Roza

Roza


I grew up in a culturally Muslim family in Kyrgyzstan where we acknowledged the existence of God, and my father taught us to honor and be afraid of God, but we didn’t know who God was. He was distant and unapproachable, watching us and making sure that we didn’t screw up. When I came to the U.S. in 2004, I met lots of Christians who talked about a personal relationship with Jesus and the Bible. I liked them because of their kindness, honesty, and hospitality. In my head I knew that faith in God would help me to become a better person. I used to think, “There are many ways to one God: Christianity and Islam are just two different paths that lead to the same God.” But God had showed me that Jesus is the only way. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:7. Being around Christians, I saw their intense love and real relationships with Jesus on a daily basis. My host family lived their faith out: they were loving, caring, and had an unusual wisdom. It was very strange that they loved me when I was a complete stranger. In 2006, I started attending their church, but I didn’t want to get to know God and Jesus (I thought that worshipping Jesus was betraying God because God is the only true God). I just wanted to become a good person. Without sincerely longing to be closer to God, my “faith” faded away. I soon drifted away from church and I felt guilty to be around Christians because I was self-centered and seeking worldly pleasures. As I moved on, dating an atheist, moving in with him, working on my Master’s at NDSU, and planning the future, I felt this nagging feeling that I was missing something. Over the course of a year I became quite depressed. Even though I gave up on God, He didn’t give up on me. He slowly drew me closer. My friend Irina was consistently there for me. She asked me what salvation meant to me – it was like a light bulb turning on in the middle of a dark room. I had no idea what salvation meant. I was so focused on trying to figure out the trinity of God and Christian doctrine that I missed a basic truth: I WAS BORN A SINNER; I CAN’T MAKE IT ON MY OWN; I NEED HELP. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. The help that I and every other sinner needs comes from this truth: GOD GAVE US HIS ONLY SON JESUS to PAY for all OUR SINS, changing our hearts and molding us into what He wants us to be. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16. I finally realized that life is not about being a good person, it’s about forming a deep relationship with God, and everything else will fall into place. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6. On May 29th of 2011, I asked Jesus to save me and I asked Him to be my God, my friend, and my guide. Learning about the character of Christ and developing this relationship with Him is the most important thing in my life. Becoming a Christian is the first step in this amazing journey of experiencing true unconditional love, peace, and joy, not only of knowing where we are going after we die, but also having a great guide and tool to make the most out of our lives on earth today.