Sister of mercy Raisa Shulga
Sisters of our Convent continue to share their stories of when and how they heard the Lord and responded to His call.
Sister of mercy Raisa Shulga: When I was twelve, it was revealed to me that there is eternal life.
Until the age of seven, I was brought up by my grandmother. Her mother, my great-grandmother, was dying. On the one hand, I wished she would not die, but at the same time, I felt very sorry for her as she was suffering a lot of pain... When she died, I cried a lot. Some time later, I had a dream: I saw a door open, and there was my great-grandmother there with her usual white headscarf on... I asked her: "Grandma, you are alive, aren’t you?!" "Yes, I am,” she answered. “I am alive!" After that dream, it became quite clear to me that she was somewhere there. It was my hope now, my childish confidence that something exists somewhere out there. And I stopped crying.
When I was fifteen years old, there was a car accident after which I spent a month lying motionless in bed. When I went outside for the first time after my recovery, I had a clear feeling that life is indeed by far the most important thing. Then, of course, there were all kinds of failures in my life. Once I even tried to commit suicide and took a lot of pills. But everything is providential. When I joined our Sisterhood and started my obedience at hospitals, I could understand those patients who had tried to commit suicide.
I recall another example. When I was in Moscow, I lived next door to some young women who were into spiritualism. Once they invited me to join a seance so I could ask the questions that were troubling me. We drew a circle, got a few plates, and called Pushkin’s spirit. I saw the plate moving on its own, at what I was really stunned. But as soon as I mentioned God by saying ‘For God's sake, tell me …’, everything stopped. Feeling too scared, the girls did not sleep all that night. But I was not scared at all, because I realized that God was with me.
I think our whole life is a meeting with God. I see the Providence of God in my life. I see it even in my falls.
The Lord wants man to put Him first. Nobody can do that on their own. But the Lord will definitely help us if we really want it. After all, life has no meaning without God. Any achievement is pointless. Everything is worthless without God and our soul eventually loses interest in it.
The longer I live, the clearer I see that I am so ‘no one’ in my own. This is the point when we need to hope for the mercy of God. Because in the end comes the Judgment. Yes, the Judgment. What good can God find in me then? He can find nothing good in me. I am saying this not because I am so humble. It is because there is just really nothing good in me. At our Convent, our spiritual father Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok regularly holds meetings with our sisters. Whenever I ask about something at those meetings, I immediately get some help. The Lord is in close contact with us at our meetings because it is sincerity that is important to God. Above all, we should have this sincerity within each of us.
In the third part of her first-person review of the Convent’s lived history, sister Yulia Kostukevich explores the foundations of our strength and of our ability to sustain and expand our works.
The Convent’s compound and churches were built in a remarkably short time. How did this miracle happen? Sister Yulia Kostukevich shares her insights in the second part of her first-person account of our history.