Tonya*, now 56, was born in Ukraine to a family of believers. Her childhood revolved around church activities, but the older Tonya got, the less her faith in God mattered to her.
The moment Tonya was legally an adult, she left both home and her faith behind. Life was a constant party for her. “I didn’t deny myself anything,” she says. Even when she married and had kids, she wasn’t ready to give up her reckless ways.
It wasn’t until she divorced and remarried that Tonya’s thoughts finally began to return to the God of her youth. During her second marriage, Tonya began to manifest the symptoms of a serious illness. Her health deteriorated quickly.
Her doctors prescribed treatment options, but nothing eased Tonya’s pain or changed her situation. She began to wonder, for the first time in a very long time, what would happen to her next. It was time for Tonya to go back and see her parents.
At first, Tonya felt ashamed going back to her parents. But the days passed quickly, and before she left, her parents gave her a pamphlet about God. “The pamphlet interested me,” Tonya recalls. “For many years, I refused God. I forgot everything that I knew about God. I took the brochure and read it from beginning to end, over and over.”
The pamphlet opened a floodgate of emotions and questions. Until this point in her life, Tonya had felt self-sufficient and in no need of help from God. Her illness reminded her that nothing lasts forever; her life could not be a continuous party.
After studying the pamphlet, Tonya prayed and asked God to forgive her. She prayed for healing from her illness. After days without miraculous physical healing, Tonya picked up her Bible and began to read. While she read, God gave her a clear understanding that He had answered her prayers in the way He saw fit. Tonya’s heart was full as her spirit began to understand that though her body was still sick, her soul had been healed.
Tonya no longer worries about her health. Her heart is full of peace because she rests in her Savior’s love.