Seham, Middle East
“Ye shall know the truth, and the Truth shall make you free” John 8:3
“You did not choose me, but I chose you” John 15:16
I want to give praise and glory to God almighty and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega. Jesus Christ the Word who came into the world to save a sinner like me. The same Savior wants to save you too, and his love is forever.
How I became a Christian? What I experienced words can’t explain. I was transformed and became a new person, I was set free from a lie, I saw the light, and I experienced a new life with Christ “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Roman 8:35 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” Roman 8:37
I was born in a Middle Eastern country from a Muslim family of eleven children, the only education my father had was how to read the Koran and write. My mother had no education because of the Islamic belief that there is no need for girls to have education. She became a wife at the age of 13 to a much older man. Women’s opinions and rights were ignored and oppressed, they did not enjoy the freedom Christian and Jewish women enjoyed. I was the only girl among my sisters that had some education. I had no choice but to accept the way I lived and suppressed my feeling of unrest in the family. I never thought one day that I would live in a Western country. It just did happen. I left with members of the family to this new country which became my home and I loved it. I did not know about Judaism and Christianity and the Holy Bible, Islam kept me in the darkness. The Quran taught me that Jews and Christians are infidels (Kuffar), it taught me if I reject Islam I will be also an infidel (Kaffir). Women do t have to go to the mosque, it is not important and if they go they are separated., this is the practice of Islam in the Middle East and Muslim countries, if you see it differently in the West, that is not the true Islam, they are changing it to attract the westerners to follow this belief.
I was 17 years old when one day I was down and depressed, it was a new beginning for me in this foreign country. I went for a walk in the street alone, I felt no one can understand me at that time, only the creator who I loved and feared, but there was a wall a barrier and emptiness and doubts. Across the street was the house of a neighbor that I never met, the door was opened and the children were going in and out happily, I approached the door and I was shy. A sweet old lady asked me about my name, I told her that my name is Seham, she lived alone she was peaceful, joyful, smiling friendly and respected woman. I did a fast comparison in my mind, I saw the joy on this woman that my mother did not have, then she asked me if I go to church, I told her I don t , then she asked me, do if I knew Jesus Christ as Lord? I was interested and curious. I asked her to tell me about Jesus, in a few words, she told me about Jesus , His second coming to judge the world and stopped. She gave me a Bible and a small oklet about the Lord Jesus’ second coming, on the front page was the photo of Jesus. I took them from her, but she asked me if I can give or share this Bible with my brother. I left her house rushing home, I felt I wanted to know Jesus. I did not know this Christian woman, not even her name. So I went straight home and secretly I entered my bedroom, closed the door and alone without telling any one, I turned the Bible pages. I told myself that later I would read it, but I was not patient I wanted fast response from Jesus because I needed help Immediately, I held the booklet she gave me in my hands and on it was a picture about the second coming, but I did not want to read it, I held it in my hands, and I said Jesus you the Lord help me, I need help, I was on my knees calling Jesus to help me, I wept, my tears were coming down, trying to get relief. I felt tired and weak I wanted to sleep, as I got up I was in doubt, I said maybe he did not hear me. I laid my head on the pillow closed my eyes, I saw unusual dream that I was alone outside, all of a sudden the sky was darkened, I looked up , I saw the sky opened, immediately I knelt down in shock and speechless, looking at this opening in the sky, a bright shining light I saw a man, wearing a long white robe slim with long hair till shoulder neat and a short beard, standing in the middle of this bright light, He looked with power, behind Him a few men were standing in a raw wearing pure white robes, they have white short hair and a white short beard it was pure white, but my eyes was fixed on this great man standing. I also saw a beautiful throne, a chair, I felt this man has control and power, then He began to come down towards me standing on a small cloud, on His right a man all in white hair and short beard and have white wings riding a white horse, on His left side a man with the same description, both coming down but He is in the middle ahead of them, then he stopped in the air and both of them stopped. He looked down at me I was in shock speechls my mind was telling me He looked like Jesus. I was on my knees, He looked serious and He said these words: “What do you want?”
