Amazing Things that the Lord has done in the past 8 months, made this year extraordinary. May these testimonies of how the Lord answers prayers and how He turns the impossible into possible, encourage you and strengthen your faith.
Thanksgiving is my favorite American Holiday because it’s the time when we can stop our busyness and think of what we are grateful for. As I reflect on the year that is about to end, I feel pure gratitude. It was an extraordinary year. Finally, I see my dream and my goals coming to a fruition. The vision that I had several years ago is turning into reality. The entire year is full of ongoing testimonies how God has a perfect timing, how he can change circumstances around like in a chess game and how He can perfectly arrange every detail in our lives.
The new year of 2017 began with focus and disciplined ongoing work continuing editing my book “Unstoppable”. On my days off from my primary work, I worked with the content up to 10 and at times 15 hours straight. It wasn’t easy. Interesting coincidence – I finished editing process a night before my move with a friend to a new apartment! With that, I opened a new chapter. 🙂
I am grateful for the new apartment that Anzhelika and I got. It’s quite a story how we got it, a testimony how the Lord can change circumstances. When I went to my Apartments manager to ask if I could move to a 2-bedroom apartment on the first floor, she said there were no apartments available, and there would be no openings in the near future. But I knew the Lord could re-arrange the availability and suggested to my friend to pray about it. If there was Father’s will that we would move in together, He will make it happen. So we began praying for God to make apartment available for us if there was truly His will for us to live together. In my prayer, I also asked the Lord to arrange apartment that would have at least one room’s windows facing the West because I wanted to see sunsets in my home. It brought us happy smiles and astonishment when despite manager’s assurance that there wouldn’t be any availability in many months and maybe even in a year or two, in 2 weeks one apartment became available for new renters – 2-bedroom apartment on the first floor and, it had all windows facing the West.:-) People are surprised why I don’t stop when someone says “No, it’s impossible”:) That’s exactly why – God whom I believe and worship has the last say in any situation. He can change any circumstances. We love our new home!
Anzhelika stepped out in faith and moved to Santa Rosa, leaving her secure job. Seeing how the Lord was leading us, blessing our work together based on the “Unstoppable”, and how He gave us the apartment, we decided to trust that the Lord would provide a job for Anzhelika in this area. Anzhelika, contrary to her personality of making sure she has everything securely lined up and in order, to her surprise she felt totally at peace, even though she had no idea where and how she would get a new job. And, the first miracle was instant – it turned out that her company had a branch office right here in Santa Rosa, and her employer did what they never did before – they allowed her to work from the branch office and work there as long as she finds a new job. Then, after weeks of searching for a new job, Anzhelika received an offer to join one company that she liked. When we prayed to the Lord about this new offered job, we told Him that we wanted to be sure it is from Him. ln order for Anzhelika to know this, we asked for three signs: the same or higher pay, the flexibility in her schedule in case she needs to travel with me for the “Unstoppable” and the last, that they would wait for her to return from vacation (the vacation could not be canceled). And, after the interview, Anzhelika told me the news – they offered a higher pay and much better benefits than she had before, she would have flexibility in her schedule and yes, they were willing to wait for her until she returns from vacation, even though there was another candidate for her position, who was more experienced in the field and could begin work as soon as the next day! So, that determined the decision.:-)
There was a valuable lesson in this. It’s easy to say “I trust God can provide” while you are in Church and have everything you need. But, it is not that easy to say it when you have nothing and to remain at peace, having unshakable faith that no matter how desperate it seems – the Lord will provide. I have experienced this time and time again, and now I got to witness it again – the miracle of how the Lord provides happens when you receive Lord’s revelation and direction to do something, you don’t wait for perfect circumstances to do it, but instead you step out in faith into the unknown trusting that God will provide, and do what you have to do. The Lord is never late, and He provides. Those who wait on the Lord and trust in Him will not be ashamed.
Then, On June 2nd I received the disABILITY Champion Award from California Human Development for being a role model to people with disabilities and all who seek to overcome obstacles to lead self-sufficient lives, and for vital support of CHD’s disABILITY Services programs through my work at Disability Services & Legal Center. It was quite a surprise to receive a letter that I was nominated and chosen to receive the award. I never aimed for any awards or special acknowledgments. I just love life. And, I make a continuous effort to make the best out of what I have and improve my life, to fulfill my purpose. But it was thrilling to stand on a stage with the Senator Mike McGuire and receive the award. Thank you, CHD!
