As I'm sitting here listening to the crackling of snow pellets coming down, grateful .. I have a vivid imagery a couple years back, asking myself:
"What am I doing here?"
After making a big decision to move my entire life away from what I previously thought of as "home", I felt at a loss for how to re-start everything I had built up. Little did I know, Allah (swa) was trying to teach me life-changing lessons while I was still hanging on to an old reality.
No Tests = No Growth
When we experience any kind of discomfort or trial, we have the choice to either step forward into growth or reverse back to our safe place out of fear or judgement. The challenge is to recognize the test when you are in it so you can consciously decide if [insert experience] will be one that helps you grow and change for the better through:
- A big change in your life
- Increased du'as
- Greater connection and understanding with others
- Clearer communication
- Setting boundaries
- Openness to new perspectives
The other option is to go through the thinking of "why me" during the test, which we know only leads to further downward spiralling and unhealthy coping.
The Sabr & Shukr Roadmap
One strategy I found really helpful was to write down answers to these three questions every week in a column format so I could see them right next to each other.
What du'as do I need to make each day?
I was amazed. Why?
I realized two things after answering and acting on the three questions each week:
- I was consistently making du'a for the things I needed to be patient about (things out of my immediate control).
- In time, each and every du'a was answered such that everything I wrote in my patience & du'a part was now added to my gratitude list.
Why this matters...
When we consciously reflect on areas of our life requiring patience versus gratitude, you see how Allah (swa) gives us numerous eases while testing us with maybe just a few things. You also immediately notice the overwhelming power of du'a and Allah's wisdom because you see that with time, everything tends to work out perhaps not according to our plan, but rather, Allah's planning and timing Alhumdulillah.
Each Seeking Jannah Planner comes with a Gratitude and Action log with these three questions to help you check in with your du'as and areas for sabr and shukr. But don't let that stop you from taking out a sheet of paper to make your own roadmap for this year! I guarantee you will feel more relieved when you write down the many things you have been carrying in your heart, while taking note of your many blessings (and tracking this for at least 6 months!).
Till next time,