I was surprise, speechless and I did not know what to say, I felt, who am I? that this great man is coming down for me, I was trembling not knowing how to answer Then He said to me: You will live another life.” He spread His hands, beautiful pure sparkling drops felt on me, I was electrified and comforted, then He moved far away and stopped, I couldn’t explain why He made that stop again at a distance? Then He returned back at the opening of the sky, when it closed, a strong earthquake shook the ground I was still in the same spot on my knees. I saw stones falling down but none touched me. I woke-up in the morning knowing that what I saw that night was unusual I couldn’t forget it. I told myself this person is Jesus Christ no doubt, I felt no one will believe me, so I kept it to myself. I did not go back to this woman to tell her what happened, I avoided her completely, I did not know why? I never saw her again. But don’t forget, there is a spiritual warfare that was the reason why. I went on with my life and I tried to forget the dream, so It will not affect my Muslim belief and I had felt If I got closer to Christianity I will become a disbeliever and subject to what the Quran teaches.
One day I got rid of the booklet and gave away the Bible after I kept them in my drawer for a while, so that way they will not affect my belief and the fear of becoming a Christian, this gave me uneasy feeling. But I could not apply Islam, I felt always an obstacle it did not benefit me, and every time I read the Quran I was down, uncomfortable and have an unexplainable fear. How changeable and unpredictable feeling surrounded me. I felt like a barrier exist, an emptiness not filled I used to think this is how it should be when I worship God.
Years passed by, and the dream will come back to my memory. One day I was visiting my sister in law at her residence we were watching television. I turned the channels and there was someone speaking, but deep in my heart I wanted to hear about Jesus and the Bible, but we both wanted to laugh at his speech pick on him and he repeated a word as we were laughing, all of a sudden he hesitated and spoke these words, he said: “there is a lady watching, her name is Seham, you are 33 years old, the Lord is going to work with you.”
When I heard what he said I was speechless and we both stopped laughing looking to each other surprised. These words did not affect my sister in law as it did affect me. I told myself it couldn’t be me? I am a Muslim, maybe someone else has the same name, same age… I tried to forget it for a while.
Few years later, it happened one day when I was at home. I felt helpless without hope, and this world is leading me down the hill. All of a sudden, I felt weak and a thought told me: why you don’t seek Jesus? I answered back:: how? And a thought told me: go to a church, find a church. I listened, I felt at ease, I drove determined to stop at a church that I used to pass by many times before. I was anxious, the door was opened, I entered, I was alone all was quiet, but my eyes focused on a big crucifix on the wall. I felt that I needed to kneel, when I knelt I was touched, my tears came down, I said: “Jesus, you did it for me as I stirred at the cross, at that moment.” I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, I was very sorry I waited too long to know Jesus. I felt a peace never experienced before, the barrier broke, my burdens, my worries were gone, and I was set free. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
I felt the love of Jesus for me and for all of us, it was a new life a new beginning for me with the Lord. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16
Later the Lord guided me to open the Holy Bible at a page that talks about baptism. I wanted to follow the Lord’s words I wanted to get baptized, and I didn’t know what it meant. Then I was led to a woman, that I never met before, I contacted her, and she was surprised because I was a stranger to her. We arranged to meet, and her name was Hala. At that time I didn’t know about the divisions of Christianity. What was on my mind is to follow Jesus Christ and to fulfill his word.
Hala told me she belongs to another church, the Orthodox Church, I told her it’s OK with me if this is God’s will. She arranged the appointment between me and the priest. So it happened before the baptism the evil one tried to interrupt. I was disappointed and I complained to the Lord Jesus, I depended on the Lord . At the end the baptism happened, the priest was helpful to me. The Lord is my strength I was alone in this journey only the Lord understood me. Through the Holy Bible I received many answers to my questions.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them ,”with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
“Ask , and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
And behold , I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to everyone according to his work.” Revelation 22:12