Friday, November 16, 2018

A Letter to my Fellow Single Moms

I have never dreamed of becoming a single mom. Yet in the blink of an eye, I became one. In June 2011, I became a widow and a single mom of three young children. Terrified, angry, disappointed, broken and hopeless, I was. For all my life, I have dreamed to raise a healthy, happy and whole family, so when the reality hit, I had to make a choice to stand up for the children and days to come.

Being a single mom is a different journey. As children don’t come with manuals, so does being a parent or even more a single parent. Below are four things I have learned throughout my seven years of being a single mom, they may not be manuals but I hope they can help you gain a little confident to walk in your journey.

1. Your children are important and so are you.
Take a good care of yourself. Make a priority to start everyday with a prayer and devotion as you need to be fueled by God and His love over and over again. It is important for you to continually remembering the truth that you are never walk alone, that you are never forsaken or forgotten. Make time to be honest with God and with yourself. Acknowledge emotions and deal with every single one of them. Find your own way to process your grief, disappointment, anger, fear and make a decision to let go and let God to help you overcome your feelings.

Make time to refresh your soul, take some alone time to reflect on what God has done, catch a good 30-minutes-hot-shower, take those offers from friends and families to babysit the kids, take a walk, exercise, spend a good hour reading in a coffee shop, put on some make up, watch a movie, dress up, and make time for friendships.

Take a good care of yourself so that you can take a good care of your children.


2. Your children are growing and so are you.
Give Grace (lots of it). You must come to a place of awareness that single motherhood may not be your first choice but God has given you the grace to grow in your role as a single parent therefore when mistakes and failures happen, receive God’s grace and extend grace.

In the early days of being a single mom, when the kids were acting out and I lost control of my emotion, I would run to the dark and start playing the blame game. If only he didn’t die, if only the kids had a dad, if only I had all the time in the world to raise my kids closely. I would blame myself for being so angry, I would blame the kids for acting out, I would blame the people around me who seemed to be not caring enough, I would blame God. I forgot all about Grace. I forgot that I was still growing in my new role. I forgot that God has poured out His more than enough Grace. I forgot that my kids needed Grace. I forgot that everyone around me needed Grace.

Growing up means trying out new things. Growing up means making mistakes. Growing up means being aware that failures are parts of lives. Growing up means forgiving oneself and others.

Grow in Grace for your children to grow in Grace 

3. Your children are trying to figure things out and so are you.
Take one step at a time. Take this life lightly. Remind yourself continually that God’s got your life and you don’t need to know everything in advance. Life will easily overwhelm you but you have to make a choice to trust God wholeheartedly. Fear and worry of the future can easily creep into our hearts. Negative thoughts can grow from one to a million within seconds as soon when we entertain fear in our heads.

As a firstborn, I used to be an idealist-perfectionist-control freak individual (sounds pretty scary, huh?!?) but being a widow and single mom has taught me the most valuable lesson that is to let go of control and trust God. After all, He is the beginning and the end, He knows every detail of my life, so why bother to outsmart God? It was a long process of learning to trust God completely but no turning back for me.

One of the best reminders I received when first started the journey “take one step at a time at all times”, still is the best way to live.

4. Your children are never meant to walk alone and so are you.
Find your village, love that village, build a home in the midst of the village, and you will never feel lonely anymore. When we are hurt, it is very easy to feel alone and separate ourselves from others. Throwing ourselves a lonely pity party would feel more comfortable than anything else. But the truth is when we start to be aware that people around us are placed by God for a purpose, we must be willing to start opening ourselves to them.

Receiving from others was one of my greatest challenges in the early days of being a single mom. I always felt that including others in the journey of parenting means I have failed to be a mother. Until I came to the point of realizing how selfish and arrogant I was to keep rejecting others who were willing to sacrifice for me. As I started to open up myself, single parenthood became less scary and more meaningful. The journey has become merrier with the whole village. Again, no turning back for me.

Friends, regardless how long you have been in the journey of single-motherhood, I just want to remind you that you are doing fine. You have what it takes to be a mother for your children. Stay grateful. Stay beautiful. Trust God because God’s got this.

All your children will have God for their teacher 
What a mentor for your children! 
Isaiah 54:13

With love,

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Letter to my 28-year-old Girlfriend

Dear you,

Hi beautiful! In a few years you will enter the big Three. Your twenties have been full of adventure; the safe and dangerous ones. I just want you to know that I am proud of you and your journey. Oh, how sometimes I wish I was still 28 just like you.

In you, I see bravery to dream big and turn it into a reality. I see courage to take opportunities beyond your capacities. I see freedom to choose any epic adventures. I see enthusiasm to live everyday in this thing called life. Oh, how unstoppable you are, I wish I was still 28 just like you.

