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Salams my name is Andrea and I have taken my shahada on Tuesday of this week (31 December 2020). The whole week prior to going to the mosque I was driving past the mosque daily because I live close to it and every time I passed I would cry or want to go in but was afraid of not being accepted for some strange reason. For many years I was a Christian and my whole family is Christian for me to tell anyone that I wanted to become a Muslim was extremely hard. My grandfather was a pastor for many years, and my father is a deacon so I spent my whole life in the church where I didn’t feel I fit in.

I have faced ridicule from my family but at this point I was searching for a peace that I could not find in this world. No matter what I did or gave up I couldn’t find happiness. I gave up drinking smoking and parties and still felt like I wasn’t complete. Two years ago,  I found out that I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer  and was told I would have to get radiation treatments at the Jurvinski cancer center here in Hamilton where I live, and when I went to the doctors to start my treatment I found out I was pregnant with my now 17 month old son. I was told to either choose to  save my life or give life and I put my son’s life ahead of myself and postponed my treatment carried my son for 36 weeks and had him removed to then start my treatments. I did my treatments in January 2019 I have been in remission since March of 2019 and I said God if you see me through and allow me to live long enough to give birth to my son I will give my life to serve you and this is a promise I made to myself and God. I have been through so much mental and physical abuse due to very bad relationship and I knew that the love I was seeking could only be found in Allah. This Tuesday I felt a sadness due to stress and feeling hopeless because nothing seemed to be going my way.  I said I need to get to that mosque ASAP or I might not be here to serve you God I told myself that if I don’t go now my children will be telling my story instead of myself so I drove to the mosque early morning crying and walked in and said I am not leaving until I am found because I felt I was so lost and that I didn’t want to to just be Alive because I had children. I told them that I needed more than that I needed a purpose .  I want to live for Allah and i don’t care what it takes I need help now. The brothers there were so kind and didn’t turn their back to me they were welcoming and told me don’t worry someone is coming now and there going to make sure you are saved today by the grace of Allah and you will take Shahada today . At that moment all I could do is fall to my feet and I weeped like a baby. I stayed there for the morning learning how to wash wudu and learned how to make prayer. I’m still learning to do the prayer alfatiah and one day Insha Allah I will know it. I’m excited to gain a new family in Islam and  I’m so grateful to you all and to the sister who came to meet me Tuesday to teach me and speak with me I’m so so grateful to the brothers that Allah put there because Allah knew what was in my heart and in my head that morning and Allah wanted good for me. Since Tuesday I’ve been crying tears of joy and I’ve been praying and telling Allah thank you for not forsaking me. I’ve been reading and I’ve been trying to learn the prayer in Arabic. I know I am not perfect but I want to try to make Allah happy everyday if I can because Allah saved me.

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