Someone asked me once how I got to this place in my life, my deen, and my heart. Well, it took years. Every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, and every second were needed for me to be the person who types to you now.
To get from vague religion, to Church of England, to Islam took 22 years. To go from being insecure and intimidated, to certain and unshakable in my reliance on Allah took 16 years. To get from learning Quran in order to pray, to understanding and reciting Quran because I love it, took 22 years. To learn to truly love for the sake of Allah took 28 years. To be ready for the role of wife and mother, took 20 years of working and supporting myself. To find a person to strive for Jennah with, took 36 years.
There aren't any instant packets of experience, wisdom, emaan, taqwa, or knowledge. There are no quick fixes for understanding and loving everything Allah sends you. It takes life experiences. Every year of your life is necessary for your movement towards Allah. Take it easy. Take time to think about the experiences. Embrace it all for what it is: your own personalized self improvement plan written by your Creator.
Allah has a plan for each of us and it follows His timeline. It isn't about how long it takes, it's about getting there. A large factor in getting there is understanding that everything that we go through is meant to get us there. Look at everything, the easy and the difficult, the joy and the misery, the thrills and disappointments and know that it's all part of the journey to Allah. It's all sent to make you turn to Him.
Now that I've said that it took me years to get to where I am, let me tell you where I am. Virtually nowhere in terms of knowledge, 29 Juz to go for Qur'an memorization, still battling myself to have the self-control and manners of our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, still desperately trying to please Allah, and seeking forgiveness for my many mistakes. I'm just struggling and striving along my personal path to Allah, and will be for the rest of my days, inshaa'Allah. It took years; al hamdu lillah for every one of them - they are irreplaceable.