Before Christ, what was your world-world view?
I was born in a Somali, Muslim family. After intense research and self-reflection, I decided Islam wasn’t a true representation of reality - I felt there was so much more to my own humanity and the ‘truth’. However, my experiences of religion left me feeling fragile and I was determined to leave religion altogether. My family had problems with this and our relationship deteriorated. From the age of 15 until my late twenties, I was agnostic, heavily influenced by western philosophy and literature, trying to piece together an understanding of reality that matched what I felt. I was looking for the truth. I was looking for the purpose of my existence.
When did you first hear the Gospel? How did you feel about it?
I heard of Jesus but I didn’t know Him nor what the Gospel was. At the lowest point of my life at 27; living in hostels, estranged from my family, in an abusive relationship, smoking weed addictively, suicidally reckless, twice university drop-out, and chronically depressed, I was asked to consider Jesus as God. I remember looking up and seeing a cross before me. Jesus showed me in that every moment how He is Just and Righteous, and why He could die for our sins though He was innocent; the mercy of offering Himself up for what we could never repay ourselves, the lifestyle I was stuck in, and His strong desire to free me, dwell with me and love me. I was overcome with gratitude and love, repented of all my sins, and accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour, there and then.
What was your biggest question before you became Christian?
I couldn’t understand how it was fair that someone took the punishment for something wrong that I did. Before becoming a follower of Christ, I saw it as a ‘get-out-of-jail’ free card where Christians could do as they wished without consequences. Jesus showed me why that is wrong. Everyone is accountable for their actions and there will come a day where we will all stand before Him. God is just and Holy which means He doesn’t compromise with sin - it must be accounted for. However, the one ingredient that was missing: was love. The truth is, we all make bad decisions that harm others; including ourselves. We are not good moral judges for what is truly good in a situation. We tend to be selfish and do what is best for ourselves without considering others. Without Jesus and His adoring love for me, I would be stuck in that state indefinitely. Jesus took on the consequences of my actions so I can be free from my past, my self-destructive lifestyle, and my self-centered mindset. Jesus died so I could be free from who I thought I was and He rose from the dead so I could be transformed into someone better - the person He always intended for me to be. He offers this free gift to everyone!
What was the turning point in your attitude? When did it all change?
Though I accepted Jesus into my life, I was still in the midst of a lot of bad situations. The relationship I was in was harming me in many, many ways and I thought I was stuck in that situation forever. I was too weak to leave and I felt emotionally, mentally and physically drained from the toxic relationship I was in. I had no one else in my life and didn’t know where to turn. I started reading the Bible every day and felt moments of peace every time I read: it interrupted the paralyzing states of fear and trauma.
The turning point was when I prayed for Jesus to do something, anything to get me out of this situation. After moving out of a hostel into a new flat with my ex, he kicked me out the first week in. I got a temporary place and for the first time in a long time, felt safe and heard. I continued to seek Jesus and He heard my silent cries; He was with me all along.
What changes did you see in your life, actions, attitudes, problems (use specific examples).
Things didn’t change straight away, but the more I spent time talking, praying, learning, and growing with Jesus, the more I stood up and got better. Jesus healed my damaged mind and my broken heart. He explained my identity as a child of God and how much He loved and cherished me; which helped me with my self-worth and confidence. He walked me through my feelings of abandonment and rejection from my family; whilst welcoming me into a new family with our Heavenly Father. He helped me deal with my coping mechanisms of weed, sex, and reckless living and showed me what true love is and how I can feel fulfilled and truly satisfied with Him. I went from a fearful, trauma-bonded, self-destructive, emotionally reckless person who carried past traumas of family rejection, rape, drug abuse, abusive relationships, and crippling depression, to someone who genuinely walks in peace, freedom, love, and constant relationship with the One who truly loves me. I’m never alone and can face anything now that I have Jesus in my life. I cannot thank Him enough! Sometimes, I cannot believe where He picked me up from when I was...but my love for Him deepens every day.
How long did it take before you noticed changes (be honest and realistic)?
I’ve been a follower of Jesus for one year [May 2020] and I am still growing daily. Honestly; I was a huge mess, and broken in so many ways; having been thrown into one thing after another. I had so much healing in front to do and was still using my coping mechanisms to deal with the pain for a good while. Though He didn’t like it as it was harming me, Jesus is very patient and understanding as He saw where I was - He showed me how He loves me more than my sins and was eager to heal me more than anything. Jesus will always meet you where you are. I spoke to Him about everything, all my baggage and He slowly dealt with my perspective and my broken heart - through friends and prayer - we explored the reasons as to why I was the way that I was. I began to grow in conviction as He helped me to truly see and face myself. After a few long, hard months of stopping and starting, struggling and crying and healing, He gave me the strength to stop smoking cigarettes and weed, having sex promiscuously, and transformed my mind and heart to be devoted to Him alone. This took about 7 months and was after spending almost all of my time, every day with Him. I still have a way to go, but my relationship with Him grows intimately and beautifully every day.
Where are you now?
Today, I no longer engage in sexual activity, drugs and cigarettes; self-destructive behavior, and chasing the wind for my next high. I eat healthily, exercise regularly, and live in a state of peace, love, confidence, and joy. Though I’m still in temporary housing, I know Jesus will come through for me again as He always does.
I’ve been accepted to do Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics at University, and I am working towards building my future as a playwright and businesswoman. I am preparing to reconcile with my family and I am so in love with Jesus! I jump up and down every day in complete adoration for what He has done and continues to do for me. He literally picked up my pieces and lovingly healed me back together again. I love Him so much!!
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
We love Him because He first loved us - 1 John 4:19
The only reason He rescued me from the pit I was in - the only reason He desires to save all of us - is because He loves us. He loves us so much to have gone through the most painful, humiliating death so we could be freed from our own self-destructive cycles of pain and existence without true love.
Jesus taught me what true love is - someone who gives Himself to me when I was low; so I can be free in Him. I didn’t know Him at all when I met Him, but I could see that I found what I was always looking and longing for. The truth of my existence is to be loved by the One who made me.