Now I know this life is worth living

My name is Marijana Vranic. I am 21 year old. During my whole adult life I wondered why I had been born and what the purpose of this life was. I wanted and tried to find something more, some thing higher in life – meaning and greater fulfillment. I was 17 when I first tried heroin. In that moment my first thought was “This is it! This is what I‘ve been looking for my whole life”. I thought that I had discovered the secret answer to life, and wondered why people thought that drugs were something bad when I enjoyed them. In that mood I took the decision that I would take drugs for the rest of my life. All the other things that I was interested in, I stopped doing. The one and only thing I cared about was how to get my next fix. I lived my life a hundred miles an hour, full of action and speed. I took drugs constantly and believed I was on top of the world. I was quite convinced that I was having the time of my life. Heroin was my main motivating force, but besides that I experimented with psychoactive drugs, marihuana, ecstasy, alcohol and anything else that I could get hold of. But eventually I came to the point where I realized that my life had actually become a horror story. Psychiatric hospitals, run-ins with police, stealing, lying, overdoses, running away, hiding, chaos – these had all become commonplace for me! I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. Although I wanted something to change I didn’t know what that might be or how to do it. I was living in misery, ravaged by heroin and by the lifestyle I was living. I had wanted to reach out for purpose and meaning for my life, but I just got a big hole, emptiness, a state of chaos where I did not see any hope or way out. I was sure that my life would end soon, and I wanted to die as a drug addict. I was desperate. When I first came to the Raskršće Teen Challenge Serbia Coffee House, I assumed that everyone there was faking and that they wanted to trick me somehow. Thinking that I did not have anything else to lose though, I continued to visit those meetings.

When I read Svetlana Ivanović’s book “Pierced”, for the first time I got the desire to do something radical with my life. Suddenly something clicked in my head and for the first time in my life I saw the light and realized that a way out truly existed. Suddenly everything became so clear to me and I accepted the challenge. I entered the program and surrendered my life to God. The truth that says that a real God exists and has a plan and purpose for my life transformed me completely. In fact, I had found something that I had been looking for whole my life: answers and fulfillment. Now I know this life is worth living; now I know that with God I can achieve something more powerful and higher than I could ever have imagined. Something I had never believed I would be able to say is that I don’t need heroin anymore, now I feel great without it! Now I have encountered the real truth, no one can convince me otherwise. I finished the program and stayed on to volunteer in Raskršće Teen Challenge Serbia. Today I want to tell everyone what has happened in my life. I just have a great hunger to tell every man or woman who is a drug addict that they don’t have to live that way; to tell them that there is a truth beyond their problems that can make their lives amazing. What else can I say? God just totally changed my life and gave me something that before I had only dreamed of.


Before and after