Stranger No More by Annahita Parsan

When God Chooses You

Stranger No More by Annahita Parsan is a harrowing and powerful story of her life as a Muslim woman and her transformation into  a woman of God.

Growing up in Iran in the 1970’s Annahita Parsan remembers her granny who “prayed in fear to an angry God, not out of faith.” The country was in turmoil as the Shah was overthrown and replaced by Khomeini.

Two arranged marriages and two children before the age of twenty. Ironically her second marriage was for safety reasons but he turned out to be a monster who beat her. “It is normal for a woman to be beaten by her husband. That is how women learn.”

Annahita Parsan’s story is not an easy read – an abusive marriage, fleeing a regime and living in four countries. Annahita Parsans believed in an angry God who was punishing her. “I couldn’t escape the belief that God was angry and this was my punishment.” Her husband verbally and physically abused her, giving her the option, “You either live with me or you die.”

With her children terrified, threatened and abused, something inside broke and Annahita Parsans knew she had to get out. Not knowing a loving God but knowing about prayer, she was “sending up prayers for I-didn’t-know-what to I-didn’t-know-who.” God is a God who longs to answer prayer.

Annahita Parsans noticed a group of nuns who had love and peace. She wanted to know their God and became a Christian. “With child-like faith, I prayed expectantly.”

Life did not become easy overnight. Troubles continued but Annahita Parsans knew God was with her. Prayer became her default setting instead of a sticking plaster setting. Like Job, she praised in the God and the bad times. God was faithful to her as she was to Him.

Stranger No More is a difficult read. The violence towards women and children is awful. The suffering and silence is terrible. These women and children are brave souls. We in the west have no idea what they go through but Annahita Parsans story goes a little way to opening our eyes.

Bless you Annahita Parsans for all you have suffered. You are a brave survivor and a faithful warrior for God. Thank you for your courage and your faith.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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