I grew up in the Christian church with my family. Both of my parents are devout Christians, and hence I was familiarized with the Bible from a very early age. Because both of my parents, in their own personal way, seemed so passionate about their love for God, as a little girl I wanted to know and understand more about God. I wanted to have a very close and personal relationship with the Creator of all.
By the time I was 8 I felt as though I knew enough about the Bible, God’s Word, to go ahead and go through with the sinner’s prayer, confess all of my sins, and get baptized. I did this more so out of fear from what I had heard from my pastor, Sunday school teachers, and my own parents concerning the fires of hell for the non-believers. Since I understood Christianity to be “the one true way” to go to heaven and be with God I wanted to make sure my soul was safe. That being said, I became a born again Christian.
By the time I was 13, I had gone through the Bible, cover to cover, twice. I had fully immersed myself into Christianity and the church, and it was around this time that I started to have questions about the Christian way. I was having problems fully understanding concepts, such as the Trinity. I would ask my Sunday School teachers over and over again about some of my questions, but after they tried to explain things to me and I still didn’t understand I was usually given the same advice; “Just have faith. We don’t always have to know everything about God.” But I wanted to fully understand Him, and I needed answers. As time progressed, my questions and then doubts started stacking up. Most days I would just try to convince myself that my faith was not strong enough and that’s why I was questioning God. Even then, it didn’t feel right with my soul. Why would God seem to be so mysterious and veiled? Why couldn’t I find answers to simple questions concerning the God I worshiped? Why were the interpretations of the Bible so diverse? And why was I getting so many unclear answers about my questions regarding my faith from the very same people who were leading and teaching me about God and the Bible? My questions kept stacking and I found it harder and harder to “just have faith”.
When I was 20, I went on a missions trip to Chicago to assist some missionaries who were trying to help/convert the South Asian immigrants and also to reach out to the Muslims living in the surrounding area. At this point in time I was just hoping that by serving God in whatever way possible I could learn about God to strengthen my faith in Him. So I went up to Chicago for a week. This was the first time that I was introduced to Islam. Even though I was somewhat being introduced to Islam from a Christian view point, it still struck a nerve with me. there were a lot of similarities between these two faiths, and the funny thing about all of it was this; when we went to minister to the Muslim families we were treated with so much more love and hospitality than I had ever received from church or other Christian families. I was there to minister to them, but they did so much more for me instead. It got me to thinking a little bit about Christianity and IF it really was the “one true way” because I was absolutely certain that God was definitely with and using the Muslim families to show His love. I knew this with my head and heart. I have never and will never forget the kindness shown to me by those families, and I pray that God will forever bless them.
After that time, I left Christianity to find a way to better understand God. It has been a few years since then, and about a month ago, God brought me to a place where I was reintroduced to Muslims. This time, I took the opportunity to learn more about Islam. The more questions I asked, the more that I knew with my head and my heart that God was showing me the “one true way” to better understanding and serving Him. Every question I asked, there was an answer waiting. There was no Trinity business in Islam, because there is none other than the One true God; He doesn’t need two other parts to get the job done.
The more questions I asked and the more that I read about Islam, the more I felt God confirming what I knew with my head and my heart; this was the way that God had established for humans to follow to best serve, and that is what I want to do with my life. I want nothing more to serve Him and for God to use me for His purpose. I have mucked around with my life and that has lead to so my heartache and loneliness. I want to be so close to God, so that when He tells me to do something, I don’t even think twice about it and I just do His will. If He tells me to go the left, my entire being does it automatically.
Islam is the way. It was no coincidence that a few years ago God initially introduced me to Islam on a missions trip, and it is no coincidence that I have been given the opportunity to fully educate myself about Islam. God has specific intentions. Yesterday, with the help of Brother Hanif and Ishaq I pronounced the Shahada. I know that there is only one true God and that is Allah. I know that Muhammad is the last Prophet sent by Allah. I know that Islam is the way of life created by Allah. I know that no matter what happens from here, I am forever Allah’s servant. I know this with my heart and my mind. So, if you are reading this, please keep me in your prayers. Praise be to Allah for showing me the Way. I know nothing, but what God has shown to me. I am forever His servant and student.