in our lives. So many
people hold limiting beliefs of what they’re capable of and what’s possible, which
robs people of their full potential and the lives that they could live. I shared
my personal experience of how changing my limiting beliefs and my way of
thinking empowered me tremendously to transform my life after losing both of my
legs and the function of my left arm.
When I began mastering my beliefs and my way of thinking, the restoration of my independence and my life has taken to a whole new level. Through the experience, I have learned that as long as you are convinced that you cannot do something, or that something is impossible, it really is true. But it remains true only as long as you hold on to that belief.
In this post, I want to continue: How to Change the Beliefs That Limit Us? How can we do that which we thought we couldn’t do?
What is a belief? A belief is nothing but what we consider to be true, what we feel certain about.
For the most part, beliefs are unconscious, and they come
from the culture where we grew up, the philosophy of life, faith / spiritual
beliefs, our life experiences or the opinions and experiences of those whom we
trust and respect.
Essentially, beliefs are only assumptions we make about
ourselves and others, about our circumstances and our destiny, about success
and failure, and, other aspects of life. But are our beliefs really true? Unfortunately,
the beliefs that we hold may be absolutely not true and they can jeopardize us.
How can I change my beliefs?
When you think you aren’t able to do something, answer to yourself:
How can you absolutely know that to be true? According to whom you are not capable of it?
Has there ever been a time when you thought you couldn’t do something and then it turned out it has not been the case?
What evidence do you have today which is the opposite of what you believe in?
If you would try to do what you thought you could not do, where would you begin?
2. When you face a situation that seems very difficult to resolve, something is impossible, instead of considering how big is the problem consider how mighty your God is.
Usually, when we encounter a problem, we first analyze what is happening, how difficult and how bad everything is, and we check if we can resolve it. And If the problem is beyond our ability to resolve it or it is out of our control we turn to God asking for His help.
BUT if we focus on how big the problem is and build our expectation of the result after the prayer based on our own understanding and viewpoint of what is possible, then it is hard to believe that we will receive help from the Lord after the prayer. “Well… I hope, but this problem is so big, I just can’t see how this can be resolved; I am too weak/too old/not educated/not capable and I don’t know if I can receive a job; he/she are way too stubborn and never going to change,” does it sound familiar?
And then doubt comes, fear and unbelief (and then we get the answer according to our faith). But this is a belief that is based on our assumptions, on our understanding, and not on the word of God. It is faith in our faith, not faith in God.
To me, one of the most prominent examples of what faith is – Abraham and Sarah.
Romans 4:18-22 says that Abraham, even though it seemed hopeless, he still in hope believed. It’s amazing that He did not even consider the realistic factors (that his body and Sarah’s body were way too old to give birth to a child and physically it was simply impossible). Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what God has promised He was also able to perform. Sarah – accepted strength to conceive and gave birth to a child because she judged Him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11)
Few details got my attention:
For Abraham and Sarah it was a decision to believe God. It’s a conscious decision.
They built their faith not based on whether it was realistic or believable to them what God has promised but based on WHO GOD IS – God is MIGHTY AND ABLE to do it and He is FAITHFUL to His word.
I personally experienced incredible evidence of the power of faith when I trusted God in hopeless situations and expected an answer, even if it was simply unrealistic to get the answer I wanted. So many times I was advised to think realistically and adapt to circumstances, but I did not want to live as circumstances allowed me. But there was no way to change these circumstances.
And I, feeling complete despair, decided to have a child-like faith that God is the one who is able to change my circumstances. I decided to rise above the realistic thinking and to believe that everything was possible for the Lord, because He created the Universe, and so He is able to change any circumstances. Every day in my prayer I continued telling Him that I knew He is able to do the impossible, and that I trusted Him. I was convinced of this and in hope expected for the answer.
And, you know, the Lord really did the impossible every time. No matter how unrealistic it was to fix those situations, change circumstances and get out of hopelessness, every time I witnessed inexplicable changes in my circumstances. I saw how circumstances changed in an absolutely incredible way, and I just cannot explain it in any logical way, except to tell you: “It was God’s miracle.”
Break your limiting beliefs by deciding to have faith, based not on your understanding of what’s possible, not on what you think how ‘realistic it is’, but having faith in God based on Who God Is and what He says in His Word – HE IS ABLE and HE IS FAITHFUL TO HIS WORD. No matter what in actuality is going on, you stand on God’s word and proclaim it. You proclaim your faith not based on what you see or what you think is possible, but based on what the word of God says.
