Mariam Tripp: Freedom Like She's Never Known
By Michelle Wilson
The 700 Club
Growing up as a Muslim in Iran, Mariam Tripp was taught to hate.
"Islam is a very, very prejudiced religion," Mariam tells The 700 Club. As a child I was raised to hate the Jews. They would talk very nasty about the Christians. They would just call them dirty Christians."
As a teen, she struggled with her beliefs, particularly about the role of women in Islam.
"I had a problem with Islam.
This Islam religion doesn’t make any sense to me, because it’s so cruel toward woman? Why am I a second grade citizen?"
Mariam was married when she was 17. She and her husband moved to the states to attend college and had a son. But while at school, Mariam’s husband met some radical Muslims.
"He just absolutely changed into this dominant, mean man. He put a special lock on the front door that I needed a key to get out. I was a prisoner in my own home. There was no love anymore you know. It was like his love was a privilege."
So Mariam prayed to Allah. She recalls, "I would pray so hard that God, Khoda, would put love in my heart for my husband so I would not break up my marriage to the point where I would pass out from exhaustion."
Their relationship didn’t change, and Mariam asked for a divorce.
"He beat me so hard one time that I couldn’t go to school 'cause half of my face was all black and blue. He says, 'No, no, no. I’m going to take you to Iran, and under Khomeini, I’m going to make a good submissive wife out of you.' I told him, 'What do you think? This is not Iran. You can’t beat me up, pull my hair and put me in the airplane. I’m not coming.'”
Mariam’s husband kidnapped their son and went back to Iran. She divorced and lost all access to her family money by not returning to Iran. She never saw her son again. She tried to survive financially by working two jobs. After five years, Mariam met a man named Carver, who soon became her fiancé. While at home, Carver saw Mariam praying to Allah about their finances.
"I am praying to God, to Mohammed, to Hassan, to Hussein, to Abos, to Resol, to all the prophets. And all of a sudden, I just looked toward the french doors and there He was standing, Lord Jesus. I recognized Him. I was not even praying to Him. He was the furthest thing from my mind. I knew that he was Jesus Christ. I didn’t know much else about Christianity. But, I knew that from that moment on I was going to be a Christian."
Mariam and Carver soon married. She continued to grow in her desire to learn about Jesus and Christianity.
"I became of course very serious about praying to the Lord Jesus and seeking Christianity," she says.
Mariam began watching Christian television programs – including The 700 Club.
"I saw Pat Robertson and it appeared to be a religious program, because I heard him talk about Jesus. At the end of his talk, he made the altar call. I received Jesus, officially for the very first time into my heart, as my Lord and Savior, and as my God."
In the days that followed, Mariam read the Bible and prayed.
"I said, 'Father, I don’t want to offend You. Please, tell me if Jesus is Your Son, if Jesus is divine?' Then I would open the Bible and it would go to the book of John. 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.' How can it get any more clear than that? "
Mariam and Carver had a son. She taught him about Jesus and took him to church. But her husband never went with them.
"My little son looked me right in the eye and said, 'Dad, why can’t we go to church?'” Carver says. "I just didn’t have a good answer and I said, 'We can, and we will.'”
It was the very first time Carver stepped inside a church since he was a child. Mariam says, "The message just soaked in him. He received the Lord Jesus in his heart and became a Christian, which was the cry of my heart."
Six months later, the entire family was baptized together. Over the years they continued to grow in their newfound faith.
"It was wonderful, because it was a full-emerging baptism. So I died with Christ and I resurrected a new creation in Christ," Mariam says.
Over the years they continued to grow in their newfound faith. "The most important thing that God has done for me was to save my soul," she says. "To come to the Lord Jesus to know that eternity is safe.
I would share with people of other faiths, like Muslims which have no savior, like Buddhists who have no savior, like Hindus who have no savior, the only faith that you have a savior is Christianity.
What the Bible says is true. Jesus died on the cross so we will be forgiven."
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