Six years ago, I converted to Catholicism. Through my experience of motherhood, I can see how the Lord has patiently and lovingly prepared me to receive and know him personally.
Entrust your child to God’s protection
Few years ago, an acquaintance of mine lost her four year-old son while he was on the way to the school with the helper. He was hit by a car while crossing the zebra crossing on his scooter. The news shocked us all. In a blink of an eye, a beautiful boy left this world just like that, leaving behind the pain and grief of all those who know him. And though I could never be able to experience the amount of pain she was going through, I can empathise and identify with her as a mother.
My son was 2 years old then and he is my world. That incident presented to me a hard question: I love my son, just like how my friend loves hers. And I want to protect him, just like all parents would. But how much could I protect him from all the dangers?
At that moment, I realised how finite my capability and protection was and the thought of seeking for help and protection from a higher power came to me. I was immediately filled with peace and relief just by that thought. I decided to get to know my Heavenly Father and ask him to protect my son. I know He can do what I cannot. Though there were other factors that led me to enrol in RCIA, this intention played an important part in my embarking the journey getting to know God through Jesus and His Church.
“I know you can do it”
I had always wanted to be a mother and I would say I loved my son even before he became into existence in my womb. What a joy the day I was tested positive on the pregnancy test kit, to hear his heartbeat for the first time, to see his image through the scan and to hold him in my arms. Ardous as it is, I enjoyed my motherhood experience and found it fulfilling, until the terrible 2 kicked in.
Though all kids go through this phase, mine was so much more intense in terms of frequency and the intensity of the tantrums. Even my mom who was a kindergarten teacher admitted that Bryan’s tantrum was equal to that of a few kids. Everyday seemed like a battle with simple routine and tasks. That took a toll on me especially when I was facing some other issues in my life at that point of time. All of these drew me to the rock bottom till one day I broke down completely.
In my despair, I cried out to God “God, I know that this child is a blessing and a gift from you. But why is it so hard to love? Why did you give me such a difficult child to handle?” I cried my heart out with all the exhaustion, self-doubt that I was not good enough as a mother and despair looking at the days ahead. In the silence, I heard the most gentle, loving voice spoken to me “My dear, I gave you this child because I know you can do it”.
Short, simple and straight-forward. I was stunned for a moment, then overcome with a sense of comfort and courage that I never experienced before. While I was doubting myself, God trusted in me, in my capability of being a good mother.
I received encouragement before, but none was this powerful and impactful. For the first time I experienced the power of God’s words speaking to me personally, empowering, uplifting, comforting and reassuring me. And I told God, “Since you said so, I’ll trust that I can do this as long as you are with me”. This Godly encounter convinced me to eagerly complete the RCIA and be baptised a Catholic.
A love letter from the Heavenly Father
God reassured me he would be with me and Bryan, but He didn’t promise that it would be easy and smooth. And it wasn’t. Bryan is strong-willed and defiant most of the time. I often received calls and feedback from those who work with him: teachers and principles alike. I was overwhelmed with the frequency of the repeated mistakes and most frightening was his seemingly unrepentance and remorselessness.
In my frustration, anger and fear of what he might become, sometimes harsh words and even physical hurt was blurted out which resulted in tremendous guilt and shame. My heart was pierced at the realisation that I hurt the two people I dearly love, Bryan and God.
I failed to be patient and loving to Bryan the way God has been so patient and loving to me. I found it hard to forgive myself. However, by the grace of God, I was still certain that he loves me nevertheless, that His mercy is bigger than my mistakes as long as I keep coming back to him and ask for it.
In my contrition, the Holy Spirit enlightened me to write down a letter from God. These words continue to be the source of my strength and comfort till this day. It gives me strength to become a better mother that God wants for Bryan.
It enlarges my heart to forgive myself and others and to grow in patience. It reminds me of God’s great love for me and Bryan, a love that surpasses my understanding and comprehension. It gives me hope, and encourages me to pray unceasingly, and to abandon myself and Bryan completely to the merciful hands of God and our dear Mother Mary.
“I make no mistake. Trust in me”
Bryan’s diagnosis with ADHD and Objection Defiant Disorder more than a year ago brought some clarity and relief to our constant struggles. Through this, I see how God’s blessings have been bestowed upon us: The teachers and friends praying for and supporting us, showering us with so much love, sharing words of encouragement and affirmation, offering help in various ways.
I’ve learnt to accept Bryan for who he is, to see him through God’s eyes with love and mercy. I’ve also learnt to treasure his uniqueness and gifts. Moreover, I’ve also been inspired to pray more and reach out to other mothers who in their own struggles need prayer and support to carry on and remain hopeful.
I’ve grown closer to Mother Mary, my role model and inspiration of tender loving care, patience, complete trust and fidelity to the will of God. I’ve come to accept and embrace my crosses willingly, unite them with the redemptive sufferings of my Lord Jesus and offer them up for the conversion of sinners.
Amidst the sufferings, deep down in my heart there is peace and sweetness knowing that I am dearly loved by God, and I rejoice in gratitude for the wonderful things God has done for me in my life and in those around me. I pray that everyone will one day experience God’s great love and peace, and know how wonderful it is to have God in their life.
I thank my dear Mother Mary for praying and interceding for me, Saint Monica for inspiring me to pray unceasingly for my child, many angels in my life who have prayed and supported me with so much love.
I thank God for giving me this special child to learn how to love, and through whom I’ve come to know that I am a special and beloved child of God.
To all the moms out there: Rest assured that you’re in my prayers. Trust in God and His love for you. Abandon yourself and your family completely in the Immaculate heart of Mary. And remember that you are a beloved daughter of God, the Merciful Father who has called you for a wonderful purpose hidden in your maternal mission of motherhood.