Family holiday to Spain : Day 1

So we all woke up bright and early, left on time, checked in and went to board the flight and were told we had missed our flight! 

I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing…I actually thought I had not woken up and was having some sort of nightmare, I had to check that I was awake and that this was happening. 

To top it all, just looking at my children’s deeply disappointed faces was the tipping point for me and I shed a few tears. 

SubhanAllah, you hear about these things happening to other people but when it happens to you it just seems so surreal.

Believe me when I tell you that planning, preparing and packing for a family with three young children is no easy task. My instant thought was this cant be happening. My second thought was how did this happen? And my third was how much money are we going to lose? (Yes, you guessed it, quite a bit). ‎

اِنّا لِله وَاِنّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن

Then we waited over 3 hours at the customer services desk while my husband and I took turns to look after the children, mainly the youngest who was very quickly starting to lose his patience. 

It. Was. Not. Easy.

We were tired, the queue was neverending, we were surrounded by really annoyed people, the children were really upset , our youngest kept having a meltdown every 10 minutes that lasted for about 20 minutes…

It was a real test of patience.

Alhamdulillah, all glory is to Allah swt, we made it to the front of the counter and managed to rebook for tickets to fly out inshaAllah in two days time, and as we were going to go for two weeks, inshaAllah it would still be ok. 

We made our way home after about 5 hours at the airport accompanied by a toddler tantrum that lasted three quarters of the way. 

Thumping headache – understatement of the year…

However, as I write this, it makes me think about all the positives…subhanAllah you probably think there aren’t any after that! But alhamdulillah I would like to share them inshaAllah and I hope these words might resonate the next time you are going through a hardship. More importantly I hope they become engrained in my own memory as a reminder.

1. When we were initially told we had missed our flight, neither of us blamed each other. You might think well “why would you?”, but usually in challenging situations the “blame game” always gets played. Alhamdulillah this time it didnt and I think this set the foundation of utmost patience during this testing time.

2. When we had to queue up at the customer services, we took turns and worked as a team to see to the needs of the children. In this way not only did we manage to sort out our tickets but also managed to get all our luggage back quite quickly (others who had been with us had still not found their luggage hours later). Again you might think “isn’t that what anyone else would do?”. Well yes, probably but in some cases some couples might argue and out of vengeance make each others lives a little more difficult. 

3. I think out of all of this the financial hit on us has been the worse part but as I explained to the husband (I surprised myself by saying this quite soon after we were told), that this is all from Allah swt. At the end of the day, as muslims if we believe in Qadr/destiny then we have to accept that this is all part of Allah swt’s plans for us, and even though we don’t understand it, we have to believe that there is goodness in this situation, short term and long term. This reminder helped him but deep down I think I was saying it to myself, and I feel that it was this that kept me calm and patient throughout this ordeal.

4. Coincidentally, we made an agreement yesterday, and it was basically that  no matter what happens we will not get into an argument of any sort this holiday. Now again, you might think “why does that even need to be said in a marriage, its natural right?”. When we made the agreement, we were applying it to actually being on holiday, getting there was assumed. However, perhaps having said those words and made that agreement actually helped to remind and reinstate something that is always taken for granted especially in marriage. But lets face it, we can all do with reminders, and thats not just reminding our spouses but actually ourselves! 

5. As muslims, we believe that sometimes hardships and trials are averted through the giving of charity, or someones dua/prayer for you and ultimately Allah swt’s mercy. I really do believe that something much worse and perhaps unthinkable was averted and instead we were put through this test, a test more bearable. As I mentioned this to my husband, I also said that, the day you find out what danger was averted, you’ll wish that you hadn’t complained at all and you will feel grateful for it.

6. Lastly, if anything, I would like to hope that this experience has strengthened our marriage more inshaAllah. And more importantly I would like to hope that this trial and challenging experience has strengthened our imaan and relationship with Almighty Allah swt. 

And if that is the case inshaAllah, then it was worth every single tear shed, tantrum thrown, extra expenses and moments of difficulty.

Alhamdulillah!

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا

Transliteration : allaahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja‛altahu sahlan, wa anta taj‛al-ul-ḥazna idhaa shi’ta sahlan

Translation : O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy.

Aameen

Sources: Ibn Hibban in his Sahih #327 and Ibn As-Sunni #351.

I look forward to sharing our holiday  experiences with you soon inshaAllah. 

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