Testimony of Shannon ConleyBismillah Hir Rehman Ir Raheem
Start In the Name Of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful
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From : United States of America
A year ago, I had been heading down a dangerous path of crime and drugs, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t right. I knew there must be a way that I could live my life without such pain and commotion, and from what I had seen, God change people for the better. So began my search for God.
At first I could not find him; more like I could not feel him. I tried Wicca to see if I could get to Him through nature. It failed. I tried Judaism to see if I could get to Him via tradition and law. It failed. Then I tried Catholicism, the more strict of the Christian sects. Much better results.
I had signed up for a catholic youth retreat and at first the conference did not really resonate with me as a way of reaching God. But after a while, we finally got to the adoration service (where the priest puts the bread into a golden sun statue and people worship it as if it were Jesus pbuh). Some 1000 kids and I got on our knees to worship Jesus (pbuh), and while I was praying for a last-hope sign from God that He was real, I saw kids crying. As the priest walked down the aisles of the auditorium, many teens were weeping as they held their hands out to the statue. This scared me because I had never seen anything like it. So I prayed to God again that He would allow my heart to open and receive his divine love.
And as the priest stopped in front of my row, I FELT IT. I shivered as I felt this mixture of joy, pain, sadness, relief, and weightlessness go through my body like a wind. I was suddenly reminded of all the times God had been trying to show me the Truth, and I had ignored it. I realized that every time I had asked Him for a sign of His existence, He had given it to me.
I wept as my heart opened to God and didn’t stop asking for forgiveness until the service ended.
It’s hard to explain a feeling so intense like that, but I believe that every revert feels it at one point.
Anyway, after that moment I decided to become a devout catholic, and I succeeded in that endeavor. I began praying often, going to church every Sunday, studying the Bible, and trying my best to be kind to my neighbors. But as the months disappeared, I could feel myself slipping back into sin. I started smoking again, and my friend group began to personify wrong-doing. Afraid of my downfall, I retreated to the church, praying to God that I would not be led stray be such trivial things. The next day, the strangest thing happened.
As always on school nights, I was on my bed frantically trying to complete my homework before it I had to throw it in for the day or risk exhaustion. While flipping through channels for background noise, I happened across a show about Muslim responses to Islamophobia. Interested in anything having to do with terrorists , I decided to watch the program.
To this day, I cannot remember a word of what was said, I just remember being fed up with the constant berating of a religion that I was not informed enough about to even have an opinion on the subject! So while the program was on commercial I got up and asked my dad if I could read the family Quran again. He said yes, and I sat there in my room until the time I had to sleep, reading the Quran. And then, that same wondrous feeling that came over me at the youth conference came over me again, and I knew that Islam was my religion. Siratal mustaqim.
Now I am a Muslim, AlhamdulAllah. I have found my home, and God, in this religion and here I will stay until Allah lifts me from my grave. Thank you for your patience in reading my story, and asalam wa alaikum.