Tag Archives: tests

Be True to Love


Over a month has past since I’ve been here, but for me no time has passed at all in some senses. The weekend of Bashir’s nikkah was life-changing for me, in more ways than I could begin to describe. Since then, I have been faced with undeniable truths about myself, life, divine decree, and the purpose of our existence in ways I could never have imagined before. It seems as though that dua I made to be shown how to live more honestly was answered in the fullest way possible.

When I asked Bashir to give me a divorce, I believed I was doing the right thing. I was looking at the situation logically, and shoving all emotions and attachments aside. I saw black, and I saw white, and I thought that’s all I needed to see. I made my decisions out of will and determination, because I believed that making decisions with the heart would sabotage me. I figured I could let my heart get with the program in its own time, as long as I kept focus on the direction I had set for myself.

Even when I found out Bashir had moved on to someone else, I tried to pack up my wounded pride and keep moving forward. I took it as a test of my resolve and gritted myself to make it through the blizzard. But when I found out he had actually married her, I was snapped back to the resonating truth that I had never, ever stopped loving him.

Not for one second.

I realized that I did not love Bashir because of what he did or did not do. Or because he failed or succeeded. I loved him because of who I am. I remembered how pure and unconditional my love for him was when we began our marriage. Whatever he gave in return, it sufficed me, because I was fulfilled in being true to who I was- in lavishing him with attention, affection, and obedience.

Obedience. Yes. Something that had slipped through the cracks over the years of our marriage, taking the other qualities with it.

Here I had spent several months parted from him trying to “find myself”, thinking it was about my personality, my roots, my hopes and aspirations. How daunting to see that what I really needed to find was my lost character, that aspect that actually develops us to the maturity needed to enter the next life without empty hands. I had lost sight of my character, my core essence in being a loving, supportive, humble wife and Muslimah.

All of a sudden the past nearly 10 years of our marriage took an entirely different view. Until that time, I saw the years in terms of his failings, his shortcomings, his wrongs toward me. Everything was myopically focused on him-him-him, and the mistakes he made had built up into a mountain I kept between us. I am not saying he didn’t have the responsibility to make certain choices or treat me certain ways. He did. But I saw that instead of encouraging him, being patient with him, actually trying to help him by being appropriately submissive, I rather became increasingly arrogant, harsh, unyielding, controlling and rebellious to his God-given authority. My pride had been blinding me, convincing me that I was blameless and flawless and entitled. I saw how I began treating him in demeaning ways, which probably only made him more inclined to seek solace in his own maladaptive responses. I was only happy when I was in charge, and he was on his belly.

Yes, by the time we had divorced, I cared more about whether he was following my rules about not eating in the bedroom, than how he was feeling with his anxiety attacks. I became entirely ungrateful, and I only saw it when I realized how far I had gotten from just being true to the love I had for him. For so long I had been wrapped up in how he needed to change and improve, while I became a worse and worse person in my adab and taqwah. I had lost sight of the fact that my day of judgment will be for what I did, not what he did.

As all of this clarity flooded me, I knew that I had been dealing with Bashir based on how I saw him as a human, not how Allah saw him. Allah knows Bashir through and through, and Allah knows what Bashir is worth more than I do. I had to consider that perhaps I got it wrong- that idea I had that I was somehow rescuing myself from a “bad person” and that it was only I who deserved happiness and love. Perhaps the magnitude of my arrogance that had grown made me the one who deserved to be alone and drifting as though lost, while Bashir was actually the one Allah saw deserved mercy and promptly provided him a companion and all other means he needed to have a peaceful life. The ayat came to mind:

“It may happen that his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your stead wives better than you, submissive (to Allah), believing, pious, penitent, devout, inclined to fasting, widows and maids. “(Quran 66:5) Also, the hadith which says, “They (women) are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” indicates that such women will make up the majority of Hellfire.

I realized what a serious mistake I had made, and how much was truly at stake. All at once I was broken in a way I had never been broken before, and in the recognition of my folly all I wanted was the chance to repent and do it the right way- not the way that would please me or my nafs, but Allah only. I wanted a second chance.

….to be continued….


