"No matter how much I tried, I never seemed to be good enough..."
I was born in a religious Muslim family in Iran. From 9 years old I had to wake up every day early in the morning (around 5.00 am) then wash my hands, arms, feet, face, and also wet the top of my head, then go for prayer. I had to do all these things 5 times a day, (early morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night time). Furthermore, I had to fast during the Ramazan month from early morning (5.00 am) till sunset.
I had committed myself to Islam and tried to do everything right, but no matter how much I tried, I never seemed to be good enough. According to Islam if a Muslim commits even one sin like telling a lie or gossiping or even if a woman doesn’t cover herself perfectly in front of another man that person won’t go to heaven. I asked Allah to forgive me regularly, but still, I felt impure and I had no peace in my heart at all. Then I got tired of asking Allah to forgive me every day. I knew I wasn’t innocent according to Islam's regulations and I was afraid. I remember thinking, what would happen to me if I died?
One day my brother departed from Iran to Singapore. He was supposed to call us when he arrived in Singapore but he didn’t. Month after month we never heard from him. My family and I were so distressed. We were constantly asking Allah to help us. I remember my mother crying all the time and my father begging Allah to find my brother. I personally went to many Muslim temples and asked ‘Allah’ to help us but he didn’t answer my prayers. After months had passed we began to lose hope. We feared the worst and wondered if he was even alive.
Then a Christian friend encouraged me to go to church. I was convinced that Islam was the best religion – so why should I go to a Christian church to pray? If God doesn’t respond to my desire through Islam how can help me through Christianity? But after a long time, when Allah didn’t answer my prayer, I decided to go to church to pray and ask Jesus to help us find my brother.
The next day someone called us from Singapore and said that he had found my brother. We all got to speak to him on the phone. He wasn’t very well, but we couldn’t believe he was alive! My parents knew I had gone to church the night before and that Jesus had answered my prayer. After they had hung up the phone to my brother they both prostrated themselves and worshipped Jesus, even though they were devout Muslims.
I started to go to church in Tehran to find out more about Jesus. I wanted to know why Jesus had responded to my prayer immediately but Allah had not. However I wasn’t planning on converting from Islam. While I was at the church I would see many supernatural miracles amongst many people. I saw many people get healed. Honestly I couldn’t understand it. I began to search out Christianity for one and half years I but I could not accept Jesus as my Saviour because of my firm belief in Islam.
One day when the Pastor asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as Saviour. I saw many people respond. I then became curious, so I went to the front and joined the group of people who wanted give their hearts to Jesus. The pastor started praying for everyone who went forward. When he prayed for me God touched me deeply. I can’t explain how marvelous it was. It was an amazing supernatural feeling.
After this experience I became confused between Islam and Christianity. I remember going into my room to pray and I had the Quran and the Bible before me. I thought to myself, how can Jesus be God? and what about Mohammad, wasn't he the last prophet? At the very moment a heard a strong audible voice in Farsi say: "I am the Alpha and Omega, no one came after me!" I was amazed! After reading through the Bible I came across Revelation 1:8 where Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega. I am the one who is and was and is coming. I’m the Almighty.” By this confirmation my faith in Jesus began to grow. From that time God gave me visions and many supernatural experiences to believe him. He also gave me wisdom to understand the word of God – the Bible.
So I became a Christian in 2000 in the persecuted church in Iran which sees many Godly pastors and church members arrested. They are still killed for their faith. When my family realized that I had converted to Christianity, they were really upset. My dad was so disappointed with me. My parents avoided talking to me for a long time. But even through this God gave me happiness and joy. He taught me to be patient with my family and gave me a great burden and desire to constantly pray for them. After eight months my whole family accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour except for my dad.
After I had been a Christian for 8 years I developed a serious medical problem in my stomach. The specialist doctor told me it was very dangerous and that there was no cure. At first, I was shocked! I had lots of tests, ultra sounds in Iran, New Zealand and Germany. But all the tests revealed the same symptoms. I had some little fibroids in one of my organs, and they spread to my bowel and other abdominal parts. I was in pain all the time. I would have terrible cramps in my tummy that seemed to paralyze me. The pain would suddenly come out of nowhere. I remember biting my pillow in bed with the pain. As the fibroids advanced I even found it difficult to walk. The Doctors said that “these fibroids were not cancerous but very painful and growing quickly and that the only way to be free of them was by an operation that would remove any organs that had the symptoms.
I remember perfectly when the doctor gave me these final results. I was so depressed and felt very lonely. No one could help me to be free of the pain. Some of my relatives and friends who are Muslim said why did you convert from Islam. They believed my sickness was the consequence of converting from Islam. It was the toughest time in my life. But some Christian friends showed me some promises of healing in the Bible like Matthew 8:17 which says, “Jesus took all our infirmities and bore all our sicknesses.” Jesus also began to show me that he was with me. He says in MATTHEW 28:20, “I’m with you always.” I told him about my broken heart. “Lord Jesus, my body is yours and it belongs to you. You created me to be happy not to hurt me. You carried all my infirmities and sicknesses when you died for me.”
At that time my specialist doctor had arranged for me to have an urgent surgery to remove the infected organs. A week before the operation Jesus gave me an assurance when I read 2 CORINTHIANS 5:2 in the Bible, “At the right time I heard your prayers. On the day of salvation I helped you.” I knew that Jesus was with me.
My mother who lives in Iran was really upset about my situation. She rang me every day but one special day she was so excited when she called. She told me, “She had been to church in Iran. While she was praying and asking God to help me, a Christian Lady, who didn’t know my mom, came to her and said, “The Holy Spirit has a message for you.” The lady said, “God has healed your daughter who is really sick.” I repeated to mum in faith, “Yes mum, God has healed me”. I accepted my healing by faith. At first I felt a little bit pain but I decided to change my clothes, go out for coffee and ignore the pain. I was going to believe God. When I left the house, after walking a few steps, I realized I was healed. All the pain was gone! God did not only heal the fibroids, he healed all the sorrow in my heart.
A few days later I had an appointment in the hospital to prepare me for the operation. Strangely I was excited and happy. I was sure there was no problem. The Doctor checked me 3 times with ultrasounds. Again and again - nothing was there. All the ultrasounds and tests I had previously in Germany, Iran and New Zealand had confirmed the symptoms. My doctor couldn’t understand what had happened. He then suggested I should have a ‘laparoscopy’. Laparoscopy involves a camera which is inserted into the tummy and shows up everything on a screen. I was sure God healed me but I made a decision to do the laparoscopy operation to show my doctors and anyone who doesn’t believe Jesus, so that they will know how great is my God. On the 29th June 2010 I had a laparoscopy which revealed nothing wrong in my tummy. Praise the Lord, Jesus healed me!
Jesus is my Saviour from sin and my healer. When I was a Muslim the only reason I worshipped him was because I was afraid of dying and being punished. The Bible says in Hebrews 2:15 that, “Jesus frees those who were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.” I’m not suffering from guilt anymore and I have a deep peace in my heart, which I never had in Islam. He gave me assurance of full salvation so I know I will go to heaven when I die. He revealed me that no one can be good enough to go to heaven without the Blood of Jesus. By his wounds I’m free and forgiven of any sin. He showed me I don’t need any annual lamb sacrifices (like the sacrifices which Muslims do annually for their sin). I don’t need to speak Arabic to communicate with God in prayer. God loves me and teaches me how to love people, even my enemies. Now I have a relationship with Jesus and now I have hope.