This year will be my last Mother’s Day as a non-mother.
My first child has been growing within me for almost 9 months now. As the big day draws near, the anticipation and excitement to finally meet this person, whom I already feel that I know and love, is building up in a way I never thought imaginable.
I’ve never been a baby person. I’ve never really loved babies or children all that much. I always found it awkward to speak and play with them in general.
I was the sort who smiled politely when you showed me pictures of your super cute nieces/nephews/children/grandchildren. But inside, I was making a mental note not to submit other people to this torture in the future.
When I first got married four years ago, I told anyone who would listen that I did not plan to ruin my life by having children – that I would be perfectly happy without any.
This way, my equally child-unfriendly husband and I would be free to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, without the millstone around our necks of having tiny mouths to feed.
Every time I said this, I invariably received knowing looks from those older than me. You’ll change your mind eventually, they said.
Irritatingly, they were right.
The first lesson I learnt in my journey to motherhood is that God can change the desires of our hearts when we seek to obey Him.
Despite pastors and leaders in church constantly reminding me that it is God’s will for married couples to have children, it was a struggle for me to reconcile this with my own feelings and resistance to having a child.
Surely God would not want me to have a child if I could not love him/her in the way he/she deserves, right?
But as I submitted my heart and desires to Him, slowly and surely, I could feel God changing my heart and desires. The day I realised that I actually wanted to start a family, no one was more surprised than … me.
The next lesson I learnt is that God’s timing is always the best timing.
During the time that my husband and I were opening our minds to the idea of having a child, I had also been praying and seeking guidance regarding my career. An opportunity opened up for me to go on a sabbatical for half a year, and I took it. One week before I was due to start my leave, I found out that I was pregnant.
These two separate issues that I had been praying about – career and starting a family – received answers from God that dovetailed in such a way that His hand in it was undeniable. Because of this, I have been able to have a restful pregnancy with time to prepare, and my husband and I have been able to spend lots of quality time together to strengthen and work on our marriage before the baby comes.
It has filled us with the assurance that this is a baby who has been chosen and created by God in His perfect plan for our family.
In the months of waiting for my baby to be born, I have tried to plan and visualise what kind of mother I want to be.
Both my husband and I grew up in godly homes with godly parents who set the example for us to love God and follow Him. It is therefore my deepest desire to do the same for our child, to give him the same privilege of a godly heritage.
To this end, I have tried to read books about godly parenting and godly discipline, and have talked with experienced parents about strategies and methods to raise “good” children.
At the end of all this, the conclusion I have drawn is that while it is good to have a game plan, the best thing I can do for my child is to continually pray for him, for only God can call a person to Himself and it is only He who can make a person godly.
When I speak to people around me, a common theme I hear is that this world is such a difficult place to bring a child into.
They list the high-stress school environment, the uncertain economy and instability in the world as reasons to be afraid.
But looking back at my pregnancy journey, I feel blessed that I can stand firm in the hope that God, who brought me thus far, will continue to do so for my family in the days to come. My job is to constantly remind my child that he was conceived in love and created for a purpose, and that even before he was born, God had a plan for him.
So, even as the final touches to the new nursery are made, and the emergency bag is packed, I can look forward to the big event with confidence. With the knowledge that He who began a good work in me will surely carry it to completion. And I can look forward to many more Mothers Days to come.