I believe that everybody’s testimony is a beautiful and spectacular display of God’s miraculous, saving grace. There is not one salvation story less significant than the other, whether it be you were saved on a church pew at 12 years old during VBS or you were saved by some divine revelation after tripping over a pair of shoes and creating chaos that set things into motion leading to you falling into a bookshelf that knocked over your never used, dust covered Bible opening it to a verse in Romans that led you to salvation. To me it’s all the same amazing story with different details: you were born a sinner in need of salvation, a moment in your life came that you realized you in fact needed a Savior, and you accepted Christ as your Lord.
For me, it was a very long process from the moment I realized I needed Christ until I actually accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I was raised Muslim; my father emigrated here from Syria. I went to the mosque every Friday evening and Sunday morning. I studied the Qur’an and learned to pray in Arabic…I was born into it and I figured it was going to become my life. This is the part where I am grateful that God was willing to work in my life before I was willing to let Him. I remember riding with my dad to the mosque one day when I younger and I was putting on my hijab and I said to him, out of nowhere, that Jesus is God and God is Jesus. He told me no, that was wrong and my little simple mind was like okay…what I didn’t know at the time was that was God preparing my heart for what was to come.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to make my own decisions for my life; therefore, I began going to youth group at a church in town and going to a high school senior/college service on Sunday evenings. I really enjoyed it. That summer I went to my first “Christian camp” in New Mexico and I loved it. I really felt the Lord moving in me to come to salvation but I just couldn’t. My sophomore year of college came around and at that point I was really feeling the need to come to Christ, especially being such an involved member of my school’s BCM. It was such a pressing matter and I couldn’t shake it. I spent countless hours in deep conversations with trusted friends, elders, my pastor (I was going to church for two years and I still hadn’t accepted Christ…I was like what is wrong with me?!), and the BCM director and his wife. My friend sent me detailed studies on Romans that he had done and so I decided to fast and study those lessons. During that fast God revealed to me through Scripture that I wasn’t finding my sin significant against Him, it just made me feel bad about myself. Islam is very works based and I had realized that because of that I thought being a good person was enough so it will outweigh my bad and get me into Heaven. Wrong. That was holding me back from Christ and I needed to realize I can’t save myself, I am not good, and my sin is separating me from my Father. A couple of weeks later I was driving down the highway and a song came on my iPod (I know, how cliché) by MercyMe and in that moment I realized that Christ has spoken for me on the Cross and covered my sin; I needed His atonement to save me from death.
It was a beautiful moment.
For a lot of people they think the beauty ends there or that their testimony was ugly and full of shame (uhhh hello!! We are all shameful, depraved, and unworthy but Christ died for us to cover that! There is no shame in admitting you were wretched and recognized you needed to change!); however, I think the best part of the story comes after salvation with the growing and learning process that can only take place after you’ve matured in Christ. So I want to share with you a lesson I just recently learned that next to my salvation, was the most significant and most necessary realization I’ve had in my life. It will completely change everything and my relationship with Christ is going to be forever changed. I needed to share my salvation experience with you first so you could have a little background knowledge to fully understand my next blog post I will hopefully be able to post for you tomorrow.
I guess the moral of this story is that you should never feel bad about your salvation experience. No matter the details, it’s all marvelous. To be ashamed of it is to be ashamed of God’s design. He perfectly planned your life out before He even spun this world into motion. He chose YOU specifically for the story of your life, all to bring Him glory. Your story is beautiful but the Writer even more so. He deemed you perfectly fit for the life He gave you and fortunately, unlike us, He does not make mistakes.
We are all sinners in need of grace.
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”