Anna Goia’s Story

I grew up in a Christian family in Romania and I knew about God all my life. We used to go to church every Sunday and I used to be part of the choir. I remember all the groups for prayers and fellowship, all the excursions and camps I’ve been, especially all the Christmas programmes at church. It was all part of my life.

But when I moved to England eight years ago everything changed. I came here just for a year to work and save money so I could continue my studies back home, but I’m still here. I thought it was a great opportunity and my chance to make one of my biggest dreams come true – go to university. I thought one year will go fast and nothing will change.

At the beginning I tried to find a church to go. I went to a different one each week and hadn’t found one that I felt my place was in and slowly I turned and focused on my job, studies and friends. I stopped reading the Bible, prayed only when I needed God and lost contact with Him and His word.

I used to work every Sunday so made an excuse and didn’t try to go to church anymore. I used to go out and drink because all my friends were and I began to think it was okay and slowly I forgot about all my values and standards as a Christian and I lost my identity.

I had a boyfriend who wasn’t Christian and as time passed this relationship became a fight between my faith and him and I began to pray for God’s plan in my life and asked God if he was the right person for me. After years of living between God’s will and my will, and after God showed me for millionth time that this person was not for me, I finally decided and ended this relationship, which I realise now would have destroyed my whole life and God’s idea of marriage.

I thought nothing and nobody will change me and my faith when i came here but i was wrong. I don’t want to make any excuses but I think for me it was a big change in my life to leave everything (God, my family, friends, country, etc) behind and come here and start a new life on my own and being alone and far away made it so easy to lose my faith.

Another big part of my life was working a lot, five or six days a week because I had no choice. All this became a lifestyle and I felt like my life had no meaning. But I knew God was there all the time because He showed me that I’m not alone when i needed Him the most and nobody else was there. He never forgot about me because he loves me like He said: “Never will i leave you, never i will forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) and “For He shall give His Angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” (Psalms 91:11).

Looking back I feel like I wasted all these years because I lost God and gradually lost my way.

A year and a half ago I made a decision that changed my life. I decided to leave everything for God and trust Him like the Bible says: “Trust God with all your heart and do not lean on your understanding but acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I started to put God first in my life, read God’s word daily and pray, even 10-15 min a day which made a big difference in my life. I can’t say I do this every day but I try. I made this list of big things that were most important in my life then: find a church, read God’s word daily, pray and live a real Christian life, qualify as a social worker (I had a passion for it and prayed that if this was my calling God would show me that and help me succeed), sort all my immigration papers so I can change my job and finally wait for the right person that God choses for me to share all my life.

That day I started praying and told God I didn’t want to leave one more day without Him and asked God and begged him to forgive me and help me change my life.

After short time, I heard about Christ Central through Facebook. Sarah had put a post on the church’s page about a packing afternoon for Operation Christmas Child, an amazing project that touches the hearts of children all over the world with a simple gift, a Christmas shoebox. I used to be one of those children and when I saw the post I got in touch to get involved because I always thought since I was little that everything you have is from God and this was my chance to give something back and say thank you on behalf of all those children.

Sarah invited me to church and I felt from the beginning that this is the place God wants me to be. I felt so welcomed from first day and met amazing people and I was blessed with great new friends which helped me on my journey.

In less than a year God turned my life around and showed me my real purpose in life. I had the best year of my life, I found a church, my immigration papers have been solved, I am a fully qualified social worker and I recently got accepted on a new job, as a career which is a new start in the right way. Now i want to thank God for everything in my life and being with me through everything and showing me that He exists and feeling his presence in my life more than ever before. I pray that He always leads me through his word: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalms 119:105)

I want to encourage everyone that no matter at what stage in your life you are or how bad the situation is, whatever you are going through, NEVER GIVE UP because GOD is always there, you are not alone and with God all the things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Don’t stop hoping and believing because at the right time God will make a way and His way is always the best!