Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Pinar's Testimony

I pray that the Lord Jesus will use all that I am and all that He has done in my life to touch the lives of all the believers and unbelievers who read this testimony. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

My Muslim Background

I was born in a big city in Turkey, to a modern family, who lived their Muslim faith in a secular way. They advised me not to worry too much about God and religion but just know that God loves me and that I love him and He will protect me and everything will be great. They advised me to focus on my studies and do my best and leave the rest to God. They also told me that He is everywhere and that I am walking in Him. So I was walking around, full of joy, thinking to myself, God loves me and I am swimming in God, which is love and I loved him with all my life.

I had a lot of atheist and agnostic friends, and when they asked me how I know God exists, I told them I could feel His presence. My life was a bundle of love and blessings…

Up until I decided to really check what it means to be a Muslim and what does the Kur’an say. I was 18 years old, and I had just graduated from high school, when I decided to read the Kur’an and see what my wonderful God, full of love, has to say in the Holy Book. However, I was disapointed with the verses about God’s wrath and many descriptions about hell. God’s love was there but it was minor compared to descriptions of God's wrath. Every night my heart was racing and I was filled with terror. I said to myself, if that is what God is, I am an atheist. And I rejected the Lord of the universe just like my atheist friends… Then my life changed, I lost my peace, joy, and love, my relationships started to shatter; even though I managed to look successful on the outside, I was a huge mess on the inside… But I did not want anything to do with the God of the Kur’an. I could not lie to people and claim, I am a Muslim when I did not believe in more than half of the Holy Book.

First Time in Church

During that time God was working in my life. He arranged me to meet a friend, and this person said, he will take me to the best place he knows to rest, and much to my surprise that was a church.  After that day, I kept on going to churches. I have gone to house churches, catholic, protestant, etc, you name it I went. But I was not a Christian, I just liked the experience since every time when I was feeling heavily burdened, I went to church and each time God touched my heart.  It is amazing how many Christians God sent my way.  A lot of my best friends were Christians; I would say at least 30 friends witnessed to me in Turkey alone but none of them could convince me of following Jesus due to what I was taught growing up. I just could not shake the pressure of the culture and the fear of blasphemy against God. If someone told me when I first entered the church that within 11 years I will be a Christian, I would never have believed him or her!

Introduction to NEW AGE

Then I graduated from college in Turkey and came to United States for further studies, but instead of growing closer to God, I became introduced to New Age and Yoga mainly for relaxation purposes and also in order to regain the inner peace that I had lost when I rejected God. I got deep into it, saw so many miracles as well as a counterfeit peace and joy so that this replaced the hopelessness and emptiness in me – at times.  I was on a roller coaster: peace, no peace, peace, no peace! But supernatural things were happening daily so my best friend told me that she thinks that I got linked with a Ginny! She was right, I was linked with the wrong spirit but I thought it was the Lord and I was getting close to God again! It was clear to Christians that it was a counterfeit, but it was not clear to me; I was blinded. But God used even the Guru to work in my heart since he was sharing about Jesus and the New Testament all the time and encouraging us to go to church and worship. Why? Because he claimed He is Jesus re-incarnate.

I started going to church again, but I looked at the teaching as wrong and I kept away from Christians. The mere sight of the cross was appalling me. I was taught in this New Age group that I should focus on the positive.  I could not understand how Christians made an icon of something so negative. I believed the New Age philosophy of everything being God and there is no separation between creation and creator and that Jesus was just an enlightened master showing us how to remember our Divine nature.  I was way off, but I thought I was right.

Jesus comes to me in a dream

And yet, God had not given up on me!  When I was not even looking for him, he came to me and changed my life. He had sent many workers to pave the way, but nothing worked. Then He came Himself to me in a dream!!! I was in a church one day and a preacher came up to me and said: “Why are you always alone and keep to yourself, let me pray over you and for your unsaved friends, for them to have miracles, wonders, ministering angels, visions and dreams and that the Lord will reveal Himself to them.” After the prayer, I went home and immediately I felt sleepy. I slept and immediately Jesus was there. I was praying in a circle of believers and Jesus was amidst of us. He was covered with a prayer shawl but we were in Him. His presence was covering all of us. We were soaked with His Love, Joy, Power, Compassion and Peace that passes all understanding. I woke up immediately after the dream and His Presence was still in the room. I did not want to leave the room and I fell in love with Him… I wanted to share this love and my testimony with everyone. He did a lot of miracles and visions in my life. But this time the source was right. It was the Lord, not the wise man (the guru who could be compared to the magicians of the Pharaoh which competed with Moses).  It took me a while to stop the meditation but with the Lord’s help I was delivered. This was the Grace of the Lord and all glory belongs to Him.

