When I left Islam to follow Jesus, I didn’t know what it would cost me. I hadn’t realized what it would take to deny myself, lay my life down, and take up my cross (Matthew 16:24). I wasn’t aware that even the precious relationships of my family should not come between me and following Christ — that I should even hate my family compared to my love for Jesus (Luke 14:26).
But God taught me that if I do take up my cross and lay down my life, then I’ll find my life. Over time, I have come to experience this truth. My life of following Jesus has not been the life I envisioned for myself, but it has become the life I want: a life used for the glory of God as I grow in the knowledge of Christ and make him known to others. That’s what I discovered when I was forced to choose between Jesus and my father.