3. While holding on to the belief that you can do all things with God and all things are possible with Him, shift your focus from dwelling on how complicated your situation is to seeking for a solution.
Our mind is like a computer – it will give the answer according to our command, which is it will give the answers to the questions we ask ourselves. So it’s critical to ask yourself the question that will lead you to the solution:
Where is the solution to this?
What would you advise your best friend to do if they were in your situation?
If you could do anything, what would you do to fix and improve this situation?
If you could do one thing to resolve this situation, what would that be?
How could you make it happen, what are the ways?
And then, while holding on to your belief that it is possible and you will have a victory, focus on what you need to do to improve your situation and take action.
Blessings in your journey and until next time! ~ Inga
Many people are not disabled physically, but I see how many of them disable themselves by living in the limiting beliefs of what’s possible, and what they’re capable of. 19 years ago, while I was in a recovery process after the life-altering car accident, I realized one thing that totally transformed the way I began seeing my physical limitations and, and that was the beginning of claiming back my independence and life’s recovery. I want to pass it on to you, so you too, could take a deep breath and spread your wings to the life that you meant to live.
When I fully realized that I no longer had my legs and my left arm was paralyzed with no chance to recover, I was devastated beyond my ability to describe it. It was pure unspeakable anguish and hopelessness. I just couldn’t see how I would be able to live without legs and only one arm. I had many questions about how I was going to take care of myself on a daily basis and live fully. There was one answer – I can’t do it anymore. My mom was helping me to get up, dress up, make a meal and basically, she had to help with everything. I can’t even describe how much I hated to be dependent on another person! But it seemed like this would be my reality for the rest of my life. There was no other way.
Six months after the crash, my mom and I stayed in the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center to obtain artificial legs for me. I was told that it was impossible for me to walk due to my complicated physical condition. But I believed I would. In fact, I was confident without a doubt that I would. To the astonishment of those who considered it to be impossible I did walk, indeed. One day, as I was resting after my training, I suddenly realized, “Wait a minute. Why am I still asking mom to help me get up? It’s ridiculous – I can do such a difficult thing like walking with prostheses, but I still have my mom helping me with simple daily activities!”
See, in my mind (as well as my mom’s), there was a mindset that without legs and only one arm I was no longer able to do things, so I had to be helped. Now that I had achieved something that professional specialists stated to be impossible, there was a big question mark in my mind about what I was really capable of. Suddenly I realized that my limitations were only in my mind, in my beliefs. I was fully aware that I could do much more than what it seemed at first and I decided to push my limits. That day I declared my independence stating, “Yes, I can do it. I will figure out how to do everything on my own and will become fully self-sufficient.”
From then on, I started looking for ways to do everything on my own. First of all, the goal was to find a way to sit up by myself from a lying position, and with the help of a physical therapist, we found a way. I began figuring out ways of dressing up independently and performing various daily activities by myself. I didn’t allow myself to think whether I could or could not. My new mindset was – I can without a doubt, I only need to find a way how to do it. Instead of saying to myself, “I am disabled and I can’t do this anymore,” I would say, “Yes, I can and I will find a way to do this.” I began changing how I speak by eliminating phrases – “I can’t” or “IF I can”. I began refusing to receive any help from my mom (which was not easy for her to accept J ), and I gave myself no other option but to get it done without any help. When I needed to do something with one hand, holding on to the belief – I can and I will – I asked myself, “HOW can I do this? What is the way? What possible options are there to resolve this?” As simple as it seems, this is the key to how I am able to do things independently. Changing my mindset and asking myself the right questions are the keys to how I managed many of my difficulties in life and overcame all obstacles.
As I look back, changing my way of thinking was one of my biggest breakthroughs which empowered me tremendously and opened the doors to new opportunities.
Since that time, when my limiting beliefs of what I could do and what I thought was possible was replaced by new beliefs, and I began mastering my way of thinking, the restoration of my independence and my life has taken to a whole new level. A few years later, I traveled by myself from Lithuania to the United States to pursue my dream. Now it’s been 14 years that I live across the globe from my family, fully independently (I can take care of all my personal needs, take care of the household matters, laundry, shopping, cooking, going to work, etc.) My physical limitations are still the same BUT BREAKING LIMITATIONS IN MY MIND, IN MY BELIEFS totally transformed what I was able to achieve, and ultimately directed my destiny in a way that is beyond I could ever even dream of.
