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The Doors of Challenges (and Blessings)

Back when I was pregnant, I imagined journeying towards becoming a family of four as something as straightforward as that - growing bigger. Like going on a straight path towards a dream destination we had never been before but had been so excited for. Perhaps the destination had a big giant door brimmed with fancy lights just waiting to greet us, I thought.

We are here now and I can’t be more grateful. It IS something bigger, lighted up so fancily indeed. Only thing is, it wasn’t a big giant door that greeted us. There were many little doors I wasn’t expecting and didn’t have the keys for, but all filled with great lessons to equip us for this big fancy thing. Lessons like discovering just how much teamwork my husband and I are really capable of. And how much more of my eldest daughter I was only beginning to get to know of.

My eldest daughter. Now here’s a door I keep revisiting. I have learned from the start that she’s a strong-willed, spirited child. But as with any spirited child, there’s always something new and unexpected that I keep on learning about her. Some days are downright challenging, leaving me convinced that I’d lose my mind while questioning my parenting skills. And that very challenge is multiplied during periods where she’s trying to adapt to a big change, like this growing into a family of four.

But some days she also leaves me in awe with the way she looks at me all bright-eyed, coupled with her curiosity and the imaginative conversations she starts. Like this set of questions she surprised me with the other day that left me chuckling a little.

“Mommy, where is Allah? Is Allah wearing glasses? Why can’t we see Allah? Is it because we’re in Malaysia?”

And in that moment, I felt all sorts of beauty, I wished I could freeze it. It was a moment I hope to always remember in our most challenging days.

It got me realizing too that in all our journeys, we are constantly presented with these little doors of life’s challenges. And the only way to unlock and find the blessings behind them is by welcoming the lessons they intend for us, which really is made easier by this one and only way - the remembrance of Allah.

May we always remember. Ameen.

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