[This post was first published in March 2011] God is alive and He is involved in even the minutest of events around us, with this concept in mind meet a good friend of mine called Kathy, a hijab wearing American (not any more though). This is her extra ordinary testimony. A gracious journey to repentance and faith in Christ:
I have long wrestled with the idea of writing my testimony, because I really don’t know what to say. Though from the outside it may appear to others that my life has been an interesting one, it has, in fact, been only a series of really bad choices to bring me to the point where I am now. It is none of my own doing that brought me to the peace I finally find myself in, but rather it is entirely of God. And for that I am eternally thankful.
There is nothing terribly unusual about my childhood. Like many kids my age, I grew up knowing nothing of the idyllic 50’s sitcom families like Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best and so on. In fact, by the time I was born it was the 60’s, an era of change. My early childhood was lived, like many kids in the early 70’s marked by divorce, split and blended families, latch-keys and uncertainty. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. My brother and I chose to live in different places, and I went with our mother, while he stayed with our father. My father remarried, and within a couple years, I too was living with him, because my mother’s health prevented my staying with her. She’d had a stroke which left her paralyzed and unable to take care of herself, let alone a child.
Kathy’s testimony spirals through her childhood- a happy one at that. Attending church as a social family event. She adds:
I always knew faith was important, though. What I didn’t know was that I was actually just as lost as those who were guilty of serious social sins. It’s not our works that save us, nor our ability to conform socially with the laws and mores of the place we live that make us “good enough” to get into heaven. It never dawned on me that I was lost.
The trappings and apparent freedom of high school were filled with anticipation and excitement as she slipped further and further away from home. Punctuated with her mother’s death and the whirlpool of uncertainity as the last few straws of moral bearings slipped from under her feet.
I began to live a very reckless lifestyle shortly thereafter, drinking, smoking marijuana, and being sexually promiscuous. I turned into someone that none of my former friends or classmates could have recognized. I don’t know, really, how I ended up there, except that I didn’t really have any reason *not* to engage in that lifestyle. Sure I knew it was something my parents would disapprove of, and I knew it would be a disappointment to some of the people who knew me, but I was “just having fun.” I remember one night, when I was out with a guy who was just a casual sex partner, honestly, telling him, as we smoked pot, “There may be no tomorrow. Who cares about it? It’s all about right now and having fun.” And I meant it. My own mother had not lived to see her 42nd birthday, after all, and who knew when my own end would come. I was determined to have as much “fun” as I could in the time that I had. It never crossed my mind that I might have to answer for my actions, unless, of course, I thought about having to face my father in his disappointment.
The lifestyle began to wear old, over time. By the end of the first year of college, I had fallen about as far from any moral standard as I could go. Thank God I had made a conscious decision never to experiment with harder drugs than pot, however. I was too afraid of becoming addicted, so even when cocaine was being used at parties near me, I would never touch it. The sexual experimentation, however, was my downfall. I began to feel cheap and taudry – and I was. At the end of the year, I decided something had to change.
But little did she know she was about to meet a man of middle eastern origin. This man would turn her world up side down and be one of her first surreal encounters with a religion she had always fantasized about -Islam. And she would become a poster girl too for her new found faith!
Continue to Part 2.