Channel: The Deen Show
This week’s guest went from Christianity and Bible study to Atheism and Beauty Pageant Modeling to finally finding peace and purpose in life in ISLAM. This is Chelsey’s amazing story!
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Welcome to the D show my next guests coming up from atheism to agnosticism to beauty pageants and party and play and fun to having a void that many people have filling it with all the things 1001 things. But none of these things make that pain inside that void inside to hurt inside the yearning to want to know inside. Why have been created? Why am I here? The person, my next guest found out why and she's here to share her story and how she wouldn't trade it for the world. You can have it too. We'll be right back on today's show with his wonderful story. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back.
a Salaam Alaikum. Peace be with you. Welcome to the show, sister Chelsey, how are you?
Now we hear you Can't you come from a kind of an agnostic atheist background? You went through the whole you know, and I always wonder I get really in awe thinking like, why is it that many young women they aspire to be like a star meaning like, you know, they want to win the beauty pageants. And this is kind of what you went through, right? Yes, I did. I was an atheist, I want to save the majority of my life. You know, I tried to attend like the Christian youth groups as a teenager, but I think it was probably more so for the wrong reasons of socializing and meeting boys and stuff like that. But when I got into high school, you know, of course, I think just like a lot of Western
girls, we kind of get into our loves and being social with other girls. And I started doing USA beauty pageants pretty much throughout my entire high school years. So for about three or four years. Now, why the whole eight go? Why'd you go towards the whole atheism thing? I think for me, I always just relied on faith. And a lot of my family is Christian. And the majority of my family is Christian. And I remember just kind of talking to them briefly and talking to other Christians that I was socialized with. And everything was based around faith. And for me, I just never felt like I had it. When I was in high school. I attended like this hip hop church. And the pastor he like
wrapped and he was this white guy with like cornrows. And it was really fun people would come and breakdance. And it was a place where like, teenagers could feel like, they can practice their religion without being judged for being teenagers. And so it's really great atmosphere. And I remember even going to the Bible studies, and me and a girl friend of mine, we decided that we would start reading kind of this urban translation of the Bible. And even then I would read it and just, I was never connecting. I remember, you know, being in church and singing the songs and having a really good time. But I remember like, vaguely, just being there one time and being like, what am I
doing here? Like, I don't have faith, like, I don't even like I don't even know if I believe in this. And I think from that point on, I was just kind of like, well, if there is a God, you know, he'll guide me somewhere. But right now I just I don't believe in anything. So it really did kind of lead me to just not believing in anything not believing that there was a god. We see a little guy back there. Who's your bodyguard?
Yeah, in the future, inshallah. What's his name? His name is Addy. He's 22 months old. hamdulillah so Chelsea, so many people, they kind of go to church slided on Sundays, you know, it's kind of a traditional thing, family, friends. But then when you get to the concepts, you know, God being a man,
Jesus dying for your sins. You know, the fitrah what we call the natural inclination inside this thing that God Almighty put in all of us, it rejects this. And then people start to question it many don't. They just again slide in on Sundays. Were you one of those that were going to church a slide and in that question, and then you came to a point where you started the question, and then you are really at a dilemma here.
You know, I didn't really grow up in a very religious household. My father, he's more of a scientist, my mom she grew up in a Christian home, but church was really just for Christmas Eve and maybe Easter is for us. You know, like I said, I kind of attended your typical like teenager
Use groups and stuff like that in middle school. But from my knowledge, I mean, I only understood Christianity to be as Jesus was the Son of God. You know, it wasn't until later on in my teenage years that I started hearing other sects of Christianity kind of talking about how Jesus was God and that he was a man. And I think for me, I did question a lot of that, I don't think that there was ever a time in my life that I fully accepted it because I never really considered myself a Christian, even now, when people are like, Oh, he kind of grew up in a Christian household or your family was Christian. But I never really felt Christian because I never really felt that way. I felt
that Jesus was the Son of God, or I questioned it enough anyways, to not really feel that way. How did you get to investigating about Islam?
Um, you know,
in high school anyways, I had a Muslim girlfriend who was a born, she's Palestinian born Muslim. And when she was 18 years old, getting married.
My son wants to be in the show, I'm telling you.
