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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

Love Will Always Win πŸ’ŸπŸ€Ÿ

(Please note, I began writing this friday, but was unable to finish it due to being so upset over the shooting. The first half was written Friday and the second half on Sunday)

I'm sure we are all still coming to terms with the awful and devastating Christ Church shooting and if I'm being honest, I don't think I'll ever be able to see the news articles or talk about what happened without getting choked up and I'm ok with that. I don't ever want to see something like this as "normal" or to feel like it's "just something that happens", because there's nothing normal or ok with someone going to a masjid, or any place of worship, and killing as many people as they can. It's something that should never happen and I pray that it will become history, so that people of all religions can feel safe again, in sha Allah. 

I know there's nothing new I can say about what happened, but I would like to just write and give my thoughts. 

There's no denying that islamophobia and hate crimes against muslims have steadily risen the past few years, especially the past two years. I know that it's been hard for me personally, wearing hijab in a small southern town can sometimes make me feel as if there's a target on my back. Combined with how accepted it seems for people to spew hate speech and make us feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, it's really made me feel stressed to go to certain places. I've mentioned it before, but I don't wear hijab in my hometown, just for safety reasons, but there have been times at work when I've felt scared for my well-being and I pray that none of you have had to be in the same position. It's the worst feeling, when you start to sweat and feel your heart skipping a beat, as your eyes look around for the nearest exits. 

Today, I had a panic attack. I was trying to get in contact with my Darling for two hours, but had heard nothing back from him and in that time, I began panicking and felt sick to my stomach. Normally, whenever I call or text him, he'll respond right away, but today there was nothing and I found myself terrified, my mind racing and tears streaming down my face. I called him on Line and on his videophone, but still nothing and it was as if my whole world was crashing down around me. I started thinking about all the good times we'd had and how deeply and truly I loved him and all our dreams flashed through my mind. I thought about our wedding that I'd been planning, and how we'd always drive around, holding hands and looking at old-fashioned houses and talking about how we'd love to have a little house of our own in nature. I found my heart breaking at the idea of never holding his hand again, never hearing his voice or his loud, clop clop footsteps, never again to feel his warmth when he hugged me or look up into his loving eyes. It felt like my whole heart was breaking and crumbling all around me, and I had no idea what to do or how to calm myself. Perhaps the part that was most devastating of all was when I remembered that the last thing I'd said to him had been a simple 'bye'. I felt hot, new tears falling as I asked myself why I hadn't told him 'I love you' and I promised that if he was fine, I would always say 'I love you' when we parted. Time went by at a painstakingly slow speed and just when I thought I couldn't bear it much longer,  he called me back, alhamdulillah! But there was a big shock when I found myself being snapped at. 

He demanded to know why I was blowing up his phone on Jummuah while he was praying and pointed out to me that we had discussed this and I had promised I wouldn't do it, so he was upset and angry that I'd broken my word. However, when I tearfully told him I was upset at the shooting and thought he might've been involved in a copycat attack, he quickly cut me off to as what I was talking about! It turned out he hadn't seen the news! I told him about what had happened and his tone quickly turned to a compassionate and apologetic voice and he apologised for snapping at me, and told me that he'd been so tired from both his jobs that he hadn't gone to the masjid and was safe at home, alhamdulillah. He thanked me for caring enough to check on him and then told me he loved me, something he doesn't say lightly and he apologised, but said he needed to get ready for his second job, but would call me later. As soon as I "heard" his voice, I felt my whole world go back to peace and it felt like I could breathe again. I cried even harder, but this time, it was happy tears and felt like it was washing all the stress and fear away, subhan'Allah. 

While there's no denying that this was one of the worst two hours of my life and it felt like everything was falling apart, at the end of the day, my Darling was ok and we are safe, alhamdulillah. I can't even imagine how the victims' loved ones felt when they found out that their worst fear and stress had come true and that their loved one wasn't coming home. I ask everyone to open their hearts and to pray for those brothers and sisters whose lives are never going to be the same again and who felt their whole lives were falling apart around them and whose loved ones never called them to tell them were safe. Their family, friends and spouses went to pray and become closer to Allah (swt) and one man had so much hatred in him that he decided to make sure they never came home. I know it's hard to keep your heart soft in such a cruel and hard world that does everything to break you down, but I implore you to do just this. At the end of the day, this is what the shooter wanted. He wanted to tear us down and cause hatred to grow like weeds in our hearts and souls, and by doing the very opposite, we can ensure that he won't win. Love and compassion and understanding will always trump hate and ugliness, and it will shine out like a beacon of hope through the darkest of times. Let your softness be a candle whose light cuts through the pitch blackness of hatred and do all that you can so the flame never goes out. 

Today, as of sunday, I still feel the horror and shock of what happened and I found myself shake and crying at seeing the pictures of all of the victims. I tried my best to contain myself since I was at work, but the emotion of everything just washed over me in fresh waves of pain and I felt like there was an earthquake inside of me. I called my Darling and he was able to console and comfort me, but told me that what I was feeling was perfectly understandable and normal and that keeping it inside would destroy me. I should let it out when I was able to, that I needed to grieve so I could try to get past this and go back to the happy woman he knew and loved. If I'm being honest, I don't know if I will ever go back to who I was before this. I'm not sure if it's even possible, but am I alone in feeling this? Surely not. How can anyone go back to the person they were before this? It was one of the darkest days in history and while we can try our hardest to be candles in the night, there will always be the dark threatening to swallow us whole. Perhaps, one day, there will be enough candles that the darkness is the one that is threatened and that is what I will make dua for. 

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