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I thought suicide was my only way out

Svetlana Sashkov’s divorce left her feeling abandoned by God. One conversation was the difference between life and death ...

Going through my divorce, I felt betrayed by God.

I got married at 17 because all my friends in church were getting married, and I wanted to have sex. That’s all.

We thought we were in love. Afterwards, I realized this was not about playing house, but it was too late to turn back.

I met Jesus at a church we started to attend together. I changed completely — and I actually fell in love with my ex-husband. But when I started to act different, he really didn’t like it at all.

We struggled so much in the marriage that we separated many times. I tried to prove myself to be the perfect wife he wanted. Then after five years, he told me he didn’t want to be married to me and filed for divorce.

 My plan was to drive the fastest my car could do, hit the cement wall on the highway, and make it look like an accident.

Feeling Unlovable

I was so angry at God because He hates divorces. Why would He not change my ex’s heart and come back to me? I had waited patiently. I prayed. I tried to be so faithful. It hurt so much. If my ex-husband didn’t love me because I was different, I thought no one could love me.

I ran to alcohol, and I started leaning on that instead of Jesus. I pushed everyone out of my life. I hated how my sister started to talk to me about not going to bars and getting closer to God, so I moved out and got my own place.

I was very depressed — then the holidays started to make me think about suicide.

I took out life insurance on myself. I wrote a will. I bought a sports car. My plan was to drive the fastest my car could do, hit the cement wall on the highway, and make it look like an accident.

I’ll just sit there and listen to the sermon and make them happy.

A Coworker Takes Notice

I had a coworker who kept talking to me about coming to NewSpring. He had noticed a lot of changes in me, and he was very concerned about my drinking. He and his wife were sweet and helpful. They gave me their phone numbers and said,  “If you ever get drunk call us. Let us drive you home, or stay at our place.”

One day, his wife told me their entire family was going to church, and would I come along? I remember saying to myself, “I’ll just sit there and listen to the sermon and make them happy.”

"I knew right away He wasn’t done with me."

A Shocking Message

That day, the message was about suicide and depression — and it even mentioned someone who might be going through a divorce. I couldn’t believe it because I planned to kill myself that week!

At the end, whoever was going through this was invited to ask for prayer. I just balled. I felt God’s presence. God just kept on pressing into me, “Come to me. Come to me. I am here with you. I have not left you.”

That was the first time I’d heard God speak to me about my situation, and I knew right away He wasn’t done with me. I didn’t want to kill myself any more. I told Him how sorry I was, and I wanted to change and be His little daughter again.

Three weeks after that, I met the man who would become my new husband, and we have attended and been involved at NewSpring together ever since. I have been sober four years, and I have two beautiful boys and a wonderful marriage.

"I wanted my identity to be with Jesus, not in a husband."

A Community of Healing

During that time, I drew closer to God by hearing the weekly messages, then serving on the usher and guest services teams. Everything about my faith strengthened after volunteering. I found myself in a community, and that helped me a lot.

I wanted my identity to be with Jesus, not in a husband. I went from praying to God to praying to my Heavenly Father, sitting in his lap, telling him my worries and my thankfulness. He is there to change my life and make me a better person.

God keeps giving me opportunities to tell my story. Sundays are my favorite days. The realness of our church is what I love about NewSpring. You don’t feel judged. You have a community of imperfect people, where everybody wants to help and support through thick and thin.

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