As salaam alaikum,
My grandmother, who has been having vivid visual hallucinations that cause her great unrest and have been increasing in intensity over the past 4 years, has not seen them in the last four days, alhamdulillah.
After months and months of praying, including her on outside prayer lists, trying all sorts of interventions and consulting all sorts of specialists, most recently geriatric psychiatry, my mother and many of her siblings were at their wits' ends. The best thing that had happened for months was the trazadone I had recommended to help both of my grandparents sleep.
Yesterday, my mother told me that she finally let go, and acknowledged that it was in God's hands, that He had knowledge and she did not, and that maybe this was something that Grandmother had to go through. And she submitted, like that.
She did so because of a dream she had. In the dream, she was driving in her car, though not aware of the car around her. She was on the freeway, when she heard a lot of horns honking around her. There, in the middle of the highway, was a man barbecuing. He was still alive, and standing there barbecuing, in the middle of the street. I think she swerved away from him and sometime into the future, she was pursued by two huskies. They were beautiful huskies, she said, very cute dogs. She became quickly aware, however, that they were trying to jump into her car. When the first one tried and missed and then started running after her, she started praying (in the dream). She prayed to God that if it was His will that the huskies overtook her, she submitted, but that to please protect her if it was His will. And the huskies fell away, I think.
It was this that helped her decide to let go and let God, essentially, when it came to my grandmother.
We were having this discussion as I was walking home from the hospital. I brought home dinner and was holding it in my hand. She wondered aloud if the dream was a sign from God, if that was her sign that she needed to submit herself to Him in this way, to acquiesce, to recognize that it's in His hands and His will is greater.
As we continued to discuss the amazement at the people (which my mother has wondered if they are jinn) finally leaving my grandmother alone, a feat that was apparently accomplished by my grandfather verbally telling the people to leave the house (ummm, case study into elderly psychology much?), I rounded the corner and approached my apartment. As I came to the intersection nearest my apartment, I squinted at a dog in front of me. I knew what was happening before I saw the second dog.
There were two huskies before me. They came up to me and walked up to me, and I knew they would approach me, though I was afraid for a moment that maybe they were going to attack me as they tried to attack my mother in the dream. Instead, they sniffed at me, their little paws on my coat, and tried to take a whiff of my food. And they were beautiful dogs. So beautiful with round faces and intelligent eyes. They looked at me like, "Wait, so...you're not going to feed us, is that it?" and I told the owner to have a good night and I walked away, my voice high pitched but muted, as I told my mother that I had just seen two huskies.
My mother and I took that as a sign. Yes, that was God instructing my mother through her dream. And this was me also learning from my mother's experience. The theme of this week has been letting go and letting God and really, Muslims are those who submit and people argue about what point you can be truly considered a practicing Muslim but I think that the endpoint is not as determinable because I think too many of us miss the point. Our complete submission, so I see, is often imperfect. It took my mother months to comfortably submit to the will of God on the matter of my grandmother. It took me years to submit to the will of God in terms of my marital status, and I'm still struggling with that.
However, I saw those two beautiful huskies in my neighborhood last night that I've never seen before, and my mother and I were sure at that moment that the answer is with God, and that was enough.
In place of worrying excessively now, I have learned. I take everything that begins to worry me and I take it to prayer while sincerely believing that it will be answered. I've been using istikhara like no other time in my life. And the difference is I let go, and I have faith that God will guide me in the manner.
I finally understand. Letting go and letting God isn't about waking up every morning without any plans and expecting God to physically jettison you through your day...but at the same time, that's exactly what happens. It's but the grace of God that I'm motivated to get up in the morning and go to the hospital and learn, but the grace of God that I have the capacity to learn, that I make it safely to and from my destination, eat food that doesn't purge me, have the capacity to exercise...everything I am in a day and everything I'm protected from is by His grace. I let him reign over so many other aspects of my life. It's time to let Him reign over this part of my life without my fighting it.
So I won't revel in worry. As soon as I fret, I'm going to pray. God told me I shall not suffer, nor shall I grieve, as long as I believe and live righteously. I struggled because I did not properly believe. This is not a criticism of my faith or saying it wasn't strong, but...this is life. Life is learning to believe, learning to get that much closer to God so that when we're no longer limited by space, time and a physical body, we will be sufficiently purified in order to perceive Him.
Later, I'm going to contemplate the word purity.