What is your one desire? What is the dream that shapes the very core of what you believe about yourself? What is that one thing for which you would drop everything in life to become?
Mine was to be a mother.
At 6 years old, my cousins and I would stuff our dresses with pillows and pretend to be pregnant. We would take turns going into labor and out would pop one of our dolls. I would hold the doll in my arms, wipe an imaginary tear away, and cradle it joyfully.
At 10 years old, I decided to start praying for my children. I heard my mom and dad say that they prayed for me and my future children. I learned that it’s never too early to start praying for the next generation.
At 14 or 15 years old, most teenagers start thinking about what career they want to pursue so that they can eventually decide on a course to take in college. I remember feeling completely dumbfounded at the thought. I wasn’t thinking about working and having a career, I was daydreaming about being at home with my kids and driving them to ballet class and soccer practice. After all, that’s what my mom did and she made it look so good!
When I hit my twenties, I discovered that God had given me gifts and skills that I could not ignore. I felt a strong call to pursue a career related to media and since I was single, I threw my life into that. It’s been amazing and I still love hosting, writing, and producing. However, the desire to be a mom never left me.
When Jon and I got married, I was 27. We both loved children and daydreamed about having babies together. Things didn’t happen as quickly as we thought, so we kept our hearts content by enjoying the things we knew we might not be able to do as parents. We traveled a lot and planned spontaneous weekend getaways. We ate out and enjoyed lots of date nights. We went to work together and kept up with the Singapore pace of life.
Then finally, it happened. God answered our prayers. By our 2nd anniversary, I was 15 weeks pregnant. Because of this wonderful new addition, we also had to make plans that affected our careers and geographical location. Thankfully, God made that transition a smooth one and we felt like everything was falling into place. God fulfilled my lifelong desire of becoming a mother.
In a blink of an eye, however, I had to face my worst fear as things happened beyond my control and everything slipped through my fingers. On the 24th of April 2016 I gave birth to the lifeless body of my the baby girl who was supposed to call me “mommy.” (I will share my story of how things unraveled in Part 2 of Celine’s Story.)
Celine made tangible what God had started in my heart as a young girl. Although I do not hold my daughter in my arms today, I am finally a mother. I’m not sure exactly when or how that came to be. My best guess is that it was the Sunday Morning in November while Jon was preparing to preach at church for the first time. I took a pregnancy test and we saw 2 pink lines. That morning will forever be etched within Jon and me. It was clearly the Lord’s way of ushering us into a new season. We look back on that day that we became Celine’s mommy and papa and realize that from then on, everything was different. Our lives would never be the same again. We had been given a whole knew perspective about our own identity as children of God. It is the wonderful gift that comes alongside the great privilege of being parents.
After we lost our daughter, the Lord began to show me that while children are extremely precious gifts, everything pales in comparison to knowing Jesus. While I deeply desire motherhood, I have an even deeper desire for intimacy with the Lord. As I walk through these moments of grief and sadness over my now strange state of motherhood, I am finding that I would easily trade all these dreams and desires for a deep encounter with Jesus.
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. — Psalm 27:4