I Will Not Give Up Just Because it Gets Hard


Last night I came to learn that my ex husband, from whom I’ve only been divorced for a matter of weeks, is making plans to remarry a sister he met online as soon as possible. While I certainly expected him to move on to someone else eventually, I have to admit that the quick turnaround for this stunned me. And there is a part of it that hurt me immensely.

I don’t think I was hurting because I felt like I lost him. No, I already dealt with that idea when I decided to divorce. I knew that giving something up means you have to be OK with it being out of your life for good.

The thing that hurt me was that the whole situation seemed to cheapen the marriage we did have- more specifically, who I was to him. He has a lot of high praise for his new love interest, and he describes her in such a way as to make it seem like I had been nothing more him than a half-hearted wannabe heathen. It made it seem like all the sacrifices I made for him, all the love I offered him, everything I gave no matter what the cost amounted to nothing. And that really hurt, because I know, and Allah knows, I gave 200% to that marriage. In fact, the only thing that gave me comfort in walking away from it was knowing that I could not have possibly done any more than I had. I walked away bled dry; loved out.

And it certainly doesn’t help to watch him go happily forward with someone who cares about him, while I continue to wrestle with the task Allah has set before me of coming to terms with being single for the next X amount of years, and living without that comforting companionship.

So I initially felt crushed, because a part of me believed that though things ended as they did, he would remember me as someone who was extremely loyal, caring, and devoted. Instead, it appeared that someone else can offer more of those things than I did. That stabbed my heart, and made me wonder if all the heartwrenching dedication I freely and abundantly gave him was nothing more than a waste. Thinking of the prices I paid (and made my children pay) in the process, it was unfathomable to me that everything I did for the sole purpose of having someone love me and stay by me, would only end up showing me that the love I was purchasing was not sincere at all. How then will I come to terms with myself, for not having figured that out before now?

I went back over my older blog posts this morning, trying to look at things from other angles. In one of them I wrote “I will not give up just because it gets hard”. That’s what I really need to hang on to right now. This new development, though hard and painful, is not something I’m going to let shake me from the direction I’m trying to go in. After all, all the hard, hard work and sacrifices I am making now, I am doing those for myself. They won’t come back empty, they won’t be for nothing. There’s a blossom in me, a beauty seeking to come out, and I will not let it be hindered even if no one in the world sees it but me.

Yeah, I’ve been through a lot. I’ve taken more than my share of hits, perhaps. In the end, it’s not breaking me but helping to build me…and that’s exactly what is needed right now. When it’s done, I will be me in the fullest and most spectacular of ways. Praise be to Allah.

A Tornado Unleashed


It’s hard to believe it’s only been about 2 weeks since the course of my future changed (at least in my awareness).  It seems like it’s been so much longer, but perhaps that’s because so many things have been going on that it gives the feeling of time stretching out.

I have been working on trying to identify and set up my own boundaries in life. I have recognized my tendency for being codependent and I plan on start going to CoDA meetings (codependents anonymous) because I can’t figure out on my own how to not be that way. It’s been such a lifelong orientation, I really don’t know any other way. But I don’t want to be this way anymore. I want to be my own person. I also plan on starting back with a counselor who can help me work on not “spinning my own reality”.  Someone probably with a strong background in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).  I will do this at the beginning of the year when our new benefits kick in, which will happen to allow mental health visits/counseling with no copays! Plus I will have my annual EAP visits to use then as well.


I have been taking the time to turn to Allah whenever things get overwhelming. So, I have been turning to Allah pretty much on the hour, every day.  Before, I would turn to myself or creation for solutions to my problems, and I want to get away from that maladaptive pattern too. So I have been doing a lot of work on myself, but I still have a lot more to go.


All of these details, plus still getting ready for the closing on 11/19, and some recent events with my youngest son, have been keeping me very busy. I have a great girlfriend I talk to almost daily, and she’s a wonderful support.  With all of this the “pain of being alone” is softened.  Though this is a lot of work and sacrifice, and yes I lose too much precious sleep, I can safely say this is certainly not the worst thing I’ve been through in life.