And what about you? I urge you to look inside yourself and test your deep beliefs. What do you believe and what are you convinced about that it may not be true at all, and this only stops you from trying, from achieving what your heart desires? What belief is holding you back from fulfilling your purpose? As long as you are convinced that something is impossible or that things will not work out for you, it really will be true. But this remains true only as long as you hold on to this belief.
Break through the beliefs that keep you locked in a cage. Do not allow your limiting beliefs to steal the life from you that you are called to live. In your life, there is much more that you can do, fulfill and enjoy!
How to change your beliefs and to do what you thought you couldn’t do? I will share in the next post. Blessings to you, until next time!
feel inspired to share this amazing testimony here with you. Maybe someone
needs to hear this to feel encouraged and be strengthened in faith. No matter
what your situation looks like right now, trust that circumstances, people’s
hearts, and every situation are in God’s power.
my friend & associate Anzhelika and I met several years ago, she lived 80
miles away from me. Every weekend she made a long trip to Sonoma County to
visit me; often her trip took 3-3.5 hrs due to traffic. After a while, when we
began considering about having her move to Sonoma County, I went to my
apartments manager to ask about the availability of a 2-bedroom apartment on
the first floor.
manager said there were no apartments available, and there would be no openings
in the near future. I knew though, if there was Father’s will that we would
move in together, the Lord could re-arrange the availability. So Anzhelika and
I began praying for God to make an apartment available for us if there was
truly His will for us to live together. In my prayer, I also shared with the
Lord how much I wished to see sunsets from my home window, and asked Him to
arrange an apartment that would have at least one room’s windows facing the
West, if possible.
🙂 Despite manager’s assurance that there wouldn’t be any availability in a
year or two, in 2 weeks one apartment became available for new tenants –
2-bedroom apartment on the first floor! And, it had ALL windows facing the
love our new home!
God has the final word, not the circumstances. He
can change any circumstances. If something seems impossible, before you accept
it as truth, first get down on the knees of your heart before the Lord. He is powerful,
He can change your situation. When
there is Father’s will for something – He will make it happen regardless of
actual facts that you are facing right now.
“ Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the
peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8 (ESV)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man
this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (ESV)
This week, I want to share with you a video from the New
Beginnings church in Portland, OR, where I shared several testimonies from my
life about how God turns everything to the good in the life of those who love
God and whom He has chosen according to His purpose. It deeply surprised me
when I noticed for the first time that experiences that seemed bad to me were
actually for my benefit. And now, 15 years since that time, I see this in my
life as a law. The Lord never ceases to amaze me! And so, by sharing this, I
want to encourage you.
Romans 8:28 NKJV: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
As I was in the process of restoring my life after the car
accident, so many times hopelessness was staring at me with its cold gaze.
There were so many difficulties and problems! There were days and even years
when it seemed to me that the Lord did not hear my prayers. I knew that He saw
what I was experiencing, but I could not understand why there were no answers
to some of my prayers, why the Lord was silent.
There were times when I told the Lord that He misunderstood
me – this was not what I wanted. 🙂 From time to time, I just couldn’t
understand what God was doing in my life. Many times I stood before my Lord in
tears, asking Him: “Why, Lord? Why am I going through this, why this had to happen?”
And then, I would say to Him: “No matter what happens, I
trust you, Lord. I know that you see everything, and you are a just God, and
you know much better what’s good for me. Please give me the strength to get
through this time.” And I would pull myself together and continued making every
effort in everything I worked on, and patiently waited for what would happen
Interestingly, after my prayer, my circumstances did not
change immediately, but I received inner strength to withstand the hardships
and felt my enthusiasm and boldness increased. I had the endurance to persevere
and attain my goals and improve my situation. At times it took me enormous
effort to make the smallest step. Nevertheless, I continued making step after
step, no matter how difficult it was. And I kept on going, despite the length
of my desert and the storms that I had to endure. I kept on going until I
reached my vision.
