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Doing the Impossible in the Name of God

After years of abuse and fear from those who should have loved and protected her, Isik had every right to hate the world. But, she chose to listen to God and did the impossible. Read Transcript


ISIK ABLA: When I was 4 or 5 years old,

I had a dream about Jesus.

He was dressed in white and came with light,

and he said don't be afraid of death.

You are going to have an eternal life.

[SPEAKING PERSIAN]

I had a very sad childhood.

Financially, we had everything, but we didn't have any peace.

We didn't have any love or joy in our family.

My father was a womanizer and my mother used

to have nervous breakdowns.

Every time she found out about his affairs,

she used to just fall apart.

And every time they had a fight, slamming the doors,

cursing each other, I used to hide.

And when they used to see me they

used to tell me it's all your fault.

I wish you had never been born.

My mother became very abusive.

I had long hair, beautiful long hair.

She took the scissors and cut my hair from its roots.

I remember being beaten up, kicked on the floors.

My great grandmother and my grandmother,

they used to run to rescue me from my mother's hands,

telling her you are going to kill her.

And then my mother came back to her senses, as usual,

and she said, I'm so sorry, honey.

I love you.

I'm sorry.

And that was the only time she would tell me she loved me.

5 to age 7 years old, we had family relatives

that we had been visiting.

They had a son, and he was a lot older than me.

I was molested by him.

Years later I told this to my mother.

And my mother said they knew all about it.

And I said if you knew about it, why you didn't do anything

about it?

And she said we thought you liked it.

I hated her.

I hated my mom.

I hated my father.

I believed I was stupid.

I believed I was ugly.

I felt very filthy, and I felt like it was my fault.

But I had a dream.

I used to always dream that I was in a place like Oscars,

and I was wearing this beautiful dress.

It was ornamented with pearls and diamonds,

and I was walking on the red carpet.

And then somebody calls my name.

The Oscar goes to Isik.

But I was someone important.

I was someone special.

And I used to take it and I say "This is for my mom.

This is for my dad."

I studied a lot.

I read everything I could find.

I started learning Quran from my great grandmother,

and tried to learn and be a good Muslim.

I thought it was fascinating that there

was a being who created me.

And if I knew him, and if I find him, he could change my misery.

I knew that I needed a miracle, but I had

no relationship with my god.

And no matter how hard I tried-- I

fasted since I was 7 years old, I prayed five times a day--

I never heard back from him.

So I came to a conclusion there was God, there was a creator,

but he was mean and hateful and always angry.

I met this guy at college.

I was studying Islamic literature.

He was a political Muslim.

And I thought we were a good match.

I really believed he loved me.

I wanted to escape from home.

We got married.

I remember the first night that I was away from home,

I thanked Allah for not being there anymore.

But another type of abuse started.

He started beating me up all the time, every other day.

He used to kick me, spit on me, slap me in public,

pull my hair.

It was acceptable for me because it was in the Quran.

He could discipline me.

And I used to always find the fault in me.

If I behave better, if I am cleaning better,

if I am cooking better-- I always found fault in me.

But then I started finding a relief at workplace.

People started telling me I was smart.

And I started climbing career ladders in Turkey.

The more I became powerful at workplace,

the more he abused me to keep me oppressed.

One night he put a knife on my throat,

and he told me to jump from eighth floor of a building.

I knew that even in the Quran he didn't have a right to kill me.

I decide I'm going to leave.

I wanted freedom.

I dreamed freedom.

I thought, America is a free country.

I want freedom.

American consulate gave me a visa for 10 years,

and I bought a ticket, a one-way ticket.

I got my divorce decreed Friday, and I graduated from my post

studies in business administration Saturday,

and I fled to America on Sunday.

But it didn't change.

It doesn't matter.

Wherever you go, you take you with you.

And I took abused, hurt, insecure, angry, hateful,

miserable woman with me to America.

I said I need a husband to tell me what to do with my life.

And this time I met a drug abuser.

He wanted to fix his life.

He thought that marriage was a good purpose for him

to fix his life.

And we had a child.

This time another type of depression and misery started.

This wasn't physical abuse, but verbal abuse.

And I decided to leave him.

I was 28 years old, divorced twice, single mother.

Failed in every area of my life.

I became, that time, suicidal.

I was working at a Christian company,

and I had a Christian boss.

He was really in love with Jesus.

And it was hard to understand how someone

could be in love with his god.

I didn't want to be a Christian.

We called Christians infidels.

They worship three gods.

They call Jesus the prophet, son of god.