There are a lot of times I want to reunite with my husband. I want to go back to all the familiar comforts and dive back into the dreams we built, to keep chasing them. One thing I tell myself every time I notice I get carried away with those ideas is that to do so would be going back to living a lie, and the lie is namely that the behaviors he demonstrated in the marriage (and that I ignorantly overlooked too many times) were acceptable. They were never acceptable, I should’ve never tolerated it past the first time.  So going back to that would be sending the message to myself, to him, to our children, and to society that abuse is OK if you can justify it or find a way of living with it.  That’s just simply not true, so no matter what I might feel or want I commit myself to that truth and the response it merits.


One of the more difficult challenges I’ve been facing has to do with my baby, Jabiyr (gosh, how hard it is to work my mind around the fact that he will likely be the last child I birthed).  Jabiyr, who can be the sweetest, most interesting and engaging boy, has always had a temper problem.  I’ve often felt he genetically inherited that makeup from his father, because even as a baby he seemed angry. Where other babies (even my older children) would cry with needs, sadness, and plaintively, he growled. He was mad!  He never seemed satisfied with any of my attempts to soothe him and he would just roar his frustrations out until he was exhausted.


As he got older, he was aggressive as a toddler. Some of that is to be expected at that age, so it was hard to distinguish which things were “personality” and which were developmental, because it wasn’t extremely severe. But when he started pre-K at age 4, his aggression took a specific form. He was suspended several times for hitting other kids and responding to stressful situations with violence. Other reprimands were given for him not listening or following directions, or hiding under his desk.  In the end, he was actually expelled a week before the school year was over because these behaviors had just gotten to be too much.


I was hoping that perhaps these extremes were because he wasn’t used to school, and happened to be one of the youngest kids in class. I hoped it was just immaturity, and that with time and adjustment to the routine he would outgrow it.  He always had a hard time adjusting to change, and has very particular preferences about how things should go.  Yet, these trends continued into kindergarten and first grade.  I don’t think there’s been a year he hasn’t been suspended at least a couple times for aggression or defiance.  However, it did seem like the incidents were decreasing in very small amounts, as last year he didn’t really have many episodes of trying to hurt others. It was mostly just the “not listening” stuff.


This year he had some very patient and understanding teachers. He started off doing great, with a structured reward plan for every day he did well (10 days got him a prize, and 100 days is a big prize. So far he has had 44 good days).  I really thought this would be the year we see a big difference with him, as his reading and writing skills began to blossom rapidly as well.


Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when he came to understand what was happening with me and his father.  I expected this, naturally. I knew this would be a painful adjustment for him, even though the parting is amicable and we are both working toward supporting the little boy as best we can.  The small things that would “set him off” became even smaller, and the reactions even larger.  In the past 2 weeks, I have been called to come get him from school 3 times for essentially disrupting the classroom with a tantrum and refusing to stop.  He would throw chairs, scissors, pencils etc, and not stop when requested.


Even at home with me, I’ve lost a lot of leverage I used to have with him.  When I used to be able to sit with him and soothe him, or give him a consequence that would deter him, now those things don’t work. He is almost impossible to redirect, and he just doesn’t seem to care what the result might be.  It makes me very sad.


So, a few days ago the school called again for him to be picked up. His classroom had to be evacuated because of the havoc he was causing. Students and teachers feared for their safety, and he was suspended.  I also had begun fearing for his safety, because not only has he punched himself in the face when he gets upset but now he is so impulsive when he is in that kind of state I’m not sure what might enter his head to do to himself.


I took him to his afters school provider on the day of his suspension. Within an hour of being dropped off, I got a call to come get him because he was tearing things off the walls, cussing, and hitting the other kids.  I was heartbroken, and I have run out of ideas on how to manage these outbursts.  The school is at their wits’ end too, and I obviously can’t take off work several times a week to get him each time.  I had not looked at medication as an option because it is not FDA approved in children under the age of 7, and he just turned 7 this past August.  However, at this point it seems that he cannot control his emotions on his own, and I don’t know what else to do.


So I took him to the closest behavioral hospital for an evaluation that day.  After the assessment, they recommended an admission so they could observe these behaviors themselves and formulate a treatment plan. I’ve also met with the school administration to come up with some clear objectives while he is there. Today we will have a family session with the hospital staff, and I hope we will have some strategies going forward to help Jabiyr work out his feelings in a healthier way.


Taking him there was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I have always been the one on the the other side (at my job), taking the admission clinicals for children so young. I never thought I would have to  take my own, but between my professional expertise and maternal instincts I’m flat out of answers.  I cried all the way home that night after leaving him.