When he gets older, we'll get him on. We would talk briefly about Islam, you know, but it wasn't anything big. It wasn't really until I was about 25 years old, or so that I figured, you know, what, I kind of checked out all the other religions that I was even interested in even going into Buddhism and things like that. And, you know, nothing really stops. So I kind of felt Well, I don't really have anything to lose me and her, we would kind of have like, small discussions here and there. And I was always kind of like, well, if there's a God, and I think this is kind of where my agnosticism started to come in,
around like, 2425, because I was always that if I was searching for something I did, I wanted something. You know, I just never had faith in anything. So when she kept telling me, Chelsea some of the things that you kind of talked about, if there was a god and how life should be and how we should be as people, it really kind of sounds Islamic, you know, and I think right then in there, I was kind of like, hey, well, what do I have to lose? You know, let me just go ahead and watch the lectures on YouTube. And that's actually what brought me to your show home villa. I mean, I remember just watching like in video after video, on your video, log on your website, and I would spend hours
like every day for weeks doing that, Marsha, we're gonna take a break. And we want to talk about this void, you had kind of went through many of the pursuing many other pursuits that people, young people they pursue, but there was a void. We're going to get to that void. When we come back here in today's show, don't go anywhere. We'll be right back, please subscribe to the show. Follow us on our official Facebook and Twitter pages in the links below. Please also help support the show by making a donation in the link below.
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Back here on the dean show, before we will have to break I talked about a void many people have it, they fill it with alcohol with drugs, they fall into peer pressure pursuing to be a star beauty pageants, you name it, they do it 1001 purposes, except the true purpose talk about this void that you had.
Well, I think I think I suffered from this void for a long time not really realizing it, you know, I was that I was the kind of girl who like, I had tons of friends, but I always felt lonely. You know, it's like, I was always trying to find confidence. But I was that person that was always, you know, telling people to have self love. You know, I always felt like something was missing. And I never really knew what it was. And so for me, you know, naturally just as like a young Western girl, you know, I lived kind of the party lifestyle, and I worked as a cocktail waitress at a bar. And, you know, so of course, that had me out a lot. I would go to the clubs. I mean, at one point, right
before I converted, actually, I mean, I was going out anywhere from three to four nights a week. You know, and I was I was drinking a lot. And, you know, but that was never anything I felt like I had an issue with I just felt like I was just being a young girl having fun. You know, and I unfortunately ended up kind of trying to fill that void with other things that I won't really you know, go into detail about. But you know, it really just left me more empty. And I remember when I started looking into Islam, you know, I almost kind of started to like, feel like this genuine happiness kind of start to come into play like things are going to be okay and I didn't feel that
and you know that
emptiness as much anyways and now I'm gonna lie You know, four and a half years later after converting, I can honestly say that I am the most genuinely happy I've ever been my entire life.
Would you trade it for the world?
Would I trade it for the happiness that you have now?
Oh, no way, no way my goal is gender.
Beautiful. Tell us also How do you feel? Especially right now when you see this beautiful way of life that was lived by Jesus, Moses, Abraham, you know, that simple call to have a loving relationship to connect your heart with the Creator who created the heart, this way of life of Islam being defamed
by many of these politicians now? How do you how do you feel? How does that make you feel?
You know, I think for me, it's just kind of disheartening. Um, you know, I've always been a very optimistic person, I've always been somebody who really looks at the good and people who are good in society. And I truly believe that God made us inherently good. I mean, you know, we're made of light, you know, so he, he knew that there was some good
in us, and, you know, for me, it's kind of one of those ignorance can create hate, and, you know, ignorance is bliss, and away, you know, but it's really just kind of disheartening, I think, you know, especially for me, as a woman who I wear my religion on my head, you know, and so for me, with a young child going out in public, especially now, it's like, there's almost kind of this level of fear that I feel is very unnecessary. And I really think that it has to do with people just being uneducated, and then educating themselves in the wrong way from the wrong sources. And I think that it's really important for us as a Muslim oma to kind of come together and create these educational
resources for these people so that we don't have, you know, these misconceptions, these misunderstandings from people, have you ever had a real situation where someone's come up to you at random and asked you about Islam, or was inquisitive to know or gave you a hard time? You and you had a chance to communicate with such a person and communicate what Islam was really about?
