During our move to Singapore from Canada, several things were misplaced- one of which, was Sarah-Faith’s one and only backpack.
It was a little blue owl backpack, a gift from a lady at church in Canada. I teared receiving it, as even before we had children, I remember seeing the exact same one at a store in Singapore and thinking, “Oh this would be cute if we had kids.”
Then we lost it during our move.
“MAMA,” Sarah-Faith would say, “I WANT OWL BACKPACK.”
Sheepishly, I would tell her I was still looking for it. Deep down, I was resigned that it was lost.
In the initial weeks of us moving back to Singapore, when disorientation hit its hardest as we moved into a new neighborhood, I remember walking in an HDB (public housing) estate when a stranger walked up to me at a playground.
“Are you Wai Jia? Someone shared with me your Facebook testimony some time ago. I feel God wants me to link you up with Mums in the area so we can support you and your family.”
I almost cried. That week, that was heart’s prayer, to be able to make new friends in our new hood.
Shortly after, I was connected to a few mums.
“I will be your pit stop for any baby items you need,” said one. We hardly knew each other.
Several weeks later, I finally plucked up the courage to text her to ask if she might have a baby backpack to pass down. I had drafted the text, deleted it, then redrafted it. For days I looked at the text, afraid to send it out. I hate imposing, I thought. She must think I’m a bother.
I then confessed I had lost Sarah-Faith’s favorite owl backpack and texted a picture of it to her.
As long as it’s not a Disney princess, I thought, I’d take it. And then try to convince my two-year old that it would be okay.
Imagine the goosebumps we both had when she sent me the exact photo back, saying, “This was donated to me a while ago- I don’t need it.”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I felt the love of God overwhelm me.
So often, we think we have to experience some grand encounter with a spiritual being to understand who God is. But more often, it is in the little things where He makes Himself known to us, not only as Creator, but as Father.
As I thought about the chain of events that led to this moment (the loss, the serendipitous meeting on the street, the connection to this Mum, my fear and reluctance to reach out, the random donation to that one mother)… I marveled at the sequence of events that culminated in this divine moment.
As I looked at my two-year old proudly posing and showing off her backpack to me, I caught a glimpse of the different perspective that can result when we choose to receive with gratitude and child-like faith. While I saw a very, very well-used backpack, a shirt with stains and shoes which were well-worn, all that Sarah-Faith saw was her favorite bag and special details, “MAMA, LOOK AT MY SHIRT- CATS WITH GLASSES.”
It didn’t matter to her that everything she was wearing and so much of what we own was given or passed down to us.
If you’re a parent, and you feel overwhelmed or stressed by the provisions you need to give to your children, financially or otherwise, know this- that God knows yours and your children’s needs far more than you do. And all the resources, on heaven and on earth, belong to Him.
Most of all, He loves our children far more than we ever dared imagine. For truly, He is a Father, not only to us, but to the little children who dare come to Him in childlike faith and trust.