The doctor I spoke with yesterday said that since he’s been there (a little over 24 hrs) he has been compliant, agreeable, and not at all aggressive or obstinate.  I was very surprised at this. I am not sure if he is trying to be on his best behavior so he can come home, or if he just hasn’t been “triggered” yet.  Either way, it makes me wonder if he can in fact control this behavior, but just chooses not to. If that’s the case, I wonder what could entice him to make the right choices when needed?


I have to admit, seeing all this play out brings a temptation of reuniting with his father. I think, “see, if you hadn’t pursued a divorce, your son would be still doing ok and not acting in the worst of ways.  If you get back with him, he will stop these behaviors”.  But then on the flipside I think of all the things he’s witnessed from his dad in his short life that maybe modeled these behaviors to him to begin with.  Ya Allah, please help my son and bring him peace of mind, heart, and body.


I will forge ahead, and I will continue to try to make the right choices as best I can assess. I will not give up just because it gets hard, and insha’Allah time will straighten all that seems crooked right now.

Circles in the Dust


The circles represent merry-go-rounds that I seem to keep finding myself on emotionally.  I know that I’m supposed to try to focus on the hereafter, on the place and state that will be forever peaceful.  Instead, the part of me that has to make meaningful attempts at this existence keeps getting wrapped up in outcomes.  I keep guaging the course my family is on by each turn of events, and it seems nearly every week the course change to one of an ideal destination…then back to a path headed straight for destruction.

Last entry I blogged about my pregnancy.  I started my cycle on July 4th.  I realized that I likely had a chemical pregnancy that didn’t thrive, and my body began cleansing me of it.  I know my time of  ovulation didn’t change, so that’s the only explanation that fits the symptoms that were present and would cause a “late period”.  Honestly, if that were the only event I was looking at, I really don’t mind the resolution.  Like I said, it’s probably better that our family doesn’t add a member just yet, and I’m at peace knowing what was going on exactly. I’ve started charting my temperatures again to lessen future ambiguity if something similar is to arise.

What I didn’t share was that the issues going on with that, coupled with the fact that my husband seemed to have gotten a job, and we seemed to be a little closer to securing a house, enticed me to believe things may work out for us after all. I started dreaming about what that would look like, I started getting excited that my family would remain intact.  Only natural right? Well, it’s also only natural that  I would again swing back  around to wondering what the future holds when we discovered my husband in fact did NOT get that job (thanks to the background check that employer did, which revealed his sordid past and caused them to renig the offer previously made to him), and the one document we need to submit our loan file back to the underwriter is “beyond the scope” of what a certain company can provide. I have begun looking again at the possibility that this may not have its fairy tale ending, after all.

I’m only human, and I’m trying to hang on. I can’t pretend that all of these sideswipes don’t affect me. As much as I try to redirect my focus on the only things that matter (Allah and my ibadah to Him), I can’t pretend I don’t care about the outcomes of the events in our lives. I can’t pretend I don’t care if things end up going in an undesirable direction. My husband’s next court date is this Friday, and he will be starting his probation…I can’t pretend that I don’t feel a grit in my stomach that he will have another mark on his record, another item to show up on a screening to keep him from becoming a contributing and employed member of society.  Let’s remember, for any position my husband could apply for…there are countless other unemployed folks competing for the same slot who DON’T have a criminal record.  Obstacles are one thing, but obstacle’s to the 10th power are a whole different animal…a fierce and undefeated one at that.

So here I am, trying to soothe the wounds that came with opening up my hope to what I wish for the most but watching it fly off the cliff (again).  Here I am, trying to piece together an alternate possible reality that I can live with and be at peace with if I can’t retrieve my dream.  Here I am, about to jump off this jagged edge to chase it once again, because when a dream matters that much to you, you don’t give up on it no matter what it costs you or how much it hurts to get it.  Here I am, finding a way to believe that if I can’t find it in the end, Allah will provide me something that will soothe my heart just the same insha’Allah.

A Miracle Will Break the Fall


This past week was an amazing one for me. It was a week where I felt cradled by the divine love of Allah; where I felt Him reaching out to me when I felt helpless and unsure of what would happen.

