I wasn’t born a Christian nor did I grow up in a home where Jesus Christ was welcomed. Even my town or country neither appreciated nor accepted the ultimate truth about who God really is. This is because I was born in Iran. Christianity had been very unknown and strange to me. As a child, I could feel and see that there was something wrong about myself. I didn’t appreciate going to the mosque nor hanging out with my more religious friends. I had barely opened a Koran in the eight years I spent there. Even though I knew some verses that I had memorized in Arabic, I didn’t quite understand what they meant.
At the age of eight, my mother, sister and I moved to France due to political issues. In France, I was free. At school, I didn’t have to do a daily routine to remember all the martyrs Iran lost during the Iran-Iraq war: I didn’t have to hit my chest and simulate cries to be liked by the administration of my school. I didn’t have to be so hot under my school uniform without being able to take my veil off. School was a horrific experience in Iran, really. Now that I think about it, it would be fair to compare it to the Nazis campaign for the youth; it’s not about gaining more knowledge but having one perspective. I remember screaming out loud: Marg bar Amrika. Marg bar Israel (it means death to the U.S., death to Israel). I had strictly no clue why we were being taught to be so hateful. I personally loved American music (which I listened to illegally) or even how the Hollywoodian accent sounded.
It was not until I came to the U.S. that I heard who Jesus really is. The first few churches I attended looked like a sect to me. You have to understand that I lived in France for another eight years before I moved to the U.S.. The country is struggling between Atheism and Islam. Where I lived, I met few Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians but I was too disinterested to understand the theological concepts behind their beliefs. It’s during the hardest time of my life that I became a Christ follower, or at least tried to. Jesus saved me when I rejected him. Jesus was the one who embraced me. Jesus loved me when I was taught to ignore him. Jesus stayed with me and I became more than a simple being: I became a human able to do anything he wants for me because I know that he will do the impossible through my little self.
Maryam Bighash is currently attending Wheaton College, studying International Relations and Communications (Rhetoric) in addition to a Journalism Certificate. She is a third culture kind as, “Home is wherever I lay my head at night.” She lived in France for eight years prior to moving to the U.S. in 2012. Constant traveling has allowed her to master more than three languages. She aspires to advocate for the truth through her talent of persuasion, with better immigration reforms being one of her goals! You can follow her on twitter and check out her blog.
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