Twenty-six years ago I was a Christian but had never had any discipleship. I had no growth. I had no spiritual maturity. I barely knew the Bible. I was a good person. I knew Jesus as savior and when I met a man who seemed to love God more than anything else in the world I married him. And then I learned that the man I married was so zealous for God he was willing to do anything to prove it to him. I married a zealous jihadist Muslim with a lust for martyrdom.
Two years later he came to Christ.
And that’s always what people remember when they hear our testimony. See, I got so desperate for my husband to know Jesus as his savior, that all I could do was pray. I literally had nowhere else to turn. I had no background in apologetics. I had no mentorship in my walk with Jesus. I had nothing but the Holy Spirit of God within me and a passion to see my husband saved from eternal death. So I prayed. And I asked everyone who made eye contact with me to pray, too.
That’s what people hold onto. That’s the part they remember about me. They call me a mighty prayer warrior. And a godly saint who prayed her husband to Jesus.
Yes, I did that. But that’s not what I want people to know about me. That’s not my story. It never has been.
My story is about a girl who fell in love with Jesus when she was 5 years old but never learned anything beyond that. My story is a girl who in desperation sought the Lord and He answered her.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
I had nothing else. Nowhere to turn. No argument. No help. I had nothing but desperate pleas to the only One who had any power to do anything to help me: Jesus.
I knew I’d made a mistake when I married my husband. And no one ever wants to hear that part. People who hear our testimony see the beauty that came from our ashes, but they don’t want to look at the ashes. They want to see a hero when they see me. They don’t want to see the broken girl that had nothing more to offer God than a broken and repentant heart and a desperate cry for help.
Sadly, stories come to me all the time from women who want to date or marry Muslim men in the hope that they can be like me. This breaks my heart. It should not be!
Those two years before my husband’s salvation were the most painful and agonizing years of my life. Dating a Muslim man or woman (or anyone who doesn’t know Jesus) is not the way to win them to Jesus. It is arrogant and foolish. You have no power to save anyone. And neither did I. It wasn’t me who saved my husband from Islam.
Repentance and prayer. That’s what invited my Lord into my problem. That’s what got my Lord’s attention: I came to the end of myself. I gave up trying to fix the problem on my own. I had a desperate need for His intervention. I admitted I was wrong and I asked Him to fix it. And He did.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In repentance and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling
I was willing to admit there was nothing I could do. But so many people are unwilling. The Isrealites referenced above were unwilling. Humbling yourself is hard. It means admitting you were wrong. It means admitting you can’t do it on your own.
But I beg you to try! Humble yourself and recognize your helplessness. If you can’t humble yourself, ask God to help you! Only the Lord can save you. Not only does He save us from our sin, He rescues us from our mistakes. He guides us out of the pits we throw ourselves in and restores us when we put our trust and hope in Him.
That’s what I want people to know about me. That’s how I want to be remembered. I’m the girl who was willing. I’m the girl who realized I could do nothing without Jesus. I’m the girl who cried out for forgiveness and asked for help. I’m the girl who trusted Jesus and I’m the girl who trusts Him still.
Don’t trust me. Trust Him.