It all started Sunday night.  I was taking my husband and our son back to his motel room where he lives away from us through the week.  En route, the battery and brake lights came on.  This was the first time it had ever happened in the 6 years I’ve owned the car, and neither my husband nor I knew what it meant.  The car was driving normally and we didn’t smell anything funny, nor was it overheating. We continued to his motel.

After dropping them off I started back home. On the way, the battery and brake lights stopped illuminating. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, as the drive back home was uneventful.

However, on the way to work Monday morning, the battery and brake lights came back on.  I figured it was something I needed to look into, since it had now happened twice. While I was at work researching this, I discovered that in my type of car a failing alternator will cause those two indicators to light up.  I knew what a failed alternator meant, and I knew that since I was running strictly on battery power the car would probably not run more than for another day or two. I figured I would stop by the grocery store on the way home to get food, since there was a good chance we wouldn’t have a way to make it to the store later in the week.

So I swung by the house and picked up my friend whose been staying with me.  We continued on to the store, and did our shopping.  When we came back out, we loaded our bags into the car and got in. I turned the key…but it didn’t start.  Great! The battery was dead already, even though I figured I still had a good 24 hours of drive time left in it since the problem had just started the night before.

My friend asked a pair of African men who had just come out of the store to help me jump the car so we could get home (thank Allah I carry jumper cables!).  They were kind enough to help us out and bring the car back to life. I disconnected the cables and jumped back in the car, as the Africans were pulling out of the parking lot. I put the car in reverse to leave….and it stalled.

Unbelievable! Now what?  We would have to find someone else to help jump the car…again.  Fortunately the lady who was actually parked right in front of me came out of the store and offered to help.  I explained to her what was going on, and that the car would probably need several minutes of charging once it starts in order to make the drive home. She said that would be fine.

So again, the cables are connected, duas are made, and the car starts.  We ladies made small talk for about 10 minutes while we waited for the battery to charge up a little.  I figured enough time had passed, so I disconnected the cables and went around to my door to get in and drive home.  By the time I got that far, I realized the car was silent.  It stalled again as soon as the cables were taken off.

I realized now that even with a jump, the charge was not going to hold at all and we would not be able to use the car to get home. I explained this to my friend who had come with me.  The lady who tried to help us jump the car asked if there was anything she could do to help.  I asked her if she could ride us and our groceries back home, since we only lived a mile down the road.  Alhamdullilah, she was nice enough to do so. I made sure I took everything of value out of the car and locked it before leaving it there in the Kroger parking lot.

I was exhausted mentally by the time I got home and unpacked our food.  My two oldest boys, who were already at home, had already eaten. I was glad for that because it was one less thing to worry about.  As it was, I had to figure out how I would be getting to work the rest of the week, how I was going to get the car out of the Kroger parking lot, and how I was going to afford to repair it.  Not only that, but I had in my possession the check for my husband’s weekly motel fees sent by my mother in law, and I needed to figure out a way to put it in the bank so he could pay for the room.  The payment was already due, so if he couldn’t pay it right away he would be kicked out…and that would leave him and our 6 year old together out on the street.

My friend suggested we try asking a neighbor to take me to a train station to get a bus card, so I could take the bus to work.  I didn’t really have any money for a bus card as it was, but my friend was nice enough to offer to help with that detail. So she and I set out going door to door, floor to floor, trying to find someone who would be kind enough to help me.  We literally knocked on every door in my building, and either no one was home or they couldn’t help us.

My friend and I stood in the parking lot, realizing that now it is going on 10 PM.  We needed a plan, or I would not be able to work tomorrow.  A neighbor then came out to the parking lot, and having some familiarity with who she was I asked if she could help, and she agreed.  She drove my friend and I to the closest MARTA train station and I got a bus card to cover the next four days.  She was also nice enough to drive me by the Bank of America ATM machine so I could deposit my husband’s check.  He was able to pay for his room with no problem after that, Masha’Allah. We got home at about 11 PM.

By this time, I was exhausted by all the events that had taken place. I couldn’t have more of a reaction than amusement of all that had transpired, so I posted a tongue-in-cheek blurp about it on Facebook before settling to bed.  I guess everything that had happened affected me on a subconscious level, because that night I had some very tumultuous dreams.  Subhanallah, those dreams were very telling and encouraging, despite how emotional they were.

