First and foremost, I wrote this post for myself. I must remind you that I am no teacher. I am simply a human with a soul, sharing my perspectives and experiences with you. We will all be accountable for our actions one day.
It’s 2:19 in the morning and my husband begins his fast for Ramadan in half an hour.
He went to bed about 10 minutes before me but he always waits up for me, which I love.
I usually go to bed so late as my mind comes alive at night and I find it easier to write then.
I thought I would be done writing for tonight but I guess I’m not.
I want to have sex with my husband right now, but I can’t. As I said he is about to begin his fast in 28 minutes, which doesn’t leave us with enough time annoyingly.
Sex amongst other things is something that one has to abstain from when fasting.
Which is why I am now on my phone writing this, whilst he has just fallen asleep in my arms.
And no, I am not fasting because you see, the thing is, I am a Christian and he is a Muslim.
Yep. You read that correctly but just in case you didn’t – I am a Christian and he is a Muslim.
Why did I marry a Muslim man?
It is not a question I thought I would be asking myself; let alone answering, only 9 months into my marriage.
But here I am — doing just that.
Unfortunately my answer isn’t as straightforward as, “I couldn’t find a good Christian man so I married a Muslim man.” If only that was the case. In fact I wish my husband were Christian. Because truth be told, all I ever wanted was a husband who loved God like I did, maybe even more.
I pictured us going to church together, praying together, and singing gospel songs together (even though I can’t sing).
But I let that picture fade away over the years.
Writing about this decision is something I have been itching to write about for years.
But I have never been itching to share it.
I have often kept quiet on this topic because I don’t feel the need to have to explain my choices in life.
So rather than explain this choice, I will try to tell my story.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
The reason I am telling it now, is because someone recently asked me if I was planning to convert for my husband and it kind of caught me off guard.
Not because this was the first, or the second time I have heard such a question, but because it shocks me every time when people genuinely feel they have the fucking right to ask such a question, especially people who are don’t even believe in God!
In hindsight, I know people don’t mean any harm, but the next time someone asks me this question post this article I’m going to politely tell them to fuck off.
But for now – let me take you right back to the start.
And for me it starts with the search of God.
The search for God is a reversal of the normal, mundane wordly order.
I have grown up as a Christian my entire life but I didn’t start searching for him until I was 19 after my I broke up with my ex-boyfriend and my self worth was shattered.
In the search for God, you revert from what attracts you and swim towards that which is difficult.
You abandon your comforting and familiar habits with the hope (the mere hope) that something greater will be offered you in return for what you’ve given you.
On this search, I found that I knew not only that there was God, but that I was a child of God.
When I understood that, when I comprehended that, more than that, when I internalised that, ingested that, I became courageous.
People who knew me prior and still know me now could probably attest this.
I stopped living to please people.
I really did.
I started to become honest with my feelings and myself.
And in the vain of honesty — the true reason why I had wanted to marry a Christian guy was because it just sounded right.
It sounded perfect.
It looked ‘right’.
People would look at us and think we have all our shit together. And that feeling of admiration from others – I wanted that. I needed that.
I wanted to be the status quo but the truth is, that when you follow God, there is no such thing as being the status quo.
God now have a divine place in MY life.
When my husband came into my life, he not only knew this but he understood this and wanted to help me on this journey.
As I have said countless times in previous blog posts I didn’t look for this love. I really didn’t. I didn’t even think I wanted this love let alone let alone deserved this love.
But God knew I n-e-e-d-e-d this love.
I legitimately do not believe that he would have wanted me to turn it away.
Love is very strong, stronger than we can even fathom.
Love isn’t something you have to look for; it will find you. You don’t have to run to what you think love is because when it’s genuinely meant for you it will catch you, and never turn you lose.
This is what happened to me.
It still humbles me that this force that makes leaves and fleas and stars and rivers and you, loves me. Me, Linda. It’s amazing.
I am really blessed to have what I have and who I have in my life. I have worked hard to get here. When I say “here” I mean arriving in and to my happiness.
The day I walked down the aisle to greet my husband, I saw God, I swear I did. And I knew I couldn’t turn back.
I didn’t want to turn back. I wanted to run as fast as I could to the front to be with my maker.
It is actually quite remarkable that the picture I once had in my head at the start still manifested in some shape.
Having a love like ours is difficult. I am not going to lie to you. And I know it will be even more difficult when we have children.
But I couldn’t imagine doing life with anyone other than him and God.
One day, far from now, when the sands of time threaten to fall no more. I will read my words and I will remember why I married a Muslim man.
(As the late Muhammad Ali has said, “We all have the same God, we just serve him differently. Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans all have different names, but theu all contain water. So do relgions have different names, and they all contain truth, expressed in different ways forms and times. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew. When you believe in God, you should believe that all people are part of one family. If you love God, you can’t love only some of his children”).