My name's Jessica. I'm an Australian Muslim convert. I became a Muslim in March 2006. I'd met a Muslim in mid 2005, and after finding a few books on Islam lying around their house (mostly aimed for children so they used simple language and focused on the 5 pillars of Islam), I started reading. More Importantly, I began attending female only Islamic lessons, got some books from 'reputable' sources and started making my own notes.
After a few months, I realised Islam made sense to me. Before converting I'd begun to make changes in my life. I'd stopped drinking, going out to clubs and hanging out with my male friends. I knew that Islam was the truth, but I still had something holding me back.... I think it was what my family would've thought. My family heritage is Australian from way back, I wasn't raised learning much at all about religion, in fact, only after becoming Muslim I discovered the story of a big flood and this man Noah who built an arc to save the animals, which I once thought was simply a fairytale, is actually religious!
One night I was at a Muslim engagement, my friend's brother was trying to pressure me to say the 2 testifications of faith in order to become Muslim. I wanted to, but at the time didn't like feeling forced the way I was. Anyway, driving home that night we were nearly taken off the freeway by a massive truck.... Al hamdulilah, the next morning I got up said the two testifications of faith and started praying.
I started to dress more conservatively, at first covering from my elbows to my knees then gradually from my wrist to ankle. I started buying Hijabs, but still didn't feel ready to wear them, looking back now, I know I was just weak in my Iman. One weekend after being home alone it hit me that it's my responsibility to protect myself, and my body is mine and shouldn't be flaunted to anyone and everyone. In Feb 2007, in Obedience to Allah, I put on the Hijab and Alhamdulilah Allah has made it easy for me. The worries I had about not being able to get jobs, or being treated differently haven't caused any problems for me.
It's still hard for my family to accept at times, but I know that it's just a test. This life is short and I'd rather be working toward my place in the hereafter than dealing in worldly matters and pleasing people.