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How Did I Become A Christian?
In a Mediterranean sunny afternoon, in my parents’ home, situated in the centre of a southern rural island, I begun my life, totally vulnerable, and completely oblivious to what was awaiting me.
Since then, I have been ‘drifting’ in and out of consciousness or true awakening, to come each time, to a particular type of awareness shaped by my life experiences, the degree of maturity and the level of my intellect. The ride in the boat of childhood was very rough, hence the birth of my rebellious, juvenile attitude towards life and toward Allah.
I considered my life to be traumatic and without a meaning from a very early age, which led to my first suicide attempt at the age of six.
I remember vividly that soon later, I saw a picture of a little girl like me, kneeling in front of Jesus, praying with her eyes closed and a halo of peaceful light surrounding her head, and radiating over her innocent face. I was very touched by this and wished I was able to enjoy a similar relationship.
Though when I was only twelve years old, I decided Allah was the most cruel to women thus I became indifferent towards him ever since, not knowing that this action of rebelliousness was to rid me of my, then, only available support and opportunity for personal growth.
This has led me, I believe, to spending an important part of my youth in poverty, affectional hunger and mental and psychological confusion. From then on, I lumbered through life from a hardship to another, and from one mistake to the next.
I was absolutely lonely in spite of the number of friends and acquaintances around me. I was a failure despite my qualification of higher education. My heart was empty and miserable although there were always some admirers.
Occasionally, like now, I pondered over my condition and “examined myself, wondering why” this was happening to me, where did I go wrong and how objective my internal experience was. Although my situation was not relatively the worst in comparison with all the misery humanity had suffered, I realised that my concerns were real and revolved around truly negative experiences. Still, whatever answers I reached back then were not able to alleviate my hardship and improve my condition, until I met Him again, and this time, it was for good.
In the midst of my confusion, misery and the lack of social stability, I had to move North (nearer to the Capital) to escape an unhappy marriage and social persecution, and to be able to find work. A year later, my life was still far from stable and my heart was yearning for true love more than ever before.
And then I found Him in a Church, in a town full of foreigners and oak trees. I was just passing by, but He stole my heart. I longed for His unconditional love and forgiveness, but, like when I was a six year old girl, I couldn’t reach for Him just yet. Back then, I believed that because I was prohibited from reaching for Him, this wish of being His own, can never materialise.
A few months later, I attended a job interview, during which I learnt that the school was a Christian charity for children with special needs and that my interviewer was a nun, though she was wearing casual cloths! The interview was very informal and this encouraged me to seize the opportunity and enquire about the Christian faith.
Although eventually I did not work with the school as I was offered a position in the capital just before the charity made me an offer, the nun, later on, handed over the New Testament to me, something locals were prohibited from having, along with details of the priest in the city’s main cathedral.
Sitting, now, in my favourite chair, considering calmly what took place back then, is a great evidence that, ultimately, all things worked together for my good.
Finding Jesus was the best thing that has ever happened to me. But being raised, as I was, in an anti-christian, yet highly religious society which was/is ruled by absurd dogma, and a hypocritical, unjust system that controlled individuals to the core, it would have never been possible for me to surrender my life to His will, had it not been a mess.
As for personal growth, I found that I needed to work on improving myself in many areas, especially when comparing myself to Christ and meditating on the Cross. Thus, finding Jesus was not the end of my spiritual journey but the beginning of a fresh new life that is meaningful, although not free of challenges.