Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu. First I’d like to let you know that I am by no means a scholar. I am a revert who, just like many of you, is learning new things every day. I pray that Allah keeps my words and intentions pure and that He blesses them so they can help someone else.
I am an American revert. I was called by Allah since childhood, but didn’t learn about Islam until after 9/11. I received my first Qur’an, which was in Arabic with English transliteration, in 2002. I had grown up Christian but always felt there was “more to it all”. Things I learned in church just didn’t make sense to me. I never found the peace that everyone always proclaimed to receive after accepting Jesus (Isa), peace and blessings be upon him, into my heart. So as a child, I remember raising my hand in church when asked who accepted Christ, peace and blessings be upon him, into their hearts every week because I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, and that was why I didn’t feel this so called “peace” in my heart.
I always had this emptiness inside me. I remember crying and crying to the neighbors’ horse about all my woes and issues. How no one really loved me. I felt like an alien and knew deep down there must have been something wrong with me because I didn’t fit in, I wasn’t “popular”, in fact I got teased a lot in school. I am overly sensitive and this didn’t seem to help me much. My poor mom was always worrying why I was crying this day or that.
As a teenager I knew “right from wrong” but I still had this feeling of emptiness. So I turned to others to try to fill that void. Rebellion, ignorance, confusion and a longing for “real love” is a dangerous combination for a young teenage girl. My mom had told me that “sex is something you do with someone you love”. She meant of course in marriage, as that is all she had known in her generation, but not a good thing to say to someone looking for love and believing that others tell you the truth just because you’re truthful. Teenage girls tend to “fall in love” at a drop of the hat, and I ended up pregnant at the age of 16.
My parents of course were upset, my mom embarrassed and hurt, feeling she had failed me somehow. But in reality I had failed myself. And it didn’t stop there. I kept looking for love in “all the wrong places” and ended up getting hurt, hurting myself, hurting my family, my children and my faith. I’d try so hard to be a “good Christian” but would fail and then fall into the “I don’t deserve Gods love” way of thinking and I’d get good and lost again.
All this time I still had this longing; this feeling that there was more to God than what they taught in church. I loved God…truly. I wanted to be so good for Him but always seemed to fail. And many times my friends and family would make “light” of my mistakes and deep down that just made me feel even more worthless and unworthy of anything “good” or of Gods love.
I almost died after giving birth to my first daughter. I became very depressed after having her and a year later I was in a car accident that I “know” I should have died in. There are so many times I’ve thought, “I should have died just then”, but I didn’t. So I got it in my head that I didn’t die because even God didn’t want me. Alhamdulillah that I was wrong.
I won’t go into every sordid sin, but if it’s a sin, big or small, I think I’ve done them all. I also delved into other religions trying to find the solution to my emptiness. Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American beliefs and even Wicca (witchcraft) and ended back with Christianity, but still this aching void was always there.
During this time, I had moved many times. I decided the best thing for my 3 children, at the time, was to NOT have me in their life. I had done such a good job of ruining my own life, I worried I’d just ruin theirs as well. So I gave them to their dad and moved away. I ended up in one failed, haram relationship after another. This really made my self esteem which was already so low, go even lower. If no one wanted me in their life for long, how could God want me? This went on for a few years with me moving over 12 times across the country and then back.
Welcome to our "Convert/Revert" section. This section of Striving For Clarity is dedicated to articles and stories geared towards those who chose to enter Islam later in life. If you would like to contribute to this section, visit our Guest Contributor page.