I dreamt that I had made arrangements with my manager to work from home the rest of the week, since I would not have transportation to the office.  In the dream, however, I didn’t seem to be getting any work done even in light of that.  My manager and his boss came over to my house to see what was going on, at which point I explained to them what had happened with my car. I told them that I was fearful that the Kroger would have the car towed and impounded, which would only make matters worse.  The men had compassion on me, and offered to take me up there to check on the car and make arrangements to have it taken to a repair shop.

As the dream continued and we arrived at the Kroger, we discovered my car was gone. I feared that we were too late and it had been towed. I went in to ask the store manager where it might’ve been taken, and he informed me that they never had the car removed. He added that there had been a rash of vehicle break-ins overnight, and my car was presumably stolen.

To me, this was even worse. It was bad enough I had a repair that I couldn’t afford, but now I would need to find a way to replace the entire car.  I broke down and became very emotional, even though my manager and his boss were still standing by.  I felt so helpless and overwhelmed, and the boss took pity on me.  He told me that he was getting some extra money on his paycheck for this Friday (6/22), and offered to give it to me to help replace my car instead of using it for his own hobbies.  He told me that he was giving me $5,000. At this point, I became totally humbled at his generosity and graciousness. I felt silly for getting worked up.  I began crying in the dream, so thankful that he had offered a solution to what I thought was an unsolvable problem. At that point, the three of us were leaving to go get dinner somewhere, and I awoke.

I didn’t think much of this dream when I woke up Tuesday morning. I knew there were a lot of details that needed attention, and I was going to have to maintain my energy levels to take public transportation going forward.  As I was getting ready for work, I located an auto shop right across the street from the Kroger my car was stuck at. I called them and asked if they had a tow truck to come get the car, but they did not. They offered me some tow truck company referrals, and I told them the car was only across the street from them.  They said if I could get the car keys to them, they would take a fresh battery over to the car and simply drive it back to the shop.  So I got on the bus and headed to them, and on the way I called Kroger to make sure they knew my car was there and make sure they wouldn’t have it towed anywhere.

Once I knew my car was going to be in good hands, and that I would be still able to get to work, I started to relax a little more as I caught the bus toward my job.  I knew I still had to solve the problem of the cost of the repair, but since I didn’t yet know what that was I wasn’t sure what I would need to do about it. So, I let my mind wander as the bus carried me to work.

Out of the blue, a sister (who I wouldn’t have known as such by appearances, as she was uncovered) came and sat next to me and gave me salaams.  I greeted her back, and she spontaneously asked me, “have you read this book?” as she was pulling a small paperback out of her purse entitled Tears and Tributes. I told her I was unfamiliar with it, and she went on to explain that it was about Imam Hussein and the battle ofKarbala.  As she was telling me about it, I immediately recognized that it was probably published by shi’ites.  I continued to listen to her as she told me, “every time I go through a hard time, I pull out this book and read it. I’ve probably read it about twenty times by now!  I just started reading it again because I was going through something hard in the past few days, and I just find the stories to be so encouraging and uplifting to my faith….especially the accounts of sister (can’t remember the name), who kept praying all her prayers no matter how bad the battle got”.  I was fascinated with this, not because I thought I would agree with the shia viewpoint the book had been written from, but because I felt like Allah was saying to me that there are still things out here to encourage me no matter what I go through, and it has been so for all Muslims through all time.

I was especially touched by what she said about the sister making all her prayers, because for the first time in my Muslim life, I made all my prayers for the month of Rajab.  I never before made all my salats for any month of my Islamic life.  I felt very happy that I accomplished this, even making up the ones I might’ve missed while I worked on this goal.  So to me, it was like Allah was saying He knows the effort I put into that and it was not lost or forgotten.  It made me want to continue making all my prayers on time, and making up any missed ones right away.

As I began to contemplate all that the sister had shared with me while she stepped off the bus, I felt my phone buzz. I looked at it and saw that someone had sent me a message on Facebook.  I checked to see what it was, and I saw that a very, very dear friend was asking me if I had a paypal account. I dreaded to think of the reason why he was asking, but I knew it was because he had seen my post from the night before about my car.  I questioned him about it as I arrived at work, hoping he would change his mind about anything he was devising.

