Praying, Listening and Reaching Out

Praying, Listening and Reaching Out May 2, 2013

You know when you start doing something and then you question your decision and back off?  Then you get to a point where you are unsure whether to continue the project, job, book, or just move on to something else?  Is this the path you are supposed to be on, or is it a detour that you shouldn’t have taken?

These are questions that I’ve been struggling with for the last 9 months or so.  They have become increasingly troublesome recently, and I have done some serious thinking, questioning and praying.

Do I pursue teaching full-time?  Do I pursue working outside my home full-time?  Do I continue to maintain my Etsy shops?  Do I continue writing?  What path am I supposed to follow?  Am I being distracted from my main purpose?  Is my work taking me away from my children too much? What is the work that God has me here to do ?

So, I pray.

And I pray.

And then I am quiet and trusting.  And I am aware and observant.

Last week, I met with two women who I have known for many, many years.  One has been a mentor to me ever since I started this journey of writing and sharing My Islamic Life.  The second, I have known of her, but never got to know her.  These women, these incredible women have been brought into my life for a reason.  The first, she pushes me to be brave, she reflects back to me the power I have, and she BELIEVES it will work.  The second, I don’t know what her purpose is just yet.  I just don’t know.  But out of that meeting, I left with a full heart, an overflowing brain and so many more questions than answers.

I was so overwhelmed with it all that I couldn’t even answer Khaled when he asked how the lunch went.  I could only tell him it was very interesting.

And then I wrapped myself in the safe cocoon of my home and my family and started praying.

The next day, I went out-of-town for an educational workshop on teaching.  It was a nice long drive…perfect for praying.  And so, for 45 minutes, God and I talked.

And when I arrived in this little picturesque town, and found my way into the classroom, I felt peaceful.

One of the women giving the workshop is a Dominican Nun.  This is of no consequence to the workshop, but that during her first  session, she told a story about a family she was working with who just exhausted all of her skills and strength as a counselor.  As a last resort, she invited them to church with her.  They refused, for some reason, and so she said she would go to church with them.  She humorously joked that she could go to church anywhere, she knew it would be okay because she was in with God.  She said she’s been to church services in all sorts of churches, and even a synagogue.  But she’s never been to a mosque.  She had never been invited to a mosque.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, while I was learning about the self-esteem and morality in children, I prayed.

And then at the end of the workshop, while everyone was filling out their evaluation forms, I introduced myself as part of the Muslim Community and I invited her to Jummah Service.

When I left that afternoon, I felt terrified.  Where will I take her to Jummah?  From all of the Mosques in my city, I can’t find one that I feel entirely comfortable in.

Then, I thought, when the time comes, it will be okay.  The day after, I went to halaka.  I’ve not been to halaka in almost a little over a year.  I’ve not gone for so many reasons, but that day I felt that I really needed to be there.  When I went, I was instantly welcomed back.  There were more than 15 ladies in attendance that day.  Two of the ladies I’d never met before, both were converts.  One of the ladies recognized me from My Islamic Life on Facebook.  Boy was I shocked!

At the end of the meeting, I shared my story about inviting the Dominican Sister to Jummah and that it felt like a test and an opportunity from God to share Islam and to show a believer that Muslims are nice, regular people.

Aunt Faye shared with us news about a new lady who has been invited to Halaka but is so full of questions and is too apprehensive to come.  I reminded her about what it was like for me before I attended my first meeting.  How I would send emails back and forth asking soo many questions.

I have reached out to this lady and I hope I can answer her questions.  I hope she responds, because it is so much better, so much easier to live an Islamic life when you know you are not doing it alone.

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  • Very pleased to see your journey through Islam. May Allah make it easy for you.