And what an amazing revelation it was to see that everything
— including hard times, trials, difficulties and even destruction and even my
mistakes — all worked together for good, as it is written in the Bible in
It was the fourth year after the accident when I first
noticed it. I was already in California. I was outside, enjoying the sunny
weather. Wearing my comfortable prosthetic legs, I reflected on my life, being
deeply in awe of how incredibly my circumstances changed. When I thought about
the sequence of events and how they affected my life, suddenly I realized – I
would not have the blessing that I had if I had received the answer to my
prayers when I wanted and how I wanted it!
I clearly saw that it was my pain, combined with the deep
disappointment that made me look for help internationally. Not having received
the help from local specialists, on the Internet I began to look for help in
other countries. So it turns out that I would not have looked for help and I would
not have met an American prosthetics specialist if it were not for that
unbearable pain and hopelessness! It turns out that disappointment and despair indeed
worked for the better.
During those two years, at times I would say to God in
prayer, “Lord, I trust you so wholeheartedly. Why do you not answer my prayers?
Why are You silent?” It seemed to me that God did not hear my prayers and did
not give any answers. But it turns out that the Lord did hear me and He was
already answering, I just did not know it. His answer to my request and my dream
came to me in a different way and at a different time than I wanted. The Lord
had a much more beautiful plan for my life, and He was fulfilling it. It was a
plan that I could not even imagine in my dreams!
Moreover, the most interesting thing is that the
hopelessness and my relentless perseverance to find a way and wait for the
answer from the Lord brought me from Europe to sunny California – the place that
had a perfect climate and fully accessible environment for people in wheelchairs!
It brought me across the globe from not accessible environment to a fully
accessible place, where I could become independent again and live a full life!
God had a plan for my life, a plan to restore my life after the car accident,
and His plan was so much better than mine.
It was the first time I saw the value in hardship, pain, and
despair. Frankly, it was quite unusual and hard to admit it. However, I was
sincerely grateful for those dark years of hard work and countless hours of
intense training, learning to walk with artificial limbs that left me
exhausted, with bruises, wounds, and swollen thighs. I felt grateful for the
disappointment and hopelessness because that’s the reason I began making radical
changes in the way I approached my goal, and begin seeking help at the
international level. And so, my dream came true and now I was in a country
where I could live a full life.
After realizing that difficulties and pain were for my
benefit, I began to pay close attention to what was happening behind the events
and circumstances, and where they ultimately led me. Instead of focusing on how
painful and difficult it was, I began to observe what was behind these
difficulties. And, again and again I saw that the events that occurred, people
I’ve met, and various experiences that took place played a key role in my life,
and, to my surprise, all of this really somehow worked together for good. More
interestingly, particularly those events that seemed destructive or times that
seemed like endless valleys of difficulties, led me to my ultimate dream. Even my
mistakes had a precious value in my life.
Even though it was very difficult to go through some periods
of life, they left a very valuable imprint on my life. Through difficulties and
circumstances that seemed absolutely hopeless, the Lord taught me to trust Him.
When it seemed to me that I was at a dead end and that there was no way out,
the Lord showed me that absolutely everything is under His authority – He has
people’s hearts and creates new opportunities, even if it seems impossible.
Although it was very difficult to experience hopelessness, today I am sincerely
grateful for it because it showed me how the Lord is always there with you in
the midst of it and He creates a way out; He is never late and provides help.
Difficulties and hopelessness taught me to fully trust God.
Now I see problems as another opportunity to see how great
the Lord is, the opportunity to experience another testimony. And the harder
the problem is, the bigger and more interesting the testimony will be!
I want to make a note on very important detail – God is
faithful, and He will do what He says, but we also have a great responsibility
for what happens in our lives. God has His good, acceptable and perfect will
for our lives (Romans 12: 2), but the Lord has given us the freedom of choice,
and very much depends on our choices.
Since this is a big topic, I will post about it next week.
And, for now, if you are experiencing struggle and nothing changes no matter
how much you pray about your difficulties, be encouraged and hold on to your
hope through faith. You do not know what God is doing in your life, and where
He is leading you. Certain events have a significant impact on our lives, and
yes, it’s scary when bad things happen. Events and circumstances have the power
to shape our destiny, and this can cause concern and anxiety when they do not
develop in the way we expected. We feel and see only what we experience at the
moment. This is where your faith must step in – walk by faith, and not by what
is actually happening at the moment.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV: For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Trust your God that He is just and sees everything.
Sometimes God does not change our situation because He changes us. Sometimes
difficulties and certain circumstances direct our path in the certain direction
which is according to His will. Nothing in our lives happen ‘just because’.
