It was early in the morning before the day had broken and she was humming the dulcet tones of twinkle twinkle little star. I’ve been fascinated seeing her language develop these past few weeks. It feels like moment by moment new words are tentatively falling from the tip of her tongue. As I lay there in a sleepy haze listening to her eagerness to start the day, my heart overspilled with gratitude.
You see, this girl was born of love renewed, of healing, togetherness, and new beginnings. Her very existence followed such painful and turbulent times for us. Carrying her was like holding a lamp within, she warmed my soul with every day that she grew and that light, was our hope and our future.
We could never have known how the first year of her life would unfold; the love, the loss, the raw and bitter struggle, blended so intricately with the deep and fierce bonds formed of being in it together. Me, her, us, them, intertwined, holding on, holding hard and realising that new life doesn’t necessarily equate to perfect life. Beginnings can also mean endings.
For the last eighteen months, this girl has been an extension of myself. She’s barely left my side, let alone my skin. She has demanded every inch of my attention and then some more. At times I’ve felt torn, physically and emotionally challenged trying to meet the needs of my other girls when this one’s grip is so strong. But that’s how our days have shaped us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. With each stage of her development, there has been a beautiful awakening against a backdrop of tiresome nights and relentless struggles. This is life and we learn to love through the storms not just on the settled waters.
The roots of our faith teach us that every child is born with their own Rizq (provision) and that a new life will always bring you barakah (blessing.) We don’t worry about how we will provide because we know and trust that God will bring with her appointed sustenance. But there are times when a child is born that we might expect to see that barakah manifest before our eyes. We hope for the tangible fruits that we can bask in as that life grows into its own. What we don’t realise is that some times blessings come in the form of hardship. They come in the seemingly mundane moments of motherhood, they come when we are deeply entrenched in caregiving and they come with the tests that are uniquely designed for us.
I think back to my girl, and how in the intensity of her need and attachment she serves to remind me to cling on tightly to that which nurtures and gives me life. She reminds me that there is always someone to wipe the tears, soothe the pain and calm our fears. The cries are temporary, the ease will always come. As I watch her delight in the simplest of things I see how much we over complicate our lives, how much we seek to fill our desires. We forget that all our worldly needs can be met if we simply hold on a little tighter. For God will only ever bring us good, even if we fail to see that goodness in the dark of night.
Sometimes the barakah of a new baby won’t come in the form of wealth, a new job offer, or a stream of wonderful people stepping into your life exactly when you need them. The rizq they bring may not seem obvious on the surface. You may even feel that despite the gift that God has entrusted to you, life has been harder than ever. But through the endless stripping back, the moments that leave you bare and vulnerable, in the early hours as you lay awake questioning if you are doing enough you are being invited back to Him. The ultimate source of peace.
These broken and fractious moments are actually the moments when the barakah isn’t just around you, it’s within you, like that child once was. Its nestled in the cracks, it’s hidden beneath the rocks that are blocking your road ahead. It is in the strained marriage, the lost friendship, the conversation you never had and the silent cries in the shower.
If you can listen to the moments in the early hours, when you can just make out the sound of twinkle twinkle little star as it hums sweetly in your ear, you will know that the blessing is there. It is with you, beside you and inside of you, attached to you, as your days unravel together. Cling on to it like they do to you and never let it go.