Remember Who You Are: Khalida Brohi Speaks At WSU

Remember Who You Are: Khalida Brohi Speaks At WSU

Khalida Brohi, an example of how you can make a change in the world.

This past week Khalida Brohi a Pakistani social activist came to speak at WSU. She was this year’s Common Reading Invited Lecturer. I work for the Common Reading Program so I could tell you just about everything you need to know about this year’s book "I Am Malala." I could tell you how the themes in this book, leadership and social justice, are applicable across disciplines at our university and in our lives. I could tell you everything that you need to know about Ms. Brohi, but I’m not going to do that.

Khalida Brohi is an amazing woman. She does amazing things for other women as well. She’s accomplished so much at the young age of 26. As I watched Ms. Brohi speak, I sat next to another 26-year-old woman. They had both gotten married recently. Both of them got giddy when discussing their new husbands calling them dashing and handsome. Each of these women wants to change the world, because secretly, we all want to change the world. Every young person wants to make a change, do something with their lives. Their dream could be being a politician, a journalist, or a mother. Everyone has their own dream of changing the world in their own way.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in making a change we start changing ourselves too.

It’s easy to lose sight of who you are, especially as a young person. Many of us try to forget our pasts and reinvent ourselves into better people. People who don’t have pasts, problems, or skeletons in our closets. That’s unrealistic. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, things we wish we could change or forget. If we did that, though, we wouldn’t be ourselves.

Remember who you are.

Khalida stood on that stage in front of hundreds of her peers and told us about her skeletons. How her cousin was killed in an honor killing by her uncle. This murder ripped their family apart. It pushed her father to become educated, to educate her mother, and her parents together to educate Khalida. This killing pushed Khalida to help change policy and help to educate villages. This pain in her past. This thing that she doesn’t forget.

Now that she’s married, Khalida lives in Arizona with her husband where they own and operate a few chai shops. She doesn’t let living in America change her mission. Now, Khalida wants to help educate Americans on Muslims. She said she had no idea that people had that much fear towards her religion. She didn’t know when she got here that people would stare at her or be fearful of her. She’s pushing on. She’s educating herself and others but she also will never forget.

She won’t forget living in a village in Pakistan. She won’t forget that many people in her village are still uneducated. Khalida is an example that I can relate to.

While I haven’t changed the world or had my family members killed. I know that it’s easy to forget who you are. Who you are is who you can help. Who you are is how you change the world. There’s no one else who can create the change you can. We always feel like we aren’t that person or that we can’t change the world. We aren’t powerful enough. Khalida Brohi is the perfect example that we all can make a change. She was a young, uneducated girl who used the darkness in her life to create light in the world.

So remember who you are and that who you are is enough to change the world.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Epperly

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He Changed Everything.

My soul is richer & my heart is fuller 

Sept 2013 I found myself writing to an evangelist Jennifer Beckham looking for more, looking for answers cause at the time I was in a dark place, and stuck no matter what I did. She wrote back! I cried as I read her respond. She sent me scriptures of who god is and what he wants for us. God says we are more than conquers and endurance develops strength and character. She encouraged me that I was on the right track. Not to give up and she would be praying for me. I saw Jennifer Beckham at a conference that year. I don't remember what she specifically talked about but I remember the feeling. The feeling of wanting to burst out crying, I could feel my eyes being filled with tears, and my heart racing but I wouldn't let out the tears. My pride was too big. I wanted to be strong so I did my best to hold it all in, and I did. At this conference they offered the audience who wanted to go up for prayer and dedicate their life to Jesus Christ. Surprisingly I went up, but I went up with other people that were seeking out salvation. I wasn’t sure if I was going up to support the other people or if it was truly for me. I was confused, even though I said the prayer. I became more confused as the days went on and I wasn't feeling a difference in my life. Nothing was changing. I started reading the bible and many books, listening to sermons, and surrounding myself with positive people. I gave my life to Jesus, but I didn't feel like I was set FREE! I continued feeling empty, lost, broken, guilty, and hurt from the past. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up. Almost felt pointless to fight for my life. At this point in my life I didn't know God very much, but I had just a little bit of faith. My faith was as big as a mustard seed and God took care of the rest. Day by day, year by year I started noticing my life changing. I noticed I was changing. I started feeling happy with who I was and where I was in life. I no longer questioned God about the things that happened to me. In my heart I was ok with the wounds, the hardships, and trials from the past because I now understood those wounds and trials. I realized I was SET FREE! not perfect but set free. I started understanding who I was as a child of our heavenly father. Now it’s Jan 2018 and I’m in awe of who I am and where I am in life, all because of Jesus. His so faithful! I think of the favor, the grace, his mercy, his love, his joy and blessing that he gives me even when I’m undeserving of it, it’s overwhelming. He has never left me nor forsake me. I can say Jesus you changed everything and my heart so forever thankful. 

Today, I encourage you like Jennifer Beckham encouraged me. Keep going and don't give up. No matter what your past looks like believe in your heart that you were created for greatness. Don't let your past determine your future, be the change you want in your life. You have it in you. There is so much more to life, don't miss out on it. It's time to take back your happiness, love, joy, freedom and so much more. It's time to take back EVERYTHING the enemy has taken from you. God has made you an overcomer. I speak it right now, that you will be victorious in 2018 and the years to come. Remember, God loves you! 

Psalm 136:26 (AMP) O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy and loving-kindness endures forever!

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