As a Muslim child, I constantly asked questions. Who is God? Why do I have to pray in Arabic? What happens when I die? Do my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds enough for me to get into heaven?
I became hopeless thinking about these things. No one had comforting answers. The only answer was, “Do good, follow the religious rites, and everything will be OK.” Everything was not OK. I was in a pit of darkness. “Help me,” I whispered. He heard my cry!
Who Is Isa Al-Masih?
God was watching over me. One day I asked my mother, “Who is Isa Al-Masih?” She answered, “He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary.” When I was in eighth grade, an evangelist visited my school. He gave us New Testaments. I told myself, “I will read this one day,” not knowing what the little book was about.
A Gospel Message
One day I was wandering around behind our house. I found a cartoon page on the ground. I picked it up and read it. It told a story about the Prophet Isa. “‘So the Pharisees and the teachers of the law asked Isa Al-Masih, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?’… [Isa Al-Masih answered,] ‘Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’ ” (Injil, Mark 7:5, 15).
This passage struck me. I had to wash before praying. If a male touched me after I had washed for prayer, I had to rewash. I could not pray or fast while on my period; I was unclean. Isa Al-Masih’s statement confused me.
A Ticket to America
The matter of God never left my mind. I believed in God, but did not know who He was. Death and the end-times haunted me. My mother saw me becoming more distraught. She gave me $1,000 and a ticket to the U.S. She told me I needed to experience the world. Because I was born in the U.S., I became an American citizen. With a school in mind, I set out on my journey.
My Family Finds Salvation in Isa Al-Masih
My sister was also going through significant hardships in her marriage. Then a colleague introduced her to Isa Al-Masih. She was very joyful about her new life with Isa. She wrote letters telling me about Him.
She also shared the Gospel with my parents and they received Isa Al-Masih as their Savior. They started sending letters, urging me to learn about Isa. I read the books they sent me. I asked my friends about Christianity, but they could not answer my questions.
My younger brother was a student at Ohio State University. My parents also sent him letters and books. The literature opened his heart. His friends from a student ministry introduced him to the Savior.
You Need to Repent!
About two weeks before I started school, my brother came to visit. One night I was getting ready for bed. He knocked on the door and told me he wanted to talk. He said, “Norma, I feel that God has sent me here to you. Everyone is praying for you. You need to repent!”
I was offended and retorted, “I am your older sister. I will come to you if I need your advice!” I left and went to sleep in a different room.
My Last Muslim Prayer
I couldn’t sleep. My heart was convicted. My parents came to mind. I never had a good relationship with them. I realized I was not as good a person as I thought. For the first time in my life I realized I needed someone bigger than me. I submitted to the true God.
About three in the morning I got up to pray. When I finished, I felt a gentle push urging me to say, “This is my last Muslim prayer.” Then I went to sleep.
Understanding Christ’s Death
The next morning I asked my brother, “What do I do now?” He gave me a Bible. He helped me read and understand it.
One night, I was with him at a retreat. I became overcome by a very strong emotion. I started sobbing and felt a large burden lifted off my shoulders. God’s hand finally reached down and pulled me out of the pit of despair and sin.
A New Song
God put a new song in my heart, a song of praise—one I understand and not just repeated verses in a foreign language! I can communicate with God! I can tell others about Him!
God put a new desire in my heart, to proclaim His salvation to the people God brings to me. As Isaiah said, “Here I am Lord, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).
[We invite you to visit us at https://www.isaandislam.com/way-of-salvation to learn more about God’s gift of Salvation. God loves you and waits to hear from you. Isa Al-Masih said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). For a deeper understanding of Isa we suggest you subscribe to “Isa, Islam, and Al-Fatiha” at this link.]
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1. Why did Norma feel hopeless with Islam?
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