Where do I start with this! I guess from the beginning!
In 2001 the US was attacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists. We all know it well, it is known all over the world. It happened on September 11th, and it was done via passenger planes. I do not need to tell that story, it is not my story to tell, as many have told it much better than I ever could! One day I may write down how it was for me on that day, how I reacted, what was going on and how me and those reacted around me when it was happening, but I won’t do that here. It’s not what this post is about.
I am a born raised American. I was raised Christian. My mom was Catholic most of my childhood, although she did get into the Mormon religion for a couple of years when I was a little girl. Mom was raised Baptist, but has always from a young age felt drawn by the Catholic faith. So it was this that would most influence my childhood in the area of religion.
As a teenager I got into the Protestant faith. I went to church with a woman who I’ll always love. We’d read the bible together, she taught me a lot about the faith! She is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known!
When I moved out of my mom’s house when I was 21, I was young, naive and quite gullible. We had some rough stuff happen to us growing up, but in many ways I was still sheltered from the cruelty’s of this world!
I got really interested in the Castro Cuban revolution, and for a few years there I was very drawn in by communism. I can’t say I believe this way now, but those years would shape some of how I believe as far as how I feel people should be governed. It born in me a socialist nature that even though I am not a total Communist, and believe in such a form it doesn’t work, and in some ways lacks the freedom I believe humans should be allowed to have, I have a socialist nature about me in belief. This is hard to explain, and seeing discussing my beliefs on governance isn’t really why I am writing this, I won’t go deeply into that at this time. But you get the idea I think.
In 1998 or around there, not sure if that was the exact year, but around this period of time I got involved in opposing the sanctions on Iraq. I got back into my faith, and began to attend a local church a few other friends also attended.
This would end badly when the pastor there got upset with me when I forwarded a simple email asking for prayers for the people of Iraq. He got real upset with me about this, and tried to dissuade me in my activism against these sanctions.
He told me they were Muslim, and he thought they were being used by God to show Iraq something. Well, I couldn’t except this. If he had just said, well I don’t agree with you on the sanctions, I could have excepted this. But he wouldn’t let it go, and was determined that I should feel as he did, and until I did, he was gonna work on me to do so. I wish he’d never acted the way he did toward Muslim peoples as he did when he was conversating with me on these things, as that so totally turned me off. I could not attend a church where the pastor felt Muslim lives were less than Christian ones. I really liked the man, he had become a friend, but I couldn’t listen to someone preach the word of God and teach me of the love of Jesus Christ with those types of beliefs, I just couldn’t. So it would be that was the last Christian church I’d attend for many years.
Back to where we started. The fall of 2001. Now I’ve since a young girl been extremely interested in the Middle East. Arab nations in particular, but the entire region has always just fascinated me! I have no clue why this is, all I know is it was born in me from God! He knows why he put it in me. There was no event growing up that would explain it. Mom was aware, she watched the news on the television every day, and growing up I’d hear it, but of course the Middle East was by far not the only topic they discussed on there. I’ve always been a lover of history, and that area, well it’s my heart. I am a white American, and love the Middle East so much! Well, like I said, God knows!
A couple of weeks after the attacks on 9/11, mom told me “what those men did wasn’t of Islam, Mohammed didn’t teach this kind of thing, Vick read the Quran.” Well, I thought, I’ve always had such an interest in that region, why don’t I. I have never really studied there religion, something that is probably of utmost importance to those people. So I dove in!
After reading a lot on it, after a bit I would convert to Islam. I was Muslim for 6 years. Then I started feeling all alone. I wanted to be with Muslims, but the ones in my community had left me. And I mean literally! After I went back to Christianity I so feared them contacting me and asking me to go to something, and I’d have to tell them. I had grown to love some of those women, and I didn’t desire to hurt any of them. Well, I never received one phone call! It had been a while since I’d heard a peep out of any of them, but I thought eventually I would. People who had known me for this long couldn’t completely abandon me, could they? Well honestly, with no hate, I can say they did. I think I buried my disappointment about it for some years, but I am at peace with it now. I am not sure why they did it, and I don’t really need to know. I went back to Christianity in August of 2007, and I would reside at the same home for 3 more years, and still I never heard from them. Not one of them, not at any time.
