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A Life of Atheism, Islam and finally Salvation thr By L. Washington A Life of Atheism, Islam and finally Salvation through God's Mercy From Atheism to a Spiritual ExperienceI was born to a family without religion. My mother at some point said she believed that there might be a God but she wasn't sure and my father and brothers were atheists. I was raised with good morals and decent behavior and taught the theory of evolution. All religious thought was laughed out of the house. I was an obedient child but by the time I reached my teen years I rebelled and experimented with everything there was to try. I was lonely and sad in my heart and even wished to die many times. I had no purpose for living. Material wealth was desirable for a while but I soon found out that this didn't make me any happier. Time went on and I married and divorced. Months later I became very close to the brother of my good friend. He was always telling me about God but I never paid any attention to him, I did however put up with him because he was a very nice person and had many wonderful qualities that I admired. Then one day suddenly I got a phone call from my friend saying "come over, my brother is dead". I thought she was joking and was trying to get me over there for some other crazy reason that she didn't want to tell me about on the phone. When I arrived I saw that everyone was quiet and looked like they had been crying, I realized that this wasn't a joke and something really happened, but what, he couldn't be dead, that's impossible, I just saw him the day before and he was fine and we were laughing. I asked my friend what happened and she said that her brother had risen that morning but then told everyone that he felt a little tired and was going to go back to bed. He never got up again, he died in his sleep. How can that be, all of a sudden you're not here, you don't exist, that's not possible, you have to exist, but where. This was the turning point for me. I decided I had to figure out where we go when we die, I couldn't think of anything else, this idea consumed my every waking moment. Where do I start I thought, there are many religions in the world, one of them might be right if God is real but is he really? I started studying the basics of different religions and decided to throw most of them out the window because they were so far from anything at all conceivable that I was left with what seemed the most logical place to start, one of the worlds monotheistic religions, Christianity. I went with my friend to her church one day, having never been in a church in my life, and stood at the back and tried to look like I wasn't there, I tried to be wallpaper, and there in the midst of maybe a hundred people I decided that God might be real because all of these people thought so and I wanted to believe that so much. The preacher asked if anyone wanted to ask the Lord into their heart to do so and at that moment I opened my heart and said "God I believe you are real" for the first time in my life. Suddenly I felt very different and as I was standing in the pews I saw a cloud move over the ceiling very slowly. I looked around and realized that other people weren't seeing this cloud, at least they didn't look as though they did. I thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me but the cloud stopped moving and the edge of it was above me. Suddenly the cloud started descending and came over me and in amazement I could feel it move through me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It was hot, like fire, I felt like I was on fire but it wasn't hurting me, it was a feeling of totally encompassing love, love in every part of your being, not just your heart or your soul but in every part of you. A love that was beyond any human love I had ever known in my life or that could even be possible. I knew this was the Spirit of God and He was transforming me and showing me His love. I knew that as amazing as Gods love was for me that it was only a tiny little bit of His love and that the total of His love would be impossible for the human mind to comprehend. I was shocked and remorsed that I had not believed in Him before and hoped that He would forgive me because I knew I didn't deserve to be forgiven after all the horrible comments I made prior to that moment about people that believed in God and God Himself. I begged Him to forgive me. The Spirit started to ascend and the cloud started to move away from the ceiling until it disappeared. I was left with a new reality and wanted everyone to know that God really existed. I found myself very different after this happened. I threw out my tv and I stopped drinking alcohol. Everything that was normal before seemed wrong now. I was very conscious / convicted of the smallest infractions against God. I spent many months studying the Bible and trying to understand the deity of Christ. I read the Bible day and night and marked every passage about death and every passage pertaining to the divinity / humanity of Christ and His mission. I went to church a few times primarily to discuss my theories with theologians. As the year ended and my study of the New Testament was completed I had arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was divine and that the Spirit in Him was the same Spirit that was God and the same Spirit that had come into me. Discovering the Qur'an I lived as well as I could after that trying to please God but not thinking much about Jesus being divine, the Bible, or what had happened as time went on. I never went to church. Several years passed and I was living in a new area. I had many women friends near by. They were all Muslimahs. I decided to read the Qur'an and see what they believed. At this point I was far from practicing a Biblical life, although I wasn't a terrible person either, and had real doubts about what I had years before believed very briefly about Christ. Most of what I had previously thought was in the hidden recesses of my mind and not in my concious mind. After studying the Qur'an I decided that what I had previously believed must not be true. That Jesus couldn't be divine because it just didn't make sense that a man could be God. I wrote off what had happened to me previously as God trying to show me that He was real and that's it. I thought for some time and decided that I would become a Muslimah. I took the Shahada with friends as witnesses and started practicing the faith. I studied the ahadith and spent lots of time at the Mosque. My son and daughter were learning Arabic and were on their way to being good Muslims. My son on occasion called the Adhan in the Mosque. I prayed five times a day, fasted during Ramadan and taught my children Islam in every aspect of our life. On several occasions I could not find work that wouldn't compromise my religion and so I went hungry. At one point I even married a man, who was a stranger to me, recommended to me by the Sheikh, through an arranged marriage at the Mosque. That marriage was a disaster and ended in divorce. I stayed home most of the time because many people in my society did not accept my religious beliefs or practices. Nearly ten years after taking the Shahada, I was a strong Muslimah and I decided to go online and bring Islam to the world. I found a computer program that allowed me to open rooms and bring knowledgeable people in to educate the Christians and less knowledgable Muslims using voice technology. I taught people about Islam and told them that the Bible was corrupted. I threw many Christians out of my rooms. From Islam to Salvation Ramadan came and I started fasting from dawn to dusk. One evening I made a prayer for the people of Palestine, the children especially, they were suffering for the cause of adults. One little boy had just been shot and killed trying to hide from the gunshots. I couldn't bare that. Then something happened to me. I felt an energy force come into me and it was warm and beautiful and full of the love of God. It had been 15 years since I had experienced anything supernatural like this. I no longer believed that Jesus was God or that He died on the cross and I already knew God existed so this was confusing. Why was God reaching out to me like this again? I thought this over for several days and talked to many other Muslims. No one had experienced anything like this. Throughout this time I felt the presence of this force inside of me. Why did the Qur'an not mention this? Why didn't other Muslims have this happen? I started thinking back to my first experience with God and I remembered how I thought after reading the Bible that this was connected to Jesus. I looked for a Christian that I was acquainted with and I told him what had happened to me. He talked to me for a long time and then suggested I go directly to God for an answer. After days of torture I finally decided to ask God about Jesus. I wasn't so stubborn that I thought that I was right no matter what God told me, so that night I lay on my bed and started praying. "Allah (swt), I'm raising my children in Islam and I'm fervently trying to bring others to you through the teaching of the Qur'an. I spend day and night in your cause and this is my soul and my children's souls so if I am wrong I have to know and I have to know from You. I will not accept an answer from any person or book as You are the Creator and I believe you will answer me directly. Allah (swt), if it's true that Jesus died on the cross and was divine as the Bible says then I want you to show me. Prove it to me in such a way that I cannot deny. Not a way that I can say maybe it meant that or maybe not, but a way that's beyond doubt. Allah (swt) if it's true I want You to take me and shake me and wake me up to that truth, however You will." Immediately after I said this I felt my body start to tremble, then it started shaking harder and harder until it was as though I was having a seizure and suddenly my head and shoulders were pulled up off of the bed and suspended in the air while my body was shaking violently. I wasn't scared but surprised , surprised because of the answer. All of those years I thought I had been right and I was wrong, dead wrong. Now God was showing me the truth and at the same time His loving mercy. After a few minutes the shaking stopped and my head and shoulders were released and I lay there filled with God's Spirit, heavenly beyond belief, powerful but loving. It was as though I was weightless and transformed, feeling only the love of God surging through me, forgiving me. I cried because I knew that what I had believed prior to that moment had been wrong but He still loved and forgave me. I praised Him through that night and glorified His Name. Many weeks went by and each day the Holy Spirit became stronger and stronger. I would pray and praise Him and I would be totally consumed in His Spirit to the point that I wouldn't even feel myself anymore but only His Spirit consuming me in love. This is as close to heaven as a human being can get until He comes for us I think. I can't imagine getting much closer. I felt at times like I was floating and not even part of this world. I went into the Islam rooms that I had created and told everyone what had happened to me and how Jesus was really divine and that He really died on the cross and that I knew this from God Himself. I told them that I had prayed to God and how He had answered me. They thought I was possessed by jinn or had lost my mind. They tried to bring me back to Islam every way they could think of. They read the Qur'an to me, talked to me and tried to find reasons for what happened. Nothing they said made any sense to me. I knew that I didn't belong there any more. I closed the Islam rooms I created and started going to the Christian rooms. When the Muslims realized that I was not coming back and that I was telling people what happened to me they started messaging me with all kinds of death threats and insults. They slandered me with lies trying to discredit me and ruin my reputation. I was very upset that the people that I had loved and many had taught were turning against me, hating me and wishing death on me. Many times I was attacked but through God's mercy He spoke to them through me even when I didn't have the words to say myself. One day shortly after I was on the pc and I was listening to a group talk about Christianity versus Islam and suddenly I couldn't talk. I felt like I had cotton in my mouth and when I spoke just mumbling came out, no clear words. I tried and tried but it got harder and harder to talk. I prayed and asked God to show me what to do, to help me because I didn't understand, and when I said that suddenly something clicked in my mind and my speech and I started speaking another language. Praise God! I was speaking in tongues just as it said in the Bible! I had received so many blessings but one thing was left. My children had to be told. They had never known any religion besides Islam. I spent many agonizing weeks trying to figure out how to tell them on top of adjusting to a new life myself. I had up to a few days before my conversation with God told my son that the Bible was corrupt. Now I had to explain what happened to me and why I wasn't a Muslimah anymore and that I was now a believer in Jesus as Lord and in the Bible even though I didn't even own one. I prayed a lot then. I waited until the Lord told me to tell them. One day I was alone with my daughter and I felt God was telling me that the time was right. I told her what happened to me and that I was now a believer in Jesus. She was surprised and started crying but after several minutes she stopped and asked me questions and to my surprise and God's mercy she said "mommy whatever you think is right then that's what I will believe, you have to teach me". My son was harder to talk to. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to say to him and prayed a lot. One day I went into his room and just told him. He started yelling at me, called me a kafir, hit me and threw me out of his room. He didn't speak to me for days. I prayed and prayed and many other people prayed as well and thanks to God he started coming around and talking to me. I found a comic book on the net about a Muslim that had come to Jesus and how he and his family were seriously abused by the Muslim community. I gave this comic to my son and he changed his attitude quite a lot after reading it. He realized that hurting people because of what they believe is wrong. (You can get that comic at this url, scrolling down to 'Timothy Abraham'.) Today my son is accepting of my faith and is listening to everything I tell him. He asks me questions about the Bible and has abandoned the Qur'an. He's on his way to becoming a believer, praise God. Conclusion It seems incredible that a person could be reached by God in such a powerful way initially and still fall into disbelief regarding the divinity of Christ. It happens, believe it or not. I'm proof of that. I was filled with the Holy Ghost and did believe that Jesus was divine but it was brief, so brief in fact that I couldn't say that I was really a Christian. I was however saved even if it was for a short time and fell into disbelief soon afterwards. I pray daily now that the Lord use me and make me a strong witness for Him. I thank Him for saving me from my own mind and the destination of eternal death. I ask Him to give me comprehension and understanding of His Word and show me how to apply it to my own life. I have so far to go. I'm not and never will be worthy to be saved. It's only through His mercy that He brought me out of Atheism and Islam and into His family. If you were born into a Muslim family or have accepted Islam later in your life and you sincerely believe you are following the truth path, I ask you to do just one thing, open your heart and pray to Allah to reveal Himself to you in His time and in His own way, to show you who Jesus is and why He really came amongst us. Do this with a sincere and open heart and He will answer you. L. Washington

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