Bismillahi wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
I had a truly gushing moment yesterday while finishing lunch with my daughters. They really do have to put up with all sorts of emotional outbursts from me, LOL, maashaa Allah.
I said, "For anyone just looking at me or considering what I've done in my life, they would not imagine me being of the muqarraboon - those forerunners closest to Allah. I consider my shortcomings, failings, and sins and find myself in a miserable state in front of Allah. After all, I am just a regular person, not a prophet or scholar or prominent caller to Islam.
But my all encompassing and desperate desire to be of the muqarraboon makes me persevere with 'ibaadah, istighfar, and acknowledging every pain and difficulty as a much deserved and light recompense for my sins. I charge on, sometimes plod on, but I refuse to despair of Allah's mercy and give up hope that He will put me with the muqarraboon. Having certainty of Allah's perfect qualities motivates me to persevere.
So I say to you all, don't EVER give up on your righteous goals. Our most forgiving, gentle, merciful, and generous Creator sees everything and can do anything.
Subhaanak Allahumma la ilaaha ila ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk.