“My name is Grace. I was raised in a city that was not very diverse, in a time when there was a greater religious tolerance than there is today. I had some extended family members and neighbors who were not from a Muslim background as everyone else there was, and to this day I do not know if they were Jews or Christians. Regardless, there was something in them that was attractive to me – they treated one another with love and had a different kind of spirituality.
After a while, I began to ask myself, “Why do we need to pray five times a day? Why do we need to fast? Why do we need to go to Mecca? Why do we need to please a god who is so burdensome?” I found no answers. It was not permissible for us to ask these kinds of questions, so I kept these thoughts silent.
Some time later I was married, had children, and work had filled my life – all but that spiritual vacuum that brought me time and again to seek God in the Quran. The more I read it, the farther away I knew I was from the true God. Something in my heart told me that God is love, and when I read the Quran, I only saw burden, punishment, and obligations. It was as if the only job God had was to make life more difficult for humans. In my inner being, I knew that this could not be the truth. I began to watch Christian programs on television, and they offered me a new perspective on what God could be – a God of love and forgiveness, who sacrificed himself for me on the cross, and a God who offered everything to me because of His grace.
One night, I had a dream in which a large serpent surrounded my neck. At the same time, I heard a voice saying to me, “Do not fear! I will remove it from you!” At that moment the serpent disappeared, and I felt an enormous peace. When it was over, I was certain that I had heard the voice of Jesus, and I could only say, “I believe in you.”
The next day, I made the decision to follow Him and to renounce Islam, with the certainty that Jesus had died on the cross and forgiven my sins. I searched on the internet people who spoke of Him in my own language, and consumed as much information as I could find. Through this search, God led me to a place in which the Spanish language was being taught, and it was there that I met Christians in person for the first time. Though they were foreigners, they spoke my language and shared my beliefs. For the first time, I held in my hands a printed Bible, which I now read and keep as a prized possession.
I have seen so many miracles and other proofs of God’s presence in my life that thousands of pages would be not be enough to share them all. I now am 65 years old, and my only desire is to know Christ more and more. My family members see something different in me, and they know that I no longer follow their religion of Islam. I am waiting for the best moment to share with them the reason for my faith, and that they might also find the Way, the Truth, and the Life.