There is a reason and a purpose behind everything. It is critically important
for us to be obedient to God, to the way He leads us. Sometimes you have to
completely trust Him, do nothing and wait. And sometimes you have to be strong
Keep going. Be sure to do your best in everything you are
working on, and patiently wait for the answer from the Lord.
I was inspired to share with you about an experience from my life, which was a great lesson to me and also an incredible testimony. I faced something I did not expect. It turns out that you can do God’s work and think that you do it all for the glory of God and you delight Him with your deeds, without even knowing that the real picture is very different than you thought. Question: what are the deep intentions of your heart, what is behind all that you do?
🕊✨ All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Proverbs 16:2 NIV)
🕊✨Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2 NKJV)
This experience changed the trajectory of my path. It also showed how the Lord gives all that is needed when you do His work. But in order to experience His blessing in its fullness, it is necessary to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit and to be in obedience to the way God leads you, and not be stubborn and carry out your plans as you want.
This was 6 years ago. When the opportunity opened, I shared my testimony about what the Lord has done in my life, wrote a book telling my story-testimony and it seemed that I stood well, fulfilling my promise to God, and doing what I love. In May 2013, I thought that my book’s manuscript was finished and the next step was to find a good editor and funding to cover the editing and publishing expenses. I needed $10,000.
I immediately began to look for ways where I could find the editor and funding. But everywhere I looked it seemed that I ran into a wall and could not take a single step forward. In my persistence and zeal to do everything possible, ignoring the quiet voice inside that prompted me to come before the Lord in my prayer about the next step, I took the matter into my own hands and started a fundraising project. I was perplexed as I was watching how I received encouraging messages and heard many greetings and comments about how excited people were about my book, but the funds were coming in very slowly. It seemed as if the invisible hand would not allow the money to come.
The voice of the Holy Spirit continued urging me to leave everything I was going to work on and go before the Lord in my prayer. In prayer, in the spirit, I clearly heard/felt “The editor and the money are already prepared by Me, it will come all at once and you will not even have to do anything to find them. But it will come when the time is right. Now, leave everything aside and go study My Word, search for My will for you.”
I did what the Lord said. It was not easy to stop everything. But I knew that without God’s blessing I will not have success in my pursuits no matter how much I try. I understood that this time I had to be still, not to do anything, but trust the Lord and wait until He would provide everything; meanwhile, I had to go deep into His word and hear what He wants to say to me.
So, after I pushed all my to-dos aside, I opened the Bible, and with a prayer began reading His Word. On the very first day, while reading His word, it felt as though I was struck by lightning – I saw that I was walking in the wrong direction!
Imagine the plane has a route to its destination. At some point, the pilot looks at the compass and sees that the plane is slightly off course. The shift can be very small, almost to the point that you don’t even have to worry about it because it won’t matter much. But what will happen if the pilot makes no changes and allows the aircraft to fly a little off course? The shift may not be visible in the very beginning of the journey. But after thousands of miles, this aircraft will be completely knocked off course. Arrival will be far from the destination, where he was supposed to land. This is what I saw in my life – the arrow of my compass was slightly shifted from the course.
🕊✨ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
The word “selfish ambitions’ got my attention. In the classic translation of the Greek Testament, it’s self-seeking.
To be honest, I felt uneasy. Suddenly the Lord showed me the depths of my heart… Even if I love God and sincerely did everything I did, in the depths of my heart behind my work bringing the glory of God, there were also my personal ambitions. Ambitions to achieve my success. I was shocked. It was such a fine line that I did not even notice it! For so long, it seemed to me that I stood right before God because I lived by His word, for His glory and I constantly saw Lord’s blessing in everything. It turned out that it only seemed so to me.
And if the Lord did not stop me now and did not show me the depth of my intentions, I would have gone in a completely different direction than I thought. And, ultimately, this would lead me to great pride and arrogance, and I would be aiming for goals that for the most part are not His will and even the opposite.
🕊✨ These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look…. (Proverbs 6:16-17NKJV)
🕊✨ Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility. (Proverbs 18:12 NKJV)
It was not an easy time for me. But, it became very valuable and special time. I examined myself, my values, my aspirations and intentions behind them. I spent a lot of time reassessing everything and, having changed my aspirations and intentions, I brought my arrow to the correct course.