And how did I I actually had a lot of occasions, and I think that one is because I am a woman in the west where I and I think that too, you know,
oh, unfortunately, a lot of people in the West who stereotype Muslims as being you know, a darker color, and Arab and Indian things like this. So when they see somebody like me, who you know, is blue eyes, light skinned, you know, they're a little bit more intrigued, and maybe even unfortunately, at times a little bit more at ease to talk to me, you know, I work a job publicly while I was working, before I was pregnant. And during while I was pregnant, yes. And, you know, so for me, I encountered a lot of people asking questions about my religion, why I wear hijab, or share your comments of Oh, did your husband make you wear that? And you know, things like that? I did,
unfortunately, counter one negative,
you know, conversation with a young gentleman. And I think, you know, of course, as a new Muslim, you know, even at times we kind of have to learn to control ourselves a bit. And I think it kind of became a little bit more of a back and forth. And if maybe I had to restrain myself a bit, maybe it wouldn't have caught it as bad as it did. But it got to the point where, you know, he was kind of cussing at me and telling me to go back to my country, and laugh because I was like, Well, I'm here. Hello. You know, because I am white, Caucasian American born, you know, and it's really sad that people have these horrible stereotypes in their head, you know, that Islam and somehow is in
relation to an ethnicity or nationality, which of course, we know it's true. But thankfully, I have had a lot of opportunities to speak to people about my religion, and kind of clear up some misconceptions, which has been really nice, I think beneficial to me.
Have you had family members, or some of these people ask you like, So what now you've become, you know, a terror radical. And how do you respond to that has anybody has associated with you now, as a suspect now because you're Muslim automatically. You think, okay, you become some radical extremist? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, I think even right when I converted you
No, I was still kind of going through an old marriage of mine, where my ex husband was actually a United States Marine. And you know, so my family, of course, was very used to me being kind of in this military go America lifestyle. And so when I had told my family that I had decided to convert to SM, I remember one family member in particular kind of came at me and was like, so then what are you like, against America now? And like, I just, it's like, I almost didn't even know what to say to that. Like, my religion doesn't make me again, stop sharing, you know, maybe some of its actions at times. But I mean, we could say that about countries all over the world. Um, you know, so for me,
it's like, me, wearing my hijab should make me radical, just because I'm choosing to, you know, follow my faith. I mean, I am probably one of the nicest people ever, you know, it's like when you actually sit down and talk to me, and this is what happened with a lot of the women who have confronted me in my non Muslim asking me questions, kind of like, you're just like a normal girl. And I'm like, well, thank you for seeing that. I wish more people understood that Muslims are just regular people, and that this is just their religion, you know, and again, it just it comes down to, we're gonna take a break, and we'll be right back with more here on a daily show. Don't go anywhere,
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Welcome back to the D show. Tell us Chelsea Did you have once you we know that any sincere individual human being that really looks into Islam seeking to know the truth, they will find what they're looking for in it. But many people, sometimes they have these reservations, because what's my family? gonna say? society is not the cool thing. As you can see, did you have some of these apprehensions and reservations when you start to recognize that this was indeed the truth from the creator?
I think that my mom raised me to be a very outgoing and confident person. And I'm somebody who's always stood by my beliefs, and never really cared what other people thought of me. And I think that really kind of served you no benefit to me in this process. Because when it came down to it, I didn't really care what my family had to say, you know, I do encounter a lot of revert songbirds, who do kind of struggle with how their family is going to react, and there, they fear that they're going to lose their friends or their social circle. And that wasn't a concern. For me, my concern was finding out the truth. And I'm somebody who, when I want to know that something, I will spend
all day and all night trying to figure it out. So, you know, when it came down to it, you know, telling my parents, you know, on one hand, it was a bit scary, you know, because I think more than anything, calling my father I knew was going to be a little bit nerve wracking, because he definitely is kind of that scientist. And, you know, I was kind of on his side for many years, when we would talk about religion and religious people and their actions, and maybe how the churches and things like that. So, you know, his reaction was probably, you know, the most shocking out of everybody, my mom, she was really just kind of concerned for me. But, you know, for myself, I again,
I just didn't care what anybody else thought I was happy with my choice, I did go through a little bit of anxiety here and there, you know, because I was coming from such a different lifestyle is coming from a lifestyle where it's okay for girls to wear many shorts and tank tops, and stiletto high heels and beautify themselves and go to the clubs and have guy friends and you know, have your occasional glass of wine. And, you know, all of that was very, very acceptable, you know, and so for me, it's like, I kind of had to get myself out of that thought process and really dive deep into educating myself in this time, so that I could fully understand why I was making these changes, and
hamdulillah I tell all the girls that I speak with, that I feel that God really does kind of put us in certain situations in our past to make us understand them a bit better. And everything that a lot of girls come to me with, that they're struggling with, whether it's having guy friends are having boyfriends or stop drinking alcohol or whatever it may be. I have a story in my past that I can relate it to and understand why Allah subhana wa Allah has asked these things