Blasphemy.

I cannot accept this faith.

But everything sounds so good.

So now I am more miserable because I

see people that have peace in their lives,

and they talk to their god.

Their god talks to them.

And I said life is not worth living.

I am not good for this life.

And God hates me.

And as much as I hated my mother, I became like her.

And anybody can be a better mother to my daughter.

And I decided to end my life that day.

I went to work, and I went to the restroom.

I started having a disclosure with god.

I didn't know which god I was talking,

and I started telling, why do you hate me?

What have I done so bad to deserve this?

Why have you forsaken me?

Why have you abandoned me?

I knocked on the counter and I said, here I am.

I'm knocking at your door.

Are you going to open the door?

And I cleaned my face.

I went back to my office.

Then my boss called me.

He said, please close the door and have a seat.

I knew something was very wrong.

And he said to me, I know this is

going to sound very weird to you, but I have to be obedient.

My Lord Jesus just spoke to me, and he told me

about what you're planning.

And he wants me to tell you you are not forsaken or abandoned.

He loves you so much.

When you were a little girl, you were molested.

Jesus was by your side.

When you were abused, Jesus was by your side.

He loves you so much, and he wants

to be the center of your life.

And at that moment, I felt the presence of god.

I went on my face to the floor, and I started weeping bitterly,

and I said yes.

Yes Jesus.

One single yes brought me to Jesus Christ.

I felt freedom first time in my life.

The freedom that I dreamed all my life was real.

I wanted to run on the streets and kiss everybody.

I was like a drunk man going to a bar

as saying all the drinks are on me.

And the grass looked greener, and the sky looked blue.

And my boss allowed me to go and pick up

my daughter from day care.

She had a new mother.

I picked her up as a new mother.

First 2 years were very hard with my parents.

My father didn't want to talk to me

and my mother was always mean.

But they started seeing some difference in me

because I was loving.

But in my heart I had a lot of unforgiveness

towards my mother.

My mother visited me.

We were just quiet.

We never had a normal conversation.

I still hated her.

I was a Christian and I was still hating my mother.

Look at her.

Everything that she had done to me, and how she beat me up

and everything, and now she's like nothing has ever happened.

And I knew the right thing.

I still couldn't do it.

Then I started praying in my heart.

I said Lord, you need to help me to forgive her.

And at that moment something miraculous happened.

God showed me how he saw my mother-- hurt, in pain.

She never had her childhood.

She never had a father.

And God fill me with compassion.

And then love came, and the forgiveness came.

And God told me, I want you to go and hug her.

She tried to get out of my arms, and I said,

I'm not going to let you go.

She bursted into tears, started sobbing, and saying I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

And I said, I am sorry, too.

I'm sorry for your pain.

I always saw my pain, but I never saw my mother's pain.

My father, he hated Armenians with all his heart.

His family killed 15 Armenians-- tied them together

and burned them.

And my father's family received a gold medal for that

from the government.

I was going to have a conference in an Armenian church.

I said Dad, I don't want you to come to church.

He was like, whatever.

I am going to Armenian church with you

then, because I'm not going to let

even them to hurt my daughter.

Every time pastor is saying something,

my father is mocking.

Then the pastor started giving his testimony.

His wife and him woke up one morning,

and their children were dead.

They were poisoned by gas.

Everybody turned and looked at my father,

and they point my dad to me.

And my father was weeping.

When we came home he was quiet.

My father's never quiet.

Then suddenly he stood up.

He went to my mother, and he kneeled in front on my mother,

and he asked her forgiveness.

Then he came and he kneeled in front of me,

and he asked my forgiveness.

And he said I never heard anything

in his life so powerful as he heard in that Armenian church.

And after three days, when I had my conference,

I made an altar call and my father

responded to the altar call.

And right now, that man who hated

Armenians passionately goes only to that Armenian church.

There's not a single day I can tell you I dwell in my past.

God turned me into a visionary, and I live in the future.

Sometimes I even miss the present.

Today I am happily married to a Christian man,

and we have an amazing ministry to the Muslim world.

My daughter, she is a missionary.

She is a youth leader.

It's a perfect example of everything

I had done wrong in my life, how god turned into right.

Only Jesus can do that.

God always tells me you are a new creation.

You are crucified.

It is all gone.

Only I live in you, only this moment.

And the future I prepared for you is important.

I can thank him for who I am right now,

and who I am going to be.

God took my trash and turned it into a treasure.

He took my mess and turned it into a message.

[SPEAKING PERSIAN]

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