I’ve previously discussed what it’s like being an orphan from Russia. But, I have never discussed my thoughts and feelings about being from Russia in general. To say the least, it’s a rather interesting tidbit of my life to tell others I am from Russia and be serious. It can take people by surprise.
It takes me by surprise some days, too. However, I see it as a blessing. I think knowing I am not a true-born American helps me see the United States in ways others can’t. I see how privileged people are in this nation. I see how skewed this nation can be. I see how advanced this nation can be.
I am not saying the United States isn’t a wonderful country. It truly is. But, as I have gotten older, I have noticed a greater form of entitlement natural-born Americans tend to have about themselves.
I’ve lived here long enough that I get it. I’ve experienced some of those notions I specifically express. But, I believe I have something others don’t. I don’t live life through rose-colored glasses in America. I see it realistically for the nation it is and for the nation that it can be. I live without ignorance.
With all that said, one of the hardest aspects of telling others I am from Russia is people tend to believe I don’t have a heart. People tend to lump me with the cold, heartless nation that the world portrays Russia to be. I am not saying I agree with everything my homeland does. In fact, I don’t agree with much of what it does.
Despite that, I say don’t judge a people by its nation. I know I can say the same thing to myself about the United States. Yes, some United States citizens act extremely entitled and completely degrade all the wonderful freedoms that come with living in the nation. Yes, some Russia citizens are complete and utter jerks.
But, that’s not all of us.
Both nations have wonderful people who love the Lord deeply and care about others immensely. Both nations have individuals who strive to make this world a better place.
Both nations are home for me in some way or another.
Just because I feel much pain about being a disgraced orphan from Russia, does not mean I will completely let go of my roots. I will always be proud and never hesitate to tell people I am from Russia. I may feel constant pain about being an orphan. But, I don’t feel pain knowing God began my life story elsewhere.
There is a sweet reassurance in all the brokenness that stems from my birthplace. God placed me there for a reason. I may never know why. I don’t need to know why. It will always be a part of me and my story. It will always shape who I am, how I view this world, and my place in society as a Christian.
I can tell you right now, I never once thought a Russian like me could ever love Jesus Christ as deeply as I do. I never once thought a Russian like me could ever love others so much until it hurts.
I tell you this: I am not ashamed of being from Russia. I have never been and I never will be no matter ugly the world portrays the country to be.
As I write this with tears streaming down my face, I tell you, my writing doesn’t lie because it is an outpouring of my heart. It is in my writing that I truly understand what I believe and who I am as an individual in this chaotic world.