I notice this pattern that the more I meticulously plan to achieve a very specific goal or to avoid a very specific bump in my journey ahead, the more likely I’d be greeted with an entirely opposite outcome. And I have learned too that this isn’t something bad at all. In fact, it is beautiful.
The few times my husband had to be out of town for work or his studies had shown great examples of the said pattern.
Like that week when school was out. I worried excessively over the possibility of ever making it through the days with a high-spirited four-year-old by myself while occasionally battling bouts of pregnancy fatigue. But it was going to be fine, I later told myself. Because I had diligently planned an over-the-top itinerary of all the things I was going to do with my daughter for all of those ten days. My husband had kindly sorted out a lot of things at home to make our day-to-day affairs easier. We ensured an excellent intake of Vitamin C in hope to avoid our greatest fear – falling sick while my husband was away. And we prayed.
“Allow me to be brimmed with energy and let the morning greet me with a touch of refreshing sunlight, Ya Allah,” I prayed on the night my husband flew.
I planned hard and I prayed hard. Only to wake up the next day - the very first day of school holidays - not quite exactly waking up. I felt as if I was hit by a truck and as if the sun had turned its back on me. The morning was dark and I was shivering. I got influenza. And any form of physical energy I earlier enjoyed had now simply flew out the window the second I woke up. Fast-forward to a few hours later, my daughter manifested all of the exact same symptoms. Which meant she needed more care from me, her mother who was by then bed-ridden. My husband’s and my biggest fear of us falling ill while he was away had by then came true.
None of the things in my exhaustive list of itinerary came to life, obviously. But the week still went on beautifully. My ill daughter and I spent the week at my in-laws’ where we were taken care of so wonderfully.
Remember how earlier I was so worried if I was going to be able to handle my preschooler and my pregnancy by myself? Yes, “by myself”. These were the words that kept ricocheting in my head and were emphasized in my recurring negative thoughts.
While I prayed so much for Allah SWT to provide me with energy that week, He replied my prayers even much more beautifully. He took away all my energy instead, brought to life our biggest fear, and reminded me that I was NEVER “by myself”. I had my family. That although my husband and my parents were miles away, I still had them and their love in the form of comforting phone calls and prayers. And I had my in-laws who were near enough to provide care for us while we weren’t capable. But most importantly, I had Him, Allah SWT, the best Planner of all. He who allows us to survive through our days in ways He knows best for us. He who makes the best ‘itinerary’ for our journeys, one that is much more perfect than all of our carefully planned itineraries combined.
Here’s to remembering that while it’s a good thing to have a plan for any circumstance, we should also always stay positive and have faith in His plan – the best and ultimate plan there ever will be.
“They plan, and Allah plans. Surely, Allah is the Best of planners.” – Quran 8:30