One thing I’ve wondered at times over the years, was it that incident where there was a rally and I asked to participate? It caused some issues in the community. The woman organizing this didn’t want me to go. She didn’t want the responsibility of taking me because I was blind. She allowed Children to go, but due to my blindness I should stay home. There was a woman that arranged someone that was more than willing to walk with me. It was protesting the war on Iraq. We traveled on a bus to Chicago for it. Some thought it was wrong to exclude me, some thought the blind girl should stay home and read her Quran and let others do it.
Things didn’t seem the same to me after that, but I can’t know. Was it that incident that made them want me out of the community? I know they went to other rally’s after that, I heard of them, but was never told of the details again after that. It pains me to write about this, it brings back up the pain of it all! Maybe it’s good therapy me writing about this.
So was it that, or was it just women busy with family life that all just couldn’t seem to find the time for me? I don’t know, and in some ways I don’t know that I ever want to know. It wouldn’t help me to I don’t think.
For years after that I ignored the news. I’d been a news buff since I was 15 years old, why suddenly did I have such a lack of care in the news? I think I know now.
So comes this year. I had begun attending a Baptist church with a friend, we didn’t go all of the time, but we did go some. I got really into Christian radio and followed different programs on Moody radio.
After around the first of this year I started reading the news through people I followed on twitter on an account I created exclusively for news. I have a personal one, but I surely didn’t want to bore my friends with my political thoughts and boring news that many of them don’t tend to follow as I do. And many of my views are far different than many of my American friends.
One night I’m reading about the conflict in Syria. Suddenly my thoughts of Islam would return to me. Had I made the right choice to leave? Did I leave it out of weakness due to lack of support, or had I really walked away due to feelings that it wasn’t the right path?
It’s amazing how God talks to us, because the crazy thing is I wasn’t reading about Islam, the people I was following on twitter certainly weren’t preaching it to me either. In fact some of them probably aren’t Muslim. I guess just reading about the Arab world did something to me. Is this why I stayed away from the news for nearly 10 years? I’m not completely certain the reason for that, but I think there is a good chance that I figured subconsciously, if I read about the places I love, it’ll make me think about Islam. Where Islam had not been connected to that for me before I knew about it, I think in some way it was afterwards. That’s not saying that just because one reads about the Muslim world they aught to feel they should be Muslim. I did it for years and this was not the case for me then. But once I had been Muslim, yes I think it did make me think of it. Had I really felt I had made the right choice I believe I’d not have reacted in this way toward current events in the world, and especially in the Middle East and other Muslim nations.
I don’t want to be one of these people that goes back and forth. I believe deep within my soul I left it because I had little to no support, and it was easier to go back to the ways those around me were living. I remember for a few years after leaving it I’d dream I was returning to Islam. I’d wake up, and try to put those dreams out of my mind, and eventually they stopped coming to me. I feel very ashamed to admit I likely took the easy out instead of following my beliefs and what path I felt God was leading me on, but God knows, so I have to be truthful about it.
I got an English copy of the Quran and am reading through it. When I do it, well, I live in a different place now, and fear the reactions of those around me. But, I can’t let this stop me. I just need to get the gumption up to do what I feel is right. I want to finish this English translation before I go back. I want to be completely sure I am doing the right thing. Although I feel it is the right thing to do, and perhaps with that belief I’m sinning in my delaying, I must be sure this time that there is absolutely no turning back, know matter how rough it may get for me as far as support goes!
So any of you out there that believe in God, pray for me. I believe God loves us more than we could know, and he wants me to do the right thing. I realize different people feel God leading them in different directions, but this is the one I feel lead in. But I must be sure, or as sure as I can be that is. Perhaps that makes me a coward? I don’t know.
Funny thing, this wasn’t supposed to be this long lol. I got writing, and there you go.
I can’t believe I’m about to publish this to my blog! I fear doing it in a way, yet after much prayer about this I feel now is the time. I’ve been thinking about doing something about this for a while now. Writing is good therapy and can help I think. And I am a coward; a human coward as many humans tend to be. My family was very supportive the first time, but will they be again? Will I lose friends? Well God knows, I have to do what I feel is right even if they do. I was blessed the first time, I lost know one due to becoming a Muslim. I was in Michigan then, I live in Florida now.
Enough about this for now. Hopefully this novel didn’t bore anyone reading it, although if it did you’d probably have stopped reading by now lol.