Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Unexpected



So, the whole guest post thing didn't work out too well while I was on vacation,
primarily because many of the people who were scheduled to guest post
are living super stressful, busy lives of their own.
However, my dear friend Wendy, who I have known for... well...
it seems like forever at this point...
did send me a post somewhere in the midst of sickness and magic,
and I have saved it for today,
because I think she has some very important things to say,
and I didn't want to post them randomly
in the middle of three weeks of silence.
When I asked Wendy to write for FGT, I didn't really know what to expect.
She and her family have dealt with a lot of criticism and discrimination
over the years and,
honestly, I thought she might detail that here a little bit.
Instead, she surprised me (she often does)
by sharing a different angle on her story.
If you know me, you'll probably be able to discern what my personal opinions
are on this post, start to finish.
Instead of outlining those here,
I would like to let the post stand for itself... mostly.
However, I want to say this.  I love the last three paragraphs best. 
I think what Wendy has said here is this,
"We are just normal, everyday people, living lives of love."
We could all learn something from that.

I never planned on marrying a Muslim. But life never turns out the way you expect. People always ask me if my husband wants me to convert. Well, the answer is obviously yes. Wouldn't you? We both want to see the other in heaven. According to our own traditions that is impossible. But there is no pressure on either side. Just a lot of patience and talking until God changes a heart, if it is his will.

People may find it hard to believe it isn't so hard being married to a Muslim. In our house sometimes we use God and Allah interchangeably. We both know what the other is saying. And the creator is the creator no matter what "name" a person chooses to give. I think I would have a more difficult time being married to an atheist. What works out great, for us, is even though we are both God fearing people and we believe in signs and wonders, we also rely on science and medicine. If my child gets sick, although I will pray, I will also take him to a doctor. That doesn't mean I have lack of faith. Didn't even Jesus use mud to heal a blind man? God may heal though mud or through a doctor. Maybe the test of faith was to have faith in the people that have prepared and studied to help.

So since I was given this forum to talk I wanted to clear some stuff up. No, when you marry a Muslim you do not have to convert or be killed. I have been married 10+ years, neither did I convert and as far as I know, I'm still alive. Also females do not have to walk behind males, if you do happen to see me do that, that is just something I would naturally do, let someone before me, whether they be male or female, my husband or the deli clerk.

Some people get "Muslim" traditions mixed up with cultural traditions. Muslims can be from any race and ethnic background. A Muslim from Turkey will have a difference experience growing up than a Muslim from Saudi Arabia.

Muslims actually have a high respect for Jesus, but they see him more as a prophet along with Moses, Noah, Abraham, David, Jacob, and Joseph. Only they would say Isa, Mousa, Nuh, Ibrahim, Dawoud, Yaqub, and Yosef.

In all due respect to Catholics that may be reading this, my personal opinion is that how I see the pope is how my husband sees Jesus being God. I don't see a need for the pope. God has the authority and my husband would say, "Isn't God above becoming man, could he not just save us without dying since he is all knowing, all powerful and created everything?"

So at this point we basically have agreed to disagree but I have had some of the deepest conversations about God with my husband. Being married to a Muslim has strengthened my faith. In order to tell someone what you believe in when they really don't "get it" I had to understand why I believe on a personal level.

I don't think being married to a Muslim is all that different than if I was married to a Christian, although I was never married before so I really can't compare. But other than having twice the holidays, we all care for our children, take care of our home, cry when loved ones die, celebrate the joyous occasions, go to work and try to be productive members of society.

We have a son. And of course I would like him to be Christian, but we have decided to let him choose. And no, I don't think it will be confusing for him. For we all have to decide at some point whether to follow God even if both our parents are missionaries. Having Christian parents does not make you a Christian.  God knows our hearts.

We celebrate both Christmas and Ramadan. Christmas is pretty easy because they believe Jesus was human and therefore was born. We compromise on some stuff. Instead of an angel on top of the tree (that is considered an idol to him, any statue in form of a person, is an idol) we have a star. I won't make him ham. I hardly think I'm giving up my faith there. For Ramadan there is fasting. No food, drink or physical contact from sunrise to sunset. I'm a very affectionate person, so I always forget and put my hand on his shoulders or something. He understands that I mean it in an innocent way though.

I found love when I wasn't looking, and through my husband I am always meeting new Muslims. Each Muslim I meet is a chance for me to share Christ, not by telling them they are wrong but by engaging with them. I go to mosque, I listen to them, eat with them. They share what they believe. I share what I believe.

Now, I'm not saying my marriage has a higher purpose, but if I had not married him, I doubt I would have gotten to share Christ with so many people. Rarely have I seen someone convert, but maybe God is using me to plant little seeds.

No, I never planned on marrying a Muslim, but I'm glad I did. Of all the people in the world, even though we grew up on opposite sides of the world, speaking different languages, practicing different cultural customs, he gets me. Life never turns out the way you expect. Sometimes it turns out better.

No comments:

Post a Comment