We had been forewarned.
At a time before we left Singapore, amidst many unknowns about where we would next stay, how we would care for baby amidst multiple adjustments and question marks on finances, a pastor told us, “God loves your child so much more than you could ever imagine, that the extent of His love for Baby will amaze you. He will go before you to prepare a place for you, and provide for you in ways you will never expect.”
It boggles my mind at times, to think about how true that has been.
We had been warned, that getting a short term lease near Cliff’s parents’ home before Christmas would be extremely difficult. To find a fully furnished, affordable place in that area for just 6 months before we transited yet again would be a shot in dark. With Christmas round the corner, we were further warned that suitable rentals would be harder to come by.
Up till the time we boarded the plane, we had no promising leads. The very next morning, however, we were unexpectedly asked to view a home. It was simple but cosy, everything we had dreamed of, and much more. Not only was it a short ten-minute drive from Cliff’s family, it was fully furnished, filled with natural sunlight, and priced below its value.
It was as if God Himself had scouted it out and handpicked it for us, down to the smallest detail, even before we had arrived, so we could avoid the circumlocutory process of looking for a place to prepare for baby’s arrival. Such is the love of a heavenly Father for His little children.
We had been warned, that arriving in my 8th month of pregnancy might spell challenges with enrolling into personalized healthcare, or high expenses, due to limited options left. By what could only be a miracle, we were contacted to see a well-known practitioner the second day we arrived, and were informed that Baby’s and my healthcare for this pregnancy would be fully covered.
We had been warned, that this would be an unforgiving winter, that falling sick in my third trimester would be treacherous. When we arrived, however, the weather was beautiful, warm by Canadian standards at 5-8 degrees, giving us time to acclimatize to an abnormally late though frosty winter ahead. I had arrived with hardly any winter clothes but by the next evening, was clothed literally from head to toe with not only winter wear, but maternity winter wear, from very kind and generous hearts.
We had been warned, that parenthood spelled a world of paraphernalia of things, things and more things, that moving abroad and traveling light to different states for further studies with hardly any baby stuff on hand would be a bad idea. But in our transition, we continue to be blessed by mothers reaching out to us, wanting to bless Tiny Tam with what they had lovingly bought their own babies just a while ago, things we’d never even knew we might need, saving us agony, time, luggage space and money. Whenever I would discover we had a new need for Baby, someone would offer it to us without us having told anyone.
Tiny Tam, Mama and Papa want you to know that joy doesn’t come from having a grand mansion, brand new clothes or the latest toys. It doesn’t mean security the way the world defines it. It doesn’t come from being ahead of everyone else, being sure of everything in life, or doing all the “right things” in life everyone says we should to get what we think we want.
Second-hand doesn’t mean second best- it means God’s provision in creative and astounding ways, through the thoughtful love of others; Security doesn’t mean staying put where it’s deemed safest- it means flowing and following God, even when it takes audacious faith; Sacrifice doesn’t mean losing out, it doesn’t even come close to what He has in store for us as our heavenly reward to count as sacrifice.
Mama is adjusting to a new environment and community, but she is learning, that joy every moment is a choice we make. It comes from giving thanks for what we have, and not dwelling on what we’ve lost. ?? You’ll always lose things and sometimes, people, in life, Tiny Tam. But you’ll never lose God.
And He’ll never lose you.
Joy comes from filling our hearts with who He is, and thanksgiving for what He gives. Did you know, what when you were made, your heart was the first thing the doctors looked for on the ultrasound, and the clearest way to see a well-formed heart is to locate the Cross in the centre, symbolizing a healthy four-chambered beating centre?
You see, what God really wants, is just to be at the center of our hearts.
Someday, when you’re not so tiny anymore, we can’t wait to tell you all these anecdotes as bedtime stories – of how much Papa and Mama love you, but of how that love pales in comparison to how much our BIG God loves you, even when you were deep in Mama’s womb, before you were even born.
We pray that you’ll grow up with an audacious faith, to trust God in impossible, impossible circumstances. Because even before you were born, He made a way when there was no way.
It’s getting colder here everyday, and we’ve lots to learn about being Papa and Mama to a new baby in a new place, but we can’t wait to see you soon.
Stay snug and warm where you are, okay?
Photo credits: Team Tam