How I became a Christian
My name is Khadija. I was born in a nominal Muslim family. I had a grandmother who was handicapped, and wanted some of us live with her. So I was sent to her mountain village to take care of her.
My grandmother’s village was quite a big one, but everyone knew each other, and it was part of our culture to share both the good and bad occasions with each other. One of my biggest memories of life with my grandmother is attending funerals. I was between 6 and 7 years old. I couldn’t analyse many things but each time when the Mullah gave his talk it was clear to me that if you did not follow the ways of Islam by doing good things in this life, you were going to hell. I started to seriously think about it and wanted to please Allah.
When I was 8 I started to learn Arabic prayers. When I started my Islamic life, I was very happy because my grandma was a devoted Muslimah and I saw it pleased her. This gave me hope that maybe now I could think about death, Allah and life after death without a paralysing fear. At the age of 12, I went back to live with my family. My grandmother died when I was 17.
I was practicing Islam, but it was not helping to deal with fear. I still couldn’t think about Allah and judgment day with peace in my heart but I did not know of any other way. In my heart I knew that I was not perfect, but unconsciously to protect myself from the fear I had of not being perfect and that I did not deserve heaven, I became more judgemental towards others and put on a strong, defiant outward face but inside I was very sensitive. Alone I preferred reading and writing poems and romantic stories rather than thinking about heaven.
When I was 17 years old I went to study at university in our capital city and joined my two older sisters who were already studying there. There were some teachers who were Christians and my friend told me that they invite students to their home. They sung together, drank tea, and talked about Jesus. She had a few tapes with Christian songs and I really liked the music on them. I asked her to find me a song without the word ‘Jesus’ in it. We found one and I learnt it by heart. ‘Come into my life, and become my God, You are all I need. Take my life ...’
I was very shy, but decided to go with my friend to a Christian’s house. I had never met real Christian people before. I really liked these people. You could tell they were very happy and the songs were beautiful. I started to really enjoy time with them, but still I did not like to hear about Jesus and stared to feel unfaithful to Allah. One day I decided to stop going and told Allah that I would not go there anymore. That evening when I was preparing for my Muslim prayers, washing hands, suddenly an inexplicable presence of someone filled me. I was afraid and asked ‘Who is it’, the answer was ‘Jesus, Jesus’. In spite of the warm feeling that filled me when I heard the voice, I tried to ignore it as I thought it was the devil trying to tempt me away from Allah and I prayed an Arabic prayer to cast away this devil, but it didn’t help. I finished my preparations and went to the rug to pray. But the presence of the sweet voice covered me again. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was confused. I covered my head and read a special Arabic prayer for sleeping, but it didn’t help. I sat on my bed and said ‘I see that that there are two of you, Allah if you are the right God help me; Jesus if you are the right one do something.’ After that I fell asleep. Next day I woke up with a strong desire to know more about Jesus. I didn’t want to pray to Allah anymore. I decided to go to the Christian’s house and ask questions, but I had no idea what to ask.
When I arrived at their house I told them that I needed to talk to them. The couple, as usual were very open and friendly. I was quite nervous and shy and didn’t know what to ask. I started to cry and couldn’t stop. They started to ask me questions about Jesus, and what he did for us. I was surprised that I knew the right answers. I had no idea how I knew them. That day I repented before Jesus. We prayed together and since then I have been a Christian. Now it is 13 years since I met Jesus. And he is the one that was able to deal with the fear which I had since I was a child. The more I know Him, the more I like to dream about the day I’ll see Him. As the Bible says,
“In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so we are in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear …” 1 John 4:17,18.
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