“I was born and raised a mormon boy in Tennessee. I have never ever heard of the beautiful religion Islam while I was growing up. When I was 14 years old, I’m moved to Kansas City and got a job at the local fast food restaurant. At this point, all I knew about Islam was what my parents and the media have been saying. I didn’t know what to think, but I always put it aside. Throughout my years, I’ve always wanted something to believe in. Yes, I was mormon, but I never practiced or honestly believed in it. I slowly started becoming agnostic, I knew there was a higher power, but I just didn’t understand.
I started looking into something to believe in around the age of 14 because I had just moved, I lost all my friends, I didn’t know anyone in Kansas City, so there wasn’t anything else to do. My family was never religious, and we didn’t talk about God every day. Around that time of getting my job, there was another 14 year old girl who just so happened to be covered from head to toe. The first thing I noticed was not her hijab. It was her personality. The way her religion shined through her and defined her. She was who she was because of her beliefs. The more modest she dressed, the more beautiful she was. At this point I haven’t talked to her because I didn’t want to offend her. I started looking into the religion, I started studying and I found my self believing in Islam. I found myself happier than what I was before. I found that I had life to look forward too. I continued my journey with Islam. I converted and wouldn’t have it any other way. My mother wouldn’t allow me to bring the Quran in the house, and made a big deal about my converting. It was hard trying to be a good muslim while surrounded my so much negativity.
Eventually I told the Muslim girl about my peace with Islam, and we started talking more. I worked up the courage and asked her dad for her hand in marriage. It definitely was a lot of hard work, but her parents accepted me as one of their sons and supported the both of us. I married Su’Su on June 25th, 2014. I no longer have contact with my family because they have taken it upon themselves to not support my life style. I gained another family though. I pray everyday, 5 times a day that everything will soon be together and peaceful. If everyone could make dua to soften my families hearts and show acceptance it would be greatly appreciated. It’s kind of funny though, because if you make a mental image of me, I’m a country boy, with a thick southern accent who is Muslim and currently learning Arabic. You don’t really see that anywhere, anyway Alhamdullah for everything though, I’ve never been the happiest person in my life, with the most beautiful muslimah wife in the world.”
– Chris Burtrum
(via Muslims of America)