I don’t have everything, but I have more than enough

Sophia Ng // July 21, 2017, 1:44 pm

Singapore skyline

Years ago when starting out, I was a hungry, ambitious fresh graduate seeking to make a name for herself. I also had a scant portfolio and no experience. So it wasn’t at all surprising that while trying to fulfil my ambition, I came up against a stone wall.

Disheartened and after being rejected by my preferred employer, I was finally hired on a three-month contract at another publishing company. Then the 2008 financial crisis arrived and hiring was frozen. My contract was extended, but I was paid out of petty cash.

I know that makes it sound like they paid me out of a tin piggy bank of loose change, but that’s not far from how it made me feel. I didn’t expect that, as a graduate, I would have to be paid from loose change.

The aches from the struggle of my earlier years are still raw enough for me to remember. I worked past midnight daily as part of shift work, so that it took a toll on my health and in my mid-20s I had high cholesterol. I was highly stressed, I dreaded work and I wanted out.

A few years later, with more polished interview skills, I landed a job which hired me with a 30% pay rise. While I was thankful for the added money, the work was dry and weary, and within months that nagging feeling came back again.

That thirst for more, that I deserved something better. That I needed to be out there doing big stuff and chasing big dreams.

So I went job hunting again and landed myself an offer, which I turned down because it required an extreme 24-hour shift work and I was reluctant to put my body through that kind of stress again.

That nagging feeling came back. That thirst for more, that I deserved something better. That I needed to be out there doing big stuff and chasing big dreams.

Little did I know, God had a plan for me at my second job, the job I’m still at today. Within a year from that low point, I had been promoted.

But the story didn’t end there. I got pregnant. Suddenly, all those ambitions didn’t matter anymore. The thirst for success and recognition at work morphed into meeting the thirst of my young baby.

During maternity leave, in one of my quiet moments, I heard a still small voice whispering the words: Redeem the time. I searched for the full verse, and found it in Ephesians 5:15-16: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.”

It was a clear sign to me then that I had to cut back at work, so I put in a request. It is God’s grace and favour upon my life that my bosses gave me the green light and I still have a job today, working part-time from home after the birth of my second born.

Ask any Singaporean mother and you will know that such a work arrangement is a sheer impossibility.

God saved me from that endless thirst of work and seeking to make a name for myself. Instead, he gave me more than I could ever ask for. 

I recently crossed a birthday milestone, which made me start to ponder my life and what I have done. In the eyes of the world, what have I accomplished?

I don’t have a high paying job, but I have a job that gives me flexibility and a decent wage.

I am not famous, yet I am well known to close friends.

I live in a four-room HDB flat, but many have been fed and loved in this home.

We are not in want, but we live in abundance.

My husband and I don’t own a car, but we have use of a family car.

We are not in want, but we live in abundance.

Material things aside, I have the love of family and friends, a loving husband and two crazy kids.

He has humbled me to the point that I know, everything I have has been given by him, so I must freely give of my time, talents and money unto others too.

I am content. For how can I not be? He has done exceedingly, abundantly, more than I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).