Later on in the day, I got a call from the repair shop that the cost would be about $365.  My jaw had dropped. I was due to get paid on Friday 6/22, but since it was my last check of the month I would be using the majority of it for rent. After my necessary bills, only about $100 would remain.  I knew that the repair wouldn’t be that low, but I was hoping it would at least be less than $200 so I could possibly scrape up or borrow what I didn’t have to cover it.  I figured the best I would be able to do is forgo paying my rent, and use my rent money to cover the car.  Then, once it was back in working order, I would take it to the local title pawn place and get a loan to pay my rent…and pay back the loan over time.  I didn’t see any other choice, since there was not even a slim chance that my ex would come through on any of the $2000 in child support he owes me.

I resigned myself to this course of action as I continued to work the rest of Tuesday, all of Wednesday, and most of Thursday. Thursday afternoon, not long before I was going to be leaving to go home, everything started to change.  I started getting emails notifying me of payments made to me via paypal. My friend, the one who had pestered me on Tuesday, had invited some other friends to help me out with him. As their gifts continued to come through the evening, my eyes bugged out!  The gifts were adding up to almost the total cost of the car repair! This morning another one came through, which ended up completing the full balance (except for 61 negligible cents!) MASHA’ALLAH!!!! Allah made it so I didn’t have to pay for any part of the repair, except for what amounted to spare change.

This morning I woke early and took the bus to the repair shop and picked up my car. Once the paypal funds are transferred into my bank account, I will pay my rent.  I won’t need to pawn the car title, Alhamdullilah.

It’s things like these that make tests worth going through. It’s seeing Allah move like this that makes me want to see Him even more clearly as often as I can.  It’s moments like these that make me cry tears of appreciation for the friends who surround me, friends who are closer to me and kinder to me than some of my own family.  They are indeed the best Muslims I have ever met, and I will be thanking Allah for them and asking Allah to also show them the mercy and grace He’s shown me, for the rest of their lives.  It’s gems like these that make me bow in sajdah to Allah, humbled beyond what I can express, and grateful beyond what I can repay Him.

This is the Peace


My last couple of posts were borne out of my pain, so they were not very hopeful or positive.  Most of last week I continued in despair until everything changed (again, lol).  At a point, I felt like the fall had stopped, but I was not yet on the ground…or at least not at a place where there was a final outcome.

And I think that’s what I may have been mixing up. I thought that resolution and peace came with a final outcome, whatever that was.  I came to a resolution, I found peace, but nothing circumstantially has changed. How did it happen?

One morning I was driving to work, listening to my playlist of Maher Zain songs.  “Paradise” came on, and as I listed to the lyrics I realized that everything I’m going through in this life, both the things that I hate to endure and the things I seek to cherish, are not the main point. Nothing in this life is the focus, but everything in the next life is.  I began to think about it, and it became clear that everything I’m wanting right now: to be with my husband without any constraints, to have a home we can all share without worries, to raise a daughter….all of those can be found in the hereafter. Paradise is the only place I can build a dream that will last, that will not be taken away.  Paradise is where I can be united with my daughter, and be forever with her and my husband (insha’Allah) in a home that will never be anything but ours for eternity. Paradise is where I need to invest my time and energy, not into the shaky and unreliable events in this dunya.

I felt hope again. I felt motivated to keep trying, and to keep my focus on what really matters. I renewed my commitment to maintain and increase my ibadah. I decided to look at things here as only a temporary setback to the final, neverending goal. That’s what we were created for, after all. We are eternal beings, for an eternal realm.  We were never made for any of this stuff here on planet earth, except to be tested so that we can return to a realm more glorious than this one can ever be.

Things aren’t always easy, because there is still pain in being parted from someone I love.  There is still a need for me to try everything I can to keep my family as I know it together, and I have a plan I’m following toward that end.  If the plan works, alhamdullilah. If it doesn’t, there’s always the next life.  If I can keep my priorities in order, I am destined to find what I yearn for one way or the other insha’Allah.

This peace is a sustenance whether I am falling or not. It’s not a solution to the problem, but a partner in the experience.  It is what is holding my hand as I fall, as I land, as I rise and start walking again on the ground. It will be there no matter what happens, if I don’t forget it….even if I have to fall again someday.

