“I am an adult. I get to choose.” I found that quote when looking through my notes, trying to decide what I would write about today.
I don’t remember everything about the conversation. I do remember the context.
The speaker was a woman, a political refugee from a Middle Eastern country. Her crime was advocating for worker’s rights.
For that she was thrown in prison. Upon release she fled the country with her children, knowing that the regime was not finished with her yet.
Life has been hard in this self-imposed exile. I won’t go into all the details, partly because the secret police in her home country are monitoring the internet. I don’t want to inadvertantly include something here that could help identify her, that could lead to repercussions and harassment of family members who have not left.
“I am an adult, I get to choose,” was not spoken about her choice to be a political activist. It was a much deeper, more powerful statement.
In the country in which she has taken refuge there has been opportunity to examine what is truly important in life. What do we believe and why.
That has led this woman to reject the Islam she was raised in and embrace the truth of Jesus Christ. Back home that could mean the death penalty.
Where she is now, it is more a matter of ostracism. Her fellow political refugees don’t understand her choice. They oppose the regime, but not necessarily the religion it is built on.
So they try to convince her to recant, to change her mind, to renounce Christianity and return to Islam. She won’t.
“I am an adult. I get to chose,” she says.
Bold words were spoken by a courageous woman. How many of us, born into a Christian culture, are willing to stand for our beliefs when we are pressured?
We too get to choose. When the pressure is on, may we hold firm to our beliefs.
Faith is strengthened when challenged. In our lives in Canada, we are subjected to the anti-Christianity of the well entrenched political Left, but without any real persecution. My dad used to talk about a colleague, a Montreal minister who lived under the Societ Union. While there was little religious freedom, he used to say if there were no God, why was the State constantly expounding this point? Living in a country where not adhering to the established religioun could lead to your death would tend to focus one’s belief in a profound manner.
Exactly. In my work supporting persecuted Christians I am frequently humbled by the stories of steadfast faith.