“As of the age of 21, I was very much interested in getting married and having a family. I was always dreaming of having 6 kids. And this journey of finding the right person was not easy. So it had lots of frustrations, lots of ups and downs, hopes and frustrations. And it was not easy—especially in our culture, where there is a lot of pressure to marry at an early age, like between 20-22. If you’re already 25, you’re labeled as a spinster or there is something wrong with you. So you can imagine the pressures I’ve been through from family, friends, and so on. But I did not want to give up. I had a lot of opportunities. I did not want to get married just for the sake of getting married…getting the social acceptance from the society. So I was looking for someone very special. But then the very strong thing that happened to me, I remember it was the 2nd week of December in 2001. I was in the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia. And I was inside the holy mosque in Mecca. And I was praying to God to help me find the right person. But then at a certain moment I felt that I surrendered my personal will to God’s will. And at this exact moment it was different. Because before that I was praying and asking God to help me find the right person. But at this point in time, I felt that I have no power. No matter what I want to do in terms of planning, thinking, and trying to make things happen…if I don’t give my will to God’s will, it will not happen. And this thing gave me a lot of strength and it moved me spiritually very much. And two weeks later I met my husband and one year later we got married. But I still remember this moment in Mecca. I was in the second floor of the Mosque looking at the Kabah. And I was praying and I got this very strong feeling of ‘it’s all God’s will.’ “

Ghada Ezzeldin is a very special soul who just happens to work at the same multi-national company I worked at for many years. And I was very blessed that on my trip to Cairo for Portraits In Faith, I was able to interview several colleagues, including Ghada. Her journey to be in a relationship and to be married was similar to so many journeys I have been privileged to hear. That is the journey of “planning, thinking, and trying to make things happen” that Ghada speaks of. I remember feeling this great sense of unity with Ghada as she spoke of having to completely let go of any control and accept whatever outcome God had in store for her. And it was not until that moment of surrender that Ghada (and all of us) can receive what God and the universe truly have in store for us. I have seen this play out in my life many times, especially in this most sacred relationship that I am in with Heidi and her boys. Thank you, Ghada, for giving me a glimpse of my own journey yet-to-come several years ago.