This year was mad. Insane. Spiritually, it started off badly and then just steadily spiraled ever downwards and downwards. And it was only in the month of Ramadan that that trend started to reverse and turn around. Emotionally, mentally, and physically, it was draining… far more than I could ever have imagined. I took on a second job, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I got thrown into the deep end and just had to figure things out for myself as best I could. The mental strain that went with that position was immense. And it became a weight upon that me steadily began to crush me, getting heavier and heavier to bear as the year progressed. I felt like I was living under a cloud, becoming ever more withdrawn. I’ve always been very introverted, but this year it became so much worse. I would actively try and avoid people, and just kept to myself as far as possible.
When soil particles are exposed to extreme pressure and heat they slowly start to harden and turn to rock. And I felt like that was kind of happening to my heart, without me even noticing it at the time. Emotionally I was becoming so detached… things that would normally cause happiness or sadness no longer did. The emotions were still there of course, but just so muted, and I didn’t experience them to the same degree anymore. And I also started to experience certain other emotions that I’m unaccustomed to and that I’ve never felt before: feelings of resentment and bitterness and of being hard done by. Those were things unfamiliar to me and not part of my character. The strange thing about all of this is that I don’t think anyone even knew… not even my family. I’ve never been under stress before – not to this degree – but when I am I don’t really show it. I might experience it within, but outwardly there’s no sign of it. So in all of this, only Allah knew what was happening.
But among all the gloom, there was so much light and goodness as well. Something that I’ve been working towards for years, in terms of my relationship with the Qur’an, finally came to pass this year. I thank Allah for that, and hope that He makes me a worthy recipient of what He has granted me and that He grants me to continue on this path. I had another group of amazing students that I had the good fortune of being able to teach. The boys of this year especially, were a nice bunch to deal with, which was for me a pleasant surprise. But most importantly, at the end of last year I requested whoever might be reading this blog to make dua for me that I be granted that which I’ve been searching for. And so the greatest light in my life this year, is that I’ve now finally found that, alhamdulillah. : D
This year might have been a harsh and difficult one, but things are judged according to how they end. And this year has ended on a very good note, alhamdulillah. So I just want to leave all the negativity and pain and darkness behind, and take forward into the new year all the positivity and goodness and light.
I find myself in a curious position right now though. Fitnah surrounds us from all sides, and we need to take precautions and guard ourselves against that. But at the moment, I am facing a fitnah that I feel helpless in resisting and clueless in knowing how to deal with. I just make dua that Allah guides me through it, while remaining under His pleasure and not falling into His displeasure, and that it soon changes from a fitnah into a ni’mah.
For the past few years, each year has gotten progressively harder and harder. And that’s a scary thought for me… the thought that that trend might continue. Because considering all that this year has entailed, if next year should be even harder, I don’t know how I would be able to get through it. But I am quietly confident, and hopeful in my Most Merciful Lord, that it will not. I feel that next year will be different. I feel that the Winds are finally starting to blow, and that the Light is dawning. I feel that the soothing embrace of His mercy is descending. And it is my hope, that next year will be the year when His promise will be proven true:
سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا
Allah will soon bring, after difficulty, ease.