I finally became born again by the sinners prayer (this is a prayer which demands a recognition of one’s sin, and genuine repentance from it, it is a prayer for forgiveness and for Jesus to be the Lord of one’s life) after a month of the vision of Jesus.  I accepted Jesus as the Son of God, Savior, the Lamb of God and Lord of my life. It happened as follows, one day I was praying to the Lord to fill the emptiness of my heart and I received a phone call from a Christian friend of mine.  When I went to her house she had a Turkish Christian over. The Lord used that Turkish Christian to help me say the prayer in the United States. It happened so spontaneously I saw compassion and love of the Lord on this Turkish Christian woman and she asked me if I would want to be Christ-like and I said yes, and she told me to come to her car and in the car, I repeated after her the sinners’ prayer and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and I asked Jesus to come to my heart and I asked Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life.  As I prayed the prayer, I started crying and I felt being cleansed and I felt my heart being filled with the love of Christ. I still had trials and sad days after the prayer but I had Jesus with me. Also something else happened after the prayer, I had a strange thirst to read the Bible. I tried to read the Bible before but it did not make sense and I could not understand it. I started reading mostly the New Testament and I also had a strange passionate love for Jesus Christ and I wanted to share him with everyone I interacted with. Jesus started to change my life as well by showing me stuff to change in my life. I was reading the Bible and changing my life accordingly. Before I was trying to be a good person also, but I did not have a clear guide to determine what is right and wrong and accordingly I was sinning in some areas without even acknowledging that I was sinning. The Lord started changing everything. Even though I stopped doing some FUN things I used to do before, I now had more joy than ever and people were recognizing the change. The change was not immediate but it was more gradual. The Lord is still working in my life and changing my heart and my life. The Lord is able and wonderful.

Jesus changes my life

Jesus replaced hopelessness and emptiness with his peace and joy. I feel like a new creation in Him. I feel like a new Pinar. He started to work in my heart, helps me forgive and love many people. He also did many other miracles in my life, including financial miracles, one of which is for example I wanted a new computer but did not tell anybody, within one month, I received a new computer  through the gifts of  neighbors in Turkey, who told my parents that it just came to their hearts. Another time I was praying and looked up at the sky and it was written by a plane, “God Loves You”, it increased my joy. Another time I was looking for a full-time job and it was in a field which there was a hiring freeze and I received the job within two weeks; and in the job, I had a Christian mentor and many others in the department was Christians.  Another time I was praying for more Christian fellowship in my life and within two weeks, the Lord caused me to meet one American and three Turkish Christian friends. There were many other small signs, miracles and wonders happening every day, but the major miracle happened when I was baptized by the Holy Spirit.

It happened approximately after 5 months I received Jesus, I was going on a small weekend trip by myself to a familiar destination and usually when I went on a trip, I usually play music but this time something prompted me to pray and worship God because of His goodness and the joy he put in my life. While I was worshiping, and worshiping, I felt overwhelmed by peace and joy and happiness.  I was entering places and people were opening doors for me, the music I like the most was playing, even in the tolls, they gave me a rare coin for change. I still keep the coin to remember that day. I also felt so free, I was delivered from all kinds of fears and I felt free, I felt truly like a child of God and I felt tremendous faith that he will always provide, protect and oversee.

Not all my days were magical as above, I had trials also, but I had the power of God with me; I was not alone to go through the trials like before. I have now guidance, a personal relationship with the living God, direction and purpose in my life. He improved my relationship with my family and friends. After receiving his love, it is easier to spread that love to others.

He is also doing other small signs and wonders everyday and showing his love to me.

If you are seeking the true God and Savior, pray, seek with all your heart and you will find Him. In Him you will find the supernatural, peace, miracles, spirituality, guidance – whatever you need!

May God save all the Turkish people!

God Bless You,