There is one thing this little girl gave me almost right from the time she came into this world, which I shall forever be grateful for, and that’s the restoration of my sanity.
Before she came, when there was only Matthew (and there would only be Matthew as far as Augz and I knew for more than a year), I had become this paranoid, over-anxious and worried mother. Plagued by the thought of having that one great piece of my heart snatched away by a thousand-and-one bad and wrong things that can happen, I lived in the shadow of my own great fears.
Even writing this proves difficult as I remember those dark thoughts which do still sneak up on me every now and then. Naming them is another challenge as it means confronting those fears head-on – it’s something I have done countless times, and each time still scares me like nothing else ever can or possibly, will.
I am afraid of losing my children. Dead afraid.
When there was only Matthew, that fear reached epic proportions. Too many things could go wrong, and any one of them could result in that loss. Even when I had not wanted children, I had listed this as one of my reasons never to have any: That I would have to worry about them for the rest of my life.
Perhaps one of the reasons I felt, and sometimes still feel, this way is because I’m a mother to still very young children, who are almost entirely dependents in all sense of the word.
I believe there is reason for those fears to exist, but I also believe a lot it were lies whispered to me by the Prince of Deceit… and for sure, I was also entirely aware how unhealthy those fears were.
And then Emma came along…
Logically, my fears should have doubled.
Wonderfully, they were subdued instead.
This girl, this flower, this spark of sunshine in my life, proved to be the rainbow that stands for covenants with God.
She returned me to grace, reinstated my sanity as a person, restored me to fullness.
Today, I am still a mother who worries for her children. But which mother who loves her children, doesn’t? But my fears are rational and right – maternal instincts, if you will, put in us to make us possibly the best nurturers of our offspring… They don’t handicap me anymore, and at the rare moments when I find myself sliding into the quicksand of suffocating thoughts, I am able to lift them to God and ask that He helps me trust.
From one who prayed the “Hail Mary” every night out of a desperate need to buy protection for my children, I am now able to talk to God about how I feel.
Just tonight, I remember how I started with the “Hail Mary” and how one priest’s words have turned out to be prophesy.
About two years ago, before I even knew I would be planning for a second baby, I had tearfully told a priest during confession, that I no longer trust God. Because I know my children belong to Him, there is nothing I can do to stop Him from taking them away if He wills. How do I talk to Him anymore?
The priest, Father Paul Goh, replied: Tell God that you know these children belong to Him and yes, He can take them anytime He wants. But also pray the “Hail Mary” and ask Him to not do that. Since He has entrusted His children to you, pray to be open to receive God’s grace to become the parents He wants you to be. Ask God for those graces to let you take care of His children for Him.
I’ve been doing that since the day of that confession – faithfully, then back to fearfully, and then these days, dutifully.
The other thing he said: Have more children. When you have more children, you’re not so afraid that God will call one home. There will be others with you.
I had laughed out loud through my tears as I said to him, “I don’t think it works that way, Father!”
What I meant was that I don’t think having more children would make the loss of any one easier to bear. But what I knew he meant also, wasn’t quite that way.
What I didn’t know then, and didn’t realise until now, was that he had prophesied for me.
And that prophesy came true when Emma arrived.
So thank you, my dear sweet girl, for bringing such a wonderful gift along with you – beautiful, spunky you.