A new year is upon us, and everyone is talking about their experiences throughout 2015. I figured I might as well do the same because, for me, this year was by far THE most outstanding year of my entire life.
I will start from the beginning. At the end of 2014, in December, my Husband and I took a chance in our lives. We finished the semester of school, quit our jobs, and left the Country. We traveled for nearly three months and let me tell ya, it felt SO good! I will be forever grateful that Allah blessed us with the opportunity of a lifetime to travel for so long at once and to so many places.
We started out in London then went to Birmingham, took a train to visit friends in Burton on Trent for a day, took a bus to Norwich (my FAVORITE in England) for two days, returned to Birmingham for about a week, then flew to Spain (my FAVORITE in the world, from what I have seen so far) where we stayed in the north for a week, took a 9 hour bus south to Granada where we stayed for about a week, returned to a village in the north called Murillo for three weeks, flew to Italy spending a week there, then flew back to our original destination Birmingham, took a bus for a day to Manchester, another day trip to London, then back to Birmingham for the rest of our visit.
We returned home feeling refreshed. I am so thankful that I kept a journal while we were out and about, because I learned an incredible amount about life, myself, and my Husband/our relationship. It was such an amazing experience. The places were beautiful in their own ways, and one of my favorite parts are the beautiful people that we were blessed to spend time with. This new year, I plan to begin a post series about my traveling experiences and the people that we spent time with so please do keep an eye open for that!
Gratefully, our traveling didn’t end there! In June, we visited Thailand which is where my Husband’s Father is from. It was another amazing experience, one I didn’t ever expect. I remember being very nervous about the food there, to the point that I nearly refused going on the trip. I was terrified of what I would have to taste. Little did I know, Thai food is probably THE BEST food ever! I enjoyed it so much, and miss it very often.
Before this trip came around, the most horrifying thing happened to our family. This was by far, the most traumatizing thing about 2015. In April, my Brother In-Law went to an apartment complex to deliver pizza and was murdered. Nothing could have prepared us for that type of news, eight months later it still hurts. Although this was such a heart breaking event in our lives, it turned out to be a reality check. It taught me so very much about my life, and it was a moment for me to realize that without my faith in Allah I would be a complete mess. I would be forever ruined, and I would have lost myself. I would have fallen entirely hopeless in life.
Here I will take a moment to admire death. It will happen to all of us, and that must be something we take seriously. It can happen anytime and in so many different ways. Before the murder, I dealt with the reality of death after a co-worker committed suicide. This was a different type of death that I never dealt with before. It created so many questions in my mind and so many different feelings that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was sad, and angry. I admired the person so much, and still respect them till today. With so many questions unanswered, I just try my best to remember their smile and keep hopeful.
Hope. That is one of the biggest lessons that I learned this year. After my Brother In-Law passed away, I realized what hope really is about. Never before did I pay hopefulness any respect or even realize how important it is. This topic is a whole post itself, so I will save it for another day. The point is, hope is so important in times of difficulty and in times of ease. The death helped me learn about hopefulness in times of difficulty, and soon after I learned about hopefulness in times of ease.
Growing up, just like most girls, my dream was to get married to a handsome man who would treat me like a princess. When I turned 18 my dream came true, all thanks due to God! Shortly after that, I realized that my dream didn’t end there. My dream was actually much more extensive than I thought. I wanted to have a baby that would be ours, a child that my Husband and I would be responsible for, one that I could spend my life mothering. Those were the important goals in my life along with the most important thing, being the best worshiper of Allah that I could be.
Here I am, two years after our simple picnic wedding, with the sweetest news. The blessing of a little one growing inside my body. A new sense of hope. I prayed and prayed and depended on the hope that I placed in Allah. Now, I thank Him. He is truly the only reason why something so amazing could happen.
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created. Created man from a clinging substance.”
-Quran: Surah Al Alaq, 96:1-2
That is about it! Here I am, at the end of 2015. Happy to be alive, and happy to have learned all that I learned this year. Alhamdulilah (praise be to God)! I look forward to 2016, and pray that we are blessed with many more meaningful years to come; amin!