It was a very difficult process, but at that time the direction in which I was going changed, and at the end, I was very grateful for this time period. See, I aspired to do so much, but I was not even ready yet for my ministry! In addition, it turned out that my book was also not ready for publication – it was not yet finished. During that time period, I added several new chapters and made a lot of changes in the manuscript, which radically changed the book.
And when the book was fully completed, and my heart also changed, the Lord did what He told me in the prayer — a professional editor and the money indeed came to me at one time, and I didn’t even have to look for it. One of the country’s best editors came to the company where I worked, and soon one person, having learned that I was writing a book and what I needed to publish it, surprised me by handing me an envelope with a check in it for $10,000, and said “I prayed about it. This money belongs to “Unstoppable”. Go ahead, publish your book, the world needs to know your story and what the Lord has taught you” It was just INCREDIBLE!!
See, the Lord has everything you need and He can provide. If your plans do not follow through, stop and call upon Him to show you. It might not be working out for you not because you are a loser or because the enemy is working against you, but because for certain reasons the Lord himself does not allow you. Maybe it’s not the right time yet. Or, maybe you are not ready.
Examine yourself. Check what are true intentions in your heart. Weigh your heart and what stands behind your goals, what your true motives are behind the ministry that you carry or want to carry. Looking for your selfish desires to be fulfilled, to realize your ambitions, to achieve significance in the eyes of people can end very painfully.
Before you do something, ask the Lord about His will. Be in obedience to Him even if it seems to you that it’s better to do other than what the Lord has directed you to do. The enemy will try to deceive you and will tempt you to do the opposite of how the Lord directed and it may indeed seem that this way is more logical and better (This is another lesson in this story, but I will share it another time). But not everything that shines is gold. You will be successful in your affairs only when you are in obedience to God and will do exactly the way He directs you.
So many people who love the Lord face troubles and hardships in
life. Sometimes it’s tempting to say “Lord, how much longer can I bear this,
why is this happening in my life?”
After the tragedy in my life, I was in constant emotional anguish
and physical pain. And over the years since then, challenges and trials one
after another were coming my way. At times it felt as though difficulties and
struggle became my daily bread. Sometimes I could hardly endure it. At the
time, I just knew I had to be strong and overcome. And so gaining endurance
from trusting the Lord, I made every effort to be steadfast and worked hard to
change and improve my circumstances. It wasn’t easy at all to go through the
trials. But there came a time when I started seeking for the value in a bad
situation. And what a surprise and astonishment it was to see how beneficial
those hardships were! Today, I am grateful to them for so many things.
It’s because of problems and continuous difficulties that I became
stronger, resilient, and persistent. The car accident and following
insurmountable obstacles, pain and ongoing challenges tested me and formed me
into a different person than I used to be. Hardships taught me how not to give up
when I felt couldn’t take it anymore. Severe pain developed both endurance and
compassion within me. Obstacles taught me how relentless effort can break
through any kind of barrier. Challenges taught me how to push myself and go
beyond what I thought I could do. Devastating destruction, betrayal, and
heartbrokenness taught me how to be unstoppable.
One of the highest values that I’ve gained through the devastation
and hopelessness is that through them I have learned to have unshakable faith
and trust the Lord at all times, and I have experienced the most incredible
testimonies of answered prayers. It’s because of my experiential knowledge my
faith became stronger than ever before and I have learned very valuable lessons
that I could not have learned otherwise.
Understanding how much value I received from the times of trials totally transformed my attitude toward them and radically changed my experience going through difficulties later on. Since then, it became much easier for me to handle challenges.
Our human nature tries to avoid trials and tribulations, but in the Word of God, we find that they are actually for our own good. As seen in verses below, trials form us into persons who we need to become.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.( 1 Peter 1: 6-7)
…Rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.( Romans 5:2b-4)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Problems, hardships, and circumstances that seemed to be the exact
opposite of what I had asked in my prayer served an important and valuable
purpose in my life. I only made it harder for myself by allowing my concerns
and frustrations to disturb my peace. I want to pass on to you the lesson that
I had to learn the hard way – do not fear, but remain in peace fully trusting
that the Lord has everything under control. Furthermore, in His Word, it’s
written that all things work together for good in the lives of those who are
chosen and who love Him. Whatever situation you are going through right now –it
will work for the good, too. It might be difficult for you to agree with it
right now, but you will see/understand it when the time comes.
