To me, this felt less like escaping from Iran than escaping from God. We were leaving our home, our family, our wealth, our friends, everything we held dear—all because our country had been victimized by religion gone wrong.
After a while, we traveled to Germany, hoping for a more sympathetic consulate. One day my mother suggested praying to the “God of America” named Jesus. Maybe he would let us into “his” country. Her plan sounds silly in retrospect, but it worked: One week later we were flying to America.
Arriving home, I wanted to show God who was boss of my life, so I took one of the youth group’s Bibles, doused it with lighter fluid, and set it on our backyard grill. But I couldn’t find a match! Frustrated and curious all at once, I opened the Bible and began reading. When I came to the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus, it came alive! God was calling me to step out—out of myself, out of my excuses. That night, in my bedroom, I trusted Jesus.