have us, you know, and so I think that it's been really great, I think that you know, we'll want to convert comes into the faith, education is the best thing to kind of relieve yourself of any of that anxiety. And when you really start to have faith in Allah, and what he has in store for you and your journey, you're not going to care about what anybody else has to say. We know Islam, one of the main
things that it's there for us to help us to become better human beings to have the best manners and character and it's all built on that pure monotheism, having a direct connection with the Creator. And everything he's told us to do is good for us. And everything he told us to stay away from is harmful for us. One of the things after you've established that connection, the prayer, and because we need it, it's our medicine. One of the things that many women struggle with, is the the job. So what do you I mean, you coming from a background now that you you know, you didn't many people there, they take for granted, being born into a Muslim family, you coming from
a family that wasn't Muslim? And now you stepped up you, you know, US wearing Hijab? How do you encourage those, those women out there? Who are having a hard time, you know, with this
wearing of the job, what do you usually tell them to motivate them? You know, I say that when I always try to approach sisters, and, you know, their difficulties, you know, because we all have our own difficulties, whether they're small or big, they're our own, and they're different. And I always try to kind of give them you know, it a very Islamic perspective. But as well, you know, I do kind of try to be sensitive to, you know, their emotion and what they're going through and kind of give them a little bit of friend or sister advice as well. You know, but I think that, you know, if you're really just gonna kind of spell it out. You know, one thing I really say just to dive right
into it is that at the end of the day, hijab is a choice. Yeah. When you say choice, you mean ultimately.
Yeah, Baba, let me get this. Yeah.
You know, it also it ultimately you mean that truly everything that you do in your life is a choice. We know that praying five times a day is something that is mandated of us as Muslims, it's a part of our five pillars, but it's still a choice. I mean, we can choose to do those five prayers, or we can choose to do one or none. You know, so for me, it's like when talking to girls, I have to let them know, yes, that is a choice. But it is something I truly believe is mentioned in the Quran as something that us as women need to do as Muslims. Is it as important as other things like prayer? Maybe not. But I think that as Muslim women, we have to recognize the things that we have to do in
our faith, to please a law to better ourselves as Muslims. And if we're not at least taking those steps, and really, truly understanding why and the fact that we need to Anyways, we're not going to get anywhere, you know, so it's really kind of that understanding of it is a choice, but it's a choice that's going to be better for us and better for our Deen, it's going to be better for our practice. And inshallah, you know, you may not be perfect right now. But you can work towards it. I do, unfortunately, have a lot of girls who kind of come to me who say, Well, my personality isn't very modest. So how am I going to be modest on the outside. And I really think that just kind of
comes down to education and becoming closer with your face to truly understand what modesty is to you. Because I really do think that modesty is different for everybody. But I think that just because you're lacking in one area doesn't mean that you should totally give up on another area. You know, it's kind of about combining the two and finding a happy balance for yourself. Thank you so much for being on the D show spending time. With our viewers out there. We really you know, love hearing the stories of people who have
been able to step up, be courageous enough and to find peace and purpose in Islam and share their wonderful journey so more people can benefit. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me.
Another wonderful story here on the D show. You got to really be
somewhat of an iconoclastic someone who defies traditions, you can be that dead fish in the ocean, just going with the flow. Even the fish goes against many of the currents. And that's what you got to do. If you want to know the truth. You got to dig for the treasure, because it's worth your time. It's worth your effort. And you see what she said she
said, After going through what many people go through, they end up having 1001 different purposes, but they don't live the true purpose. And now she's found it. And she wouldn't. She wouldn't trade it for the world and everything in it. And that's her story. And you could be someone out there who's going through some of the many challenges that we go through life, you will never find true absolute happiness in this life following your desires. But but there's good news. And she was a she's a living testimony to that. And so are they, over? One point, what is it five, 6 billion people now out there who are accepted as way of life? that's logical rational, to just call you to
something very simple to have a direct dial up connection with the one who made you who created you, and Jesus did it. He lived this way of life. So to his blessing mother, Mary. And that's what she's doing. So now when you go ahead and look at the return on your investment, when you live this way of life compared to living a way of life of debauchery, following your lust and your passions and your desires hit this dead end that dead end and at the end, you just had a dead end.
Call us one 800 662 Islam to learn more, if you have some questions, whatever it is, let's start a healthy dialogue, dialogue, come to the Muslims to learn about this beautiful way of life. That's the fastest growing way of life still in the world today because of the power that it possesses the power to transform lives for the better for the betterment of that individual and for the betterment of society. We'll see you next time until then remember subscribe right now if you have not. and tune in every week to the de show Peace be with you saw me subscribe right now.