Islam made Indonesian girl feel unworthy

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By Michael Ashcraft –

Olivia’s parents in Indonesia were always busy, so she was raised by nannies. When her family moved to California, she was petrified at age 13 to use her broken English in the fourth and fifth grades, so she made no friends.

“I was basically a mute,” she says on her YouTube channel The Still Heart. “I was from another country. I felt worthless. I’ve always had this way in life of always having to prove myself to be loved or accepted.”

Even from early childhood, she had questions about her parents’ religion, Islam, but when she asked, she was made to feel like it was sinful to ask:

Why is prayer acceptable on in Arabic? Why do women have to cover from head to toe? In their gatherings, why are men always in front and women and children in the back? Why do men get multiple wives? Why a woman’s testimony counts only half a man’s in court? Why could she not pray during her period?

“I had to stop asking questions because it created this uneasiness,” she says.

She didn’t recognize him initially, but Olivia says she felt a divine presence at age 6, again at age 13 and finally when she got saved at age 19. It was Jesus.

“He was always there throughout all my life,” she says. “I just had to keep asking questions. There were a lot of inner struggles. If you accept Jesus and you’re from a Muslim family, you have to keep it secret.”

She got invited to church by a friend and read the Bible at her friends’ houses, even her boyfriend.

Eventually, her family figured out she was Christian and threatened her. Because they were living in America, they couldn’t carry out a death threat, and Olivia never took the death threat seriously.

But she did have to move out and live with friends for a few weeks until her parents relented and invited her back home on the condition she wouldn’t flaunt her Christianity in front of them or evangelize her brother, which she submitted to in order ot honor her parents. She worked at Forever 21 and couldn’t afford an apartment by herself.

Life as a Christian didn’t end all of her anxieties, loneliness and feelings of rejection. In fact, she continued to experience rejection – this time from her boyfriend’s family.

“It confused me,” she admits. “At one point, I felt like being a Christian was the same thing as being a Muslim. I questioned my whole confusion. The enemy used everything to throw me off my path.”

Then she had a vision of a light in her room while she lay on her bed.

“I was crying because I desperately wanted to know if Jesus was real,” she says. “God showed himself. I saw a light so bright and blue and how fast it was moving across the room. God needed me to see this to put my trust in him again. It put a good fear in me.”

Olivia threw herself into church attendance, Bible study reading and Christian books. She found friends who counseled her and helped her to understand the differences between Islam and Christianity, friends who demonstrated to her the love of Christ.

When she got baptized, God further cemented her relationship with him and dressed her with a purpose in life.

“God pursued me relentlessly,” she says. “I have so much gratitude for the journey that brought me here. If it wasn’t for that, I would not have the freedom in my mind and soul and heart. I would still be in the prison of anxiety, worthlessness and insecurity. I would not have healed from that.”

To learn more about a personal relationship with Jesus, click here.

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About this writer: Michael Ashcraft pastors a church in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles

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