God is bringing you through the tough pressure and heat for a
reason. God is shaping a diamond out of you. Did you know that a diamond is
nothing more than a piece of coal which was under highly intense work? No
matter how strange it may sound, but both coal and diamond are one and the
same. Coal and diamond look completely different, but they both are exactly the
same chemical element (carbon atom), it’s just they are in a different form.
Changing the crystal structure with high pressure and high temperature, coal
becomes a diamond. No matter how unbelievable it might look, a diamond is
really a black stone, which has gone through the intense process of high
pressure and high temperature before it became a beautiful jewel. And it takes
a long time for it to become so beautiful.
You might be going through a very tough time right now. But know that this is how God is teaching you and is working with you to develop necessary character traits within you. It is difficult for you now, but there will come a day when you will become as beautiful as these diamonds are and you will shine for His glory.
Meanwhile, the key is to have a close relationship with Him and allow Him to do the work with you. Instead of dwelling on how hard and painful it is, look at your situation through a different perspective – ask yourself “What is really going on behind this event? What am I supposed to learn from this experience? What good can I see in all of this?”
The Lord will do His part and He is faithful, but there is also a
lot of responsibility on our part. The end result will depend on our choices.
We have a choice to murmur, complain and be a victim, but we know that the end
of this path may lead you to even greater sorrow. Stories in the Bible are
there as lessons to us to not repeat the mistake of Israelites. Another choice
is to be steadfast and patiently go through this time. Instead of fear and
doubt choose to trust the Lord. Equipped by unshakable faith, step out of your
comfort zone with courage and determination. Persevere to continuously improve
your situation and never give up.
And when you feel you have no strength to withstand the adversities you’re facing, ask the Lord to strengthen you. Remember, that only through high temperature and high-pressure coal transforms into a beautiful diamond. And with God, you are strong enough to go through it all.
Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
And make the voice of His praise to be heard, Who keeps our soul among the living,
And does not allow our feet to be moved.
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. (Psalm 66:8-12)
Last week, when the Lord
turned my attention to these verses from the Bible, I completely stopped my ‘busyness’
and revised my daily schedule, my priorities. In prayer, I was inspired to share
this with you.
How much time do we spend in communion with Him, reading His Word, meditating on what the Lord teaches us? Do we nourish our inner man? Do we come to the sources of water — to His word and prayer — in order to receive His revelation, guidance, and strength to bear the fruit? Also, He drew my attention to another verse “…the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me….. Without Me you can do nothing. “
We can work, put a lot
of effort in something, and have very busy schedules. It may seem to us that if
we are constantly in action, it means we are moving forward in life, and it is a
good thing. But sometimes we might not even notice that we are like a squirrel
in a wheel, who runs and runs nonstop in a circle … to nowhere. At the same
time, vanity has the ability to devour us completely and steal our inner
strength from us. As a result, if we do not abide in Him we may end up in an
endless cycle of busyness and, come to the point of inner exhaustion. There
will be no fruit without a close connection with Jesus.
work, goals, interests, friends, world news and social media daily bombard us,
and we do not even realize that while we consider ourselves living in faith, we
often put off our prayer or reading His Word “for later”, on “when I have time.”
Over the years, I
noticed that every time I got fully engaged in some projects and other urgent
matters, leaving prayer and reading His word for ‘later, another time, when I
have a free moment’, I would lose my inner strength. It seemed as though my
inner energy, liveliness and aspirations within me dried up. I felt empty, and tired.
And when I came to my senses that this was a wrong inner state, I realized that
in order to gain inner vitality, I needed to return to a constant close
communion with God. And surely, I felt a huge difference every single time when
I returned to my source of life! Through His word and prayer, it felt as though
I approached the sources of the waters, and everything inside me came to life.
I felt vigorous, filled with energy and strength. Cheerfulness was overflowing!
And, in addition, my projects went completely differently: everything was lining
up in my favor and I had successful results in everything I did.
As we drink water and eat food to support our physical body, we must give the same to our spirit. If we want to be healthy spiritually, have guidance from the Lord, and bear fruit, we must have a close relationship with Jesus through His word and fellowship with Him in prayer.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:2-3)
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
We all live in a very noisy world. And certainly, other interests and endless cycle of things to-do will surely appear on our path, pushing our time with the Lord to ‘later’. The question is, what will win – our desire to have a close relationship with the Lord, or our choice to give in to what appears in our way?