God is always there for me and my children
When my husband and I were ready to start a family back then, we decided that I would stop working to care for our children full-time. As our immediate families are not in Singapore, we thought it would be best if I took on the role of full-time mother and caregiver.
Before becoming a full-time mother, I was working in the Financial Services industry as a Management Consultant. The work was challenging and demanding but I definitely enjoyed the sense of achievement and recognition, the opportunities to travel and to meet people as well as the financial remuneration.
So, when the time came for me to stop working, it was very difficult for me initially. The toughest adjustment I had to make was going from the corporate world to the ‘baby’ world, from attending business lunches with clients to preparing baby meals and, from having adult conversations to ‘baby’ talk. Reading parenting and baby development books did not quite prepare me for full-time motherhood.
Yet, despite the initial uphill task, I was overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and love as I watched my children grow up. I will always treasure the memory of each ‘growing up’ moment, including the first time they called “Mommy”; the first step they took; the first song they sang; and, their play dates with their friends, etc. All these precious moments more than made everything worthwhile and I would not have traded them for anything else that the world could offer.
At first, I tried to be the best mother I thought I could be for my children. Truth be told, there were days when I felt exhausted just pursuing what I thought was best for them. Without realizing it, I had made it my personal mission to ensure that my children were loved, cared for, protected and taught well, according to what I thought was in their best interest.
Then, in 2010, our lives took a drastic turn. My world was shattered when my husband left us. At that time, my daughter was seven and my son was three. Emotionally, I struggled to keep afloat and was barely able to do so. For the sake of my children, I willed myself to stay strong each and every day. It came to a point where I felt totally overwhelmed and, finally, cracked under the immense strain and pressure.
It was in that darkest hour of helplessness and hopelessness that the Lord lifted me out of the pit and set my feet on Him as my rock, giving me a firm place to stand (Psalm 40:2). I felt I was trapped in a deep and dark pit but the Lord rescued and crowned me with His steadfast love and compassion (Psalm 103:4). The Lord became my strength and my hope. He gave me a new breath of life and new eyes to see the prevailing situation in a different light. He gave me a new heart to trust that He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
In His amazing grace, the Lord led me to St Andrew’s Cathedral. In 2010, I decided to surrender and commit my life to Him and was baptized and confirmed in the Cathedral. Since then, God has been ‘enlarging my tent, stretching the curtains wide, lengthening the cords and strengthening my stakes’ (Isaiah 54:2) to serve Him both in the Cathedral and beyond for which I am grateful. Today, some of the favorite things that I look forward to doing are; reading, spending leisure time with my children and enjoying quiet reflective moments in nature with God.
With my new life in the Lord, my whole perspective on motherhood is transformed as well. He led me on a learning journey that redefined motherhood for me. He taught me His meaning, manner and method of love. My Heavenly Father has helped me to realize that He loves both my children immeasurably, even more than I could ever be capable of loving them myself. I have also learnt that my children belong – first and foremost – to Him. He has blessed me with beautiful children and He has entrusted them to me to raise them His way.
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6: 5-7)
With that understanding, I experienced relief from carrying the burden of relying on my own strength and knowledge in raising my children. I, now, have my Heavenly Father, whom I turn to for His endless love, grace, wisdom and strength in bringing my children up. I do not have to raise them alone as God walks with me, instructs me, counsels me and guides me (Psalm 32:8).
On the journey of motherhood, I have learnt to always ‘let go’ and entrust my children into the Lord’s good hands, believing that they will know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that they will discover our Heavenly Father’s love for them and walk their life journey of faith with Him. I am assured that the Lord is sovereign over their lives just as He is sovereign over mine. I continue to hold on to the precious promise that God will watch over my children, teach them and great will be their peace (Isaiah 54:13).
“Dear Heavenly Father, I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for the love that You have shown me and the amazing grace that You have showered upon me. Thank you for the new life that You have given me to live in You and for You. Thank you for blessing me with Jessica and Jonathan, as You enfold us in Your love. Please help me to be the mother you want me to be to Jessica and Jonathan, bringing them up to know You intimately, to love You deeply and to walk faithfully in Your ways. Lead them, dear Father, into the joy and peace of having you as their Heavenly Father all the days of their lives. Please continue to watch over them that they will grow up to fulfill Your purpose and calling and may their lives bring You utmost honor and glory. This I ask, in Lord Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”
Author: Samantha Foong (Samantha worships at the 9 am Sunday Service with her two children, Jessica and Jonathan.)
First published in The Courier, January 2015.