In 2014, Brandi Reinbold converted to Islam. As a recently divorced mother of one, she felt lost. Reinbold says she had been searching for God in different practices, like Christianity with her family in her youth, and later in meditation, which she said, "always fell short and I was not making the connection I needed to." However, in her search for God and the meaning of life, Reinbold discovered Islam. The turning point, Brandi shares, is when she read the Quran's English translation. She says, "I knew part of the way through that it was the word of Allah SWT and that meant that Mohammed (PBUH), MUST have been a prophet of Allah SWT."
Although Brandi converted to Islam in 2014, she says, "There are a lot of things in my life that I can identify that happened over a number of years that prepared me to accept Islam when the time came…"
Islam gave Brandi a constant awareness "of the meaning of my life, which has helped guide me on my path. I have faith I am where I am supposed to be, even when things seem not to go my way," she shares. Even in daily practices, Brandi has found that Islam has changed her day to day life. The five prayers and fasting are the biggest daily changes, which Brandi says have helped her become more "God-conscious each day, which has helped me to be a happier person," and become more mindful of choices. Practicing Islam has also given Brandi friendships from the community.
However, while Islam has greatly improved her life, Brandi has also dealt with backlash for converting to Islam. the biggest hurdle as a convert, she says, has been family, which she describes as "devoutly Christian, mostly rural with little understanding of other religions, and not always understanding of my choice." She's also lost some relationships, while others take "more work to maintain." However, Brandi also shares that while some people have been lost from her life, Islam has given her new friendships through the community as well. She shares that her relationship with her daughter "is only improved" by Islam.
While we all face our own challenges through trials and in blessings, Brandis story is a reminder that courage to do what is right even when the outcome seems uncertain and people may not be accepting, the reward is always greater. For Brandi, Islam has given her a constant awareness of what her place is in this world. Brandi shares in our interview, as a parting token of wisdom, "For me, being a Muslim has turned out to be so much easier than not being one ever was."
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