In you, I also see a longing for something more. I can see behind those laughters and smiles you wish to have someone to share life’s highs and lows, someone to sit next to when it’s raining outside, someone to tell silly jokes at, someone to share stories and dreams with, someone who pursues, loves, accepts, and supports you. I surely know how it feels. I was 28 once.

Daydreaming is surely fun but it can also be draining when you start to worry and question yourself (and God).

Beautiful, I want you not to worry and spend any more days searching and waiting. Trust me, dear, that day will come, maybe soon, who knows? But in the meantime, I need you to be content and grateful for being you, the one you, the single you.

The season you are in now is a season of being loved, being prepared and being developed. For me, the best season of life is when you know you are not alone but deeply loved by the One who knows you best. Trust me, when you are ready and he is ready, both of you will meet and click just like two puzzle pieces put together.

Beautiful, let share a little bit about that something more you've been waiting for. Relationship is a hard work therefore in your relationship you must find peace and contentment, not because of the things seen (look, career, money, skills, achievements, callings) but because both of you have been tucking your hearts deep in God’s heart. Both of you have been pursuing God and now as you are pursuing each other, it seems like everything just fall into places. I am not saying that both of you will be perfect but you will reflect the person of Jesus, the One you have been pursuing all your life before meeting each other.

Beautiful, I want you to hold your standard high regardless what the world is trying to talk you out into. You are a princess and the King has prepared a prince for you. Don’t settle just because the number on the candles you blow every years is increasing. Don’t settle just because your Instagram feed is filled with pictures of your high school friend’s engagement ring, your co-worker’s wedding pictures, your cousin’s honeymoon, your neighbor’s new baby. Don’t settle just because you feel pressured to please anyone. Just don’t settle.

You have to always remember that Jesus decided to take the hard road, to carry the cross, to be beaten up, to be hang on that cross so that you will have life and life in abundance. You are a princess who deserves to be treated right and never to be abused emotionally and physically. And the same thing goes for your future prince. Both of you deserve to be treated with dignity.

Beautiful, in your current season, don’t be afraid to walk alone because you are actually never alone. Your Father, the Immanuel, is always with you. There are days when you’d feel lonely and wish for that glorious day to come sooner, but I need you to trust your Father. Because Father knows best. He knows exactly when both of you are ready. He knows the exact time to bring the puzzle pieces together. He knows the perfect time and season when the world needs your joined force.

So beautiful, in the meantime, stay at rest, stay secured, stay content, and be full of joy.
Princess, your Father knows best. Enjoy your 28!

With love,

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Letter to my Grieving Friend

dear my grieving friend,

Seven years ago when my life turned pitch black, it took me a whole lot of courage and strength to meet a new person. Maybe you feel the same too right now, so here I am writing you a letter.

My heart is broken for you ever since I heard about you. 

I imagine your pain, the feeling of overwhelming loss, the heaviness of your heart, and the long road ahead of you. And whenever I come across a story similar to mine, my heart cries out to God “Please do not let anyone to go through the road I’ve been through”. I am mourning with you.

You have been on my mind ever since I heard about you. 

I think about your pain a lot. I imagine you tossing left and right on your bed at night, soaking your pillow with precious tears. I imagine you waking up in the morning to an indescribable pain. I feel your loneliness. I feel your hopelessness. I feel the big hole in your heart. I wish I could sit next to you and spend hours sharing nothing but tears.

I can feel your deep sadness ever since I heard about you. 

I know it is still hard to comprehend what has happened to you. It is so surreal. It is deeper than any words can describe. It is too much to bear. I know you are sad, really sad and it’s okay for now to be sad.

Oh, the love you've lost
Oh, the soul you've lost
Oh, the dream you've lost
Oh, the breath you've lost
Oh, the world you've lost

You’re lost and most likely don’t know what to do. It’s okay for now to feel lost. I felt lost too seven years ago. My mind was clouded with sadness, regrets, guilt, fear, worry, anger, questions, disappointment. My heart was pierced with unbearable pain for my three young children. My emotion was like a hurricane. My body was weak and tired. Secretly, so many times, I cried out to God to take me to the place where I can be with him again.

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

dear my grieving friend,

I am writing you this letter with no intention of minimizing your pain but confirming each one of them. The intensity of your pain is real but I need you to remember that the intensity of God’s love for you is also real. I know sometimes it is hard to comprehend how could a loving God allow His beloved creation to deal with pain and sorrow. Until today, it still remains a mystery to me. There are days when I still ask Him that question, in a quieter voice, not as loud as before.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― C.S. Lewis

dear my grieving friend,

I know it is hard for you right now to see beyond your pain and sorrow, it’s okay, allow yourself to grief and mourn. But at the same time I want you to remember that you are never alone, you have a future, your children will grow up more than fine (they will change the world, for sure!), you will rise up from the ashes stronger than you can ever imagine, and one day you will write your letter to someone who needs to hear this message.

so my friend, hold on to Hope.
Your story is not over yet.

With love,
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