Then, my Mom visited me in California again. I was so happy to spend a quality time with Mom; living a half-way world away from my family is a very high price to pay for the life I’ve chosen to live. It was heartbreaking to leave my family and I long for them daily. But, now we had fun! Thanks to Anzhelika’s family, we got to visit Yosemite. The majesty of Yosemite mountains and waterfalls are breathtaking! And then, for my Birthday, Anzhelika, Mom and I went on the adventure – luxury 10-day vacation in Jamaica! Exotic island, bright sun, turquoise water, palm trees, swimming with dolphins… That was quite a vacation, which will definitely stay in our memories forever.
When 17 years ago I woke up in ICU without my legs and with severe injuries throughout my body, I would have called that person crazy, if someone had told me that I was going to visit exotic Jamaica island and swim with dolphins.:-) I could not even dream about swimming with dolphins; it seemed beyond the possibility for numerous reasons. And now, when I was in a water giving a kiss to a dolphin Susie, it brought me to tears.
It inspires me to say – if your life had an adversity or even a tragic turn, don’t rush to make the conclusion that you are broken, that you will never experience delightful moments, or that your destiny is destroyed. Never give up on your life. You don’t know what the future holds for you and a lot depends on you. It’s not the events and it’s not other people that can ruin your life, but it’s your choice to give up. Choose life. Choose to fight for your life no matter how hard it will be. It’s not going to be easy. It will require relentless effort and a lot of times pain and exhaustion. But it’s going to be worth it.
Then, after delightful vacation and seeing off my Mom back to Lithuania, I went back to focus and disciplined daily work with the book, doing the second round of editing with another editor, and this time focus was on grammar and polishing it. I had to go through entire over 200 pages manuscript, checking every sentence, every word. After countless hours of work, on October 30th I submitted the manuscript to the publisher. Finally.. It’s hard to realize that it’s being in the process of becoming an actual book. It all came from an inspiration, from an idea. I never considered myself to be an author. Never. I had no idea how to write a book! But I followed the inspiration and did what I was inspired to do.
This project was quite a test of faith and my faithfulness to the work I had to do. It was 7 years of hard relentless work not knowing how in the world I was going to publish it. I had no editor nor did I have the money to publish it. But, I thought if the Lord directed me to do this, then He would provide and the editor and the money when He sees it’s time to publish it.
And here you are. When the time was right, the editor, who edited former President’s book and is an awarded writer, showed up in my life through my work and he agreed to edit “Unstoppable”. I began praying to the Lord, thanking Him for bringing the editor, but now the question was – where the money was going to come from? I had no idea. But I knew the Lord could do the impossible, and I asked Him to provide the money to pay the editor and to publish it.
In several weeks, I met with a person with whom we haven’t seen each other for a while. After hearing the last updates on the book, he said he would like to sponsor the book publishing. I told him not to rush to this step because this was a lot of money. I suggested going pray about it first. A week later, he invited me to meet with him again. As we were having lunch, he handed me a check for $10,000, saying “I prayed about it and I know this money belongs to the “Unstoppable”. Go ahead, edit and publish it.” With my eyes full of tears, I accepted the check. And, got to work. Now the “Unstoppable” is in a publishers hands. It will come out Ja-Feb of a New Year, 2018.
I am also so grateful that the Sonoma County fires did not reach our new home. At some point, we were surrounded by fires, and whichever direction wind would blow – the fires were going to get closer to us. I am blessed to have Anzhelika and her family, who were our shelter during the week of fires. We all prayed for the Lord to protect our home, and our home was not touched. Praise be to God… My heart goes to all families who lost their homes and everything you had. It’s heartbreaking. I would like to be helpful at least in some way so I will begin a Blog How to Recover After Adversity, where I will share steps that helped me to recover after the crash and other hardships I had encountered. I hope it will be a blessing to those who will read it.
And now, as we are about to enter into a new year, my friend and I are wondering, what 2018 is going to look like? What’s next?