Converting from Islam to Christianity wasn't easy, and it definitely didn't happen over night.
I remember back in 2014 while I was sitting on a subway train in NYC (during my usual morning commute to work), a young Jamaican girl walked up to me and said "God has asked me to pray for you". I was shocked, but I also knew it was the sign I'd been praying for.
What was my prayer?
"God bless direct me to the faith that will bring me closer to you because I am confused and unsettled in my heart."
Let me take you back a little bit. I grew up as a Muslima, my entire family is Muslim, and I was raised in the Mosque; attending Sunday school every week while learning about prayers and the Quran. Yet, as I continued to grow up in the religion, my heart never felt settled in the faith. It had nothing to do with my parents, my friends, or my surroundings. It had everything to do with my yearning to feel God's grace and presence in my life. I quickly learned that having religion, and having FAITH are two different things.
It honestly takes an inquisitive mind to question if you are truly following the right faith. You grow up learning (and being told) what religion to follow, what your beliefs should be, and how you should feel about it. You watch your family pray, and recite surahs, but you still feel a disconnect from God. This is what happened to me, and his is how I knew that I needed to either unlearn a few things and find out on my own, or live a life based on confused faith.
It wasn't an overnight journey converting from Islam to Christianity.
I prayed, cried, researched, and read scriptures (from both the Quran and the Bible). Yet I was still conflicted on why I was feeling this way in the first place. My entire family is Muslim, and yet they didn't seem to have any worries of following Islam-- so why was I feeling this way?
Well, that's when I started praying to God for signs. Christians and Muslims may have a few differences when it comes to religious beliefs... but one thing is for certain, we BOTH believe in God. So I prayed and fasted for a sign-- and not just any ol' sign either. I needed the sign of all signs so i don't make the mistake of misinterpreting anything. I also needed more than just a dream, or a "shoulda-coulda-woulda" sign. No, I wanted a CLEAR message from God that I should pursue this new religion that would ultimately bring about issues in my family.
Regardless of that, I needed to know-know (yes, twice), that I was doing the right thing for me.
So, as the bible says: "Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened for you". Oh, I knocked alright! I asked God daily for clear signs that I wasn't losing my mind, as I seek spiritual guidance. Then the signs came... they came as dreams, as messages written on things, and as prayers/prophecies from random people. I'm talking, real RANDOM! I went to the hospital to see a friend that got into an accident, and a guy stopped me in the hallway to say "Let me pray for you. I see you are seeking God, and you asked God for a sign, here it is". I almost jumped out of my skin as he prayed for me and started speaking tongues in that hospital! But, at the same time, I was also overjoyed because I knew God heard me, and brought me the signs that I needed.
After about a year or so, I began doing my own soul searching and research on Christianity. Like, I knew I heard the messages, and I saw the signs, but I don't leap into anything unless I am 100% certain. So I read forums, facebook groups, joined a prayer line, attended a few church services (solo dolo!), and finally--- picked up a bible. I schooled myself on the religion, because if I was going to do this, I needed to do this right.
Finally in August 2015, I went to someone's church in MD, and when they asked who in the crowd wanted to give their life to Jesus Christ, my hand started going up. I was shooketh! Why? Because I'm not that brave, and there were about 100 people in the church-- mostly Nigerians, and I didn't know WHO knew my mama! So I quickly put my hand back down. Ha! Not before an Usher saw me and quickly ran over to pull me to the front. I was scared and 1,000 thoughts ran through my mind. The main one: WHAT WAS I DOING??
So there I stood, me and one other man in front of an entire congregation. The pastor started praying for us, and I started sweating. "Was I really doing this? What will my family say? Who knows my mama in here? Oh man I messed up!" Then once I thought it was over, the usher walked me to the back to meet with another pastor, and I started crying my eyes out. The pastor looked startled, then she grabbed my hand and said "it is well". I told her why I was crying and that I believe I made a mistake to put my hand up. She calmed me down with a prayer and said "God makes no mistakes".
Fast forward 3 years and 3 months later, and I am a Christian. I am a God-fearing, Proverbs 31:10, #Godmade, Virtuous Christian Woman, and I am proud of the faith that I have chosen. I was also fortunate enough to find a Church near me in NYC that has helped build my faith in the religion (hey Redeem!), and I also met a loving God-fearing man that has allowed me to grow stronger as a Christian because everything we do is led by faith (thank you DK)!
So yea, that's how I found peace in myself and inmy faith. It's not all glitter and rainbows, but it's my story. I have learned through this process that you must figure out what works for YOU! Once you do, you must own it and be proud of it. No matter how you're raised, you must seek knowledge and create a life that you enjoy living --don't let anybody tell you different! I love the faith that I have chosen, and I have seen with my own eyes the chains that have been broken because of it. I love being a Christian, and for anyone who reads this and has different views, it's ok to do so. We were all given a life to live, and I have chosen to live mine this way.
I also did a interview with Business Coach & Motivational Speaker; Sharon Gill, and she asked me about my faith, and how it correlates with my goals: Check it out Here.
Stay Blessed xo