I Tumble For Ya


Once upon a time, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, this song was my all-time favorite.  It had a happy and carefree feel to it, and every time my family took me to the local pizza parlor I would play it in the jukebox over and over.  Eventually, the song stopped getting featured in the jukebox, and I had to face a rude awakening in realizing that songs only stayed popular for a limited time before they were replaced with new creative offerings.

I am trying to have a good morning, but it’s very difficult. I am a very vivid dreamer, and often the tone of my dreams will color the following day.  This morning I dreamt that a coworker of mine had been promoted to “senior life coach”.  I didn’t mind that I had not been promoted with her, but what hurt was her bragging about her accomplishment to me, and pointing out all the flaws in my work or habits that excluded me from consideration for being promoted with her.  I became emotional and started to try to put her in her place, all the while giving examples of areas where she and other coworkers have a looser work ethic than mine.  All this took place as we were sitting in the backseat of a schoolbus.  To my embarrassment, I realized that my manager was sitting on the bus as well, several seats ahead of us.  He had overheard the entire exchange and began to come back to where we were to smooth the situation over.  Initially he tried to be very understanding, and said he didn’t think it was fair to me that she was rubbing her honor in my face. He said he wanted to talk to me about what was going on and how he could help make things better for me and my work performance, but he couldn’t see me for a meeting for another week. I was dissappointed about this, and became exasperated that we couldn’t meet sooner now that all my emotions were brought to the forefront.  However, I had no choice but to accept the offer.

The scene changed and I was still with the promoted coworker, and things were still strained.  For some reason, I lost it and started having a very public emotional breakdown, and the manager was again present. Instead of being patient, he yelled at me to stop my behavior, and ended up terminating me due to my lack of self control.  When I awoke, I took the dream as a caution to be careful not to let my personal life influence my professional one, just in case.

At any rate, I’m still feeling defeated.  I am disappointed in myself that my ibadah is lackluster in the past few days, though I have been trying really hard to keep it consistent.  I am feeling hopeless about getting a house, because our NACA counselor told us yesterday not to have high hopes for approval since there were periodic instances where my bank account balance dipped into the negative (though it was brought current the following days), even though no overdraft fees were merited.  Nevermind the fact that I am paying an exorbanant amount for rent, and have never had an eviction nor late payment. I know I could afford a mortgage, because I’ve been sustaining a rental expense twice that for years.  I also feel sad that I have to be here at my place alone, though married. I feel like a single mom most of the time.  My husband’s arraignment is in 3 days…just another blip on the horizon I wish could be avoided. All in all, everything going on has me feeling like I’m not only falling, but tumbling as I go.  It’s neither happy nor carefree.

What I fear the most is that all of these circumstances will get to me, and I will have a meltdown akin to the one I dreamt about last night.  That I will unexpectedly lose it at the worst time and in an inappropriate place, and the consequences of it will only push me further down the cliff.  I don’t know what my limits are, nor do I know when I am approaching my “point of no return” emotionally.  The pressures are indiscriminate and I am just caught in a mix that has more to do with the choices of others than myself.  But I know I do have my own choices, my choices of how to respond.  Although I may not feel strong enough to respond with a different feeling about what is going on, I can choose my actions.  The one thing that’s staying me right now is the fact that if I really feel like I am being pushed too far, and being asked too much, and being advised to make unreasonable sacrifices, I can choose to say no. I can choose to say, “enough is enough”. I can decide to do what’s best for  me and my children, and be at peace that I chose the course of response and not someone else, or some circumstance thrown upon me.

I’m going to try again to make all my salat today. I am going to work a little at cleaning up this house and look all around me for encouragements from Allah.  He does send them, in all times and usually when most needed.  I know, despite how everything looks, that everything that happens is for my best, so long as I look for the opportunities to remain in submission to Him through these circumstances.  Every hardship will raise me, if I can make sure I don’t let it defeat and corrupt me.  No matter what,  I still have people whom I love, who love me too, and will support me through whatever comes.  Shukrulillah for these eases that abide by this trial. May Allah sustain those I love, may He provide for their every need and give them blessing in this life and the next.