"I want to be a mom!"
That was my answer from day one. I was five, having braved half a decade of existence with gusto, when I made that declaration. Over the years, other opinions came and went. I went through the flight attendant stage, the fashion designer stage, the celebrity chef stage, and even the princess stage (Prince William was still single then, okay?).
But the fundamental wish never changed.
I wanted to be a mom. That was my goal in life.
I still do want to be a mom...but that's not my goal in life.
Biology aside, becoming a good mom required being a good wife first. My urgency to get to that stage almost caused multiple stupidities as a single girl. I knew I wanted to be a mom; so I had to find a husband by necessity. At that time, any random one would do.
God, of course, had better plans. It's by His miraculous guidance that I fell in love with my husband and married him as soon as we knew it was His will.
In my mind, step one was done.
Becoming a mom - the ultimate dream - felt only a stone's throw away.
For the first 18 months of marriage, I constantly expected myself to be pregnant. Month after month, I bought pregnancy tests. Month after month, I geared myself up to buy maternity clothes. Week after week, I tracked my body. Week after week, I nodded silently as family members gave me mythic tips on how to get pregnant. Day after day, I sacrificed high heels and caffeine and eating processed food.
Day after day, I cried.
Why wasn't it happening? Upon multiple occasions, I had dear older people in church walking up to me to say, "You should have kids as soon as possible. Don't wait until you're older."
It pained me every single time to say, "I know. I know."
I wasn't waiting. We wanted kids, and we wanted them right away. We even expected to be holding a child (or at least a pregnant belly) by the time our first anniversary rolled along.
God didn't let that happen.
We ran tests. We took medication. We consulted doctors both Western and Oriental in training. We consulted doctors for women, doctors for men. We got masseuses, herbs, vitamins, and a dozen other means of supposedly aiding fertility.
Our bodies aren't perfect. We can have kids, but it's hard to have them.
The thought was sobering.
But God is our sun and shield. No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
He is the strength of our hearts, and our portion forever.
He sent people to cross our paths. A wonderful church deaconess reminded me that having children or not didn't matter in eternity. A pastor's wife shared with me that God's legacy in us reached beyond that of sons or daughters. A loving husband reminds me repeatedly that he will never love me any less even if I never bear him any children.
Don't get me wrong. We received tons of wrong advice too.
Some people said that it would surely happen someday, though they couldn't guarantee it. Some people told me I just didn't have enough faith. Some others claimed that I just "didn't want it enough."
Friends and family conceive - quickly and repeatedly - and I feel that life is just utterly unfair.
They sound silly in my saner days. But whenever I come home after a family reunion where EVERYONE had a kid, I feel lonely and sad and feeling entirely inadequate. When Mother's Day rolls around and a new mother runs up to me to say, "Look! Look! I have a baby now!"...I still go home and cry out half of my body's water content.
It's in those days that I forget what it truly means to be a Christian, and all the wrong advice sounds almost right.
Being a Christian means that there is nothing on earth I desire besides God. It means that despite what society might tell me, my life is not missing anything.
I am complete.
I am complete in Him.
I am not living an unfinished life. I am not in any way less of a person than the person with half a dozen kids. I am a child of a King. That's all that matters.
Hey, guess I did end up being a princess, after all.
When I grow up, I still want to be a mom; but I don't HAVE to be one.
Not having children allows us to study, to shop, to grow, to travel, and to do so many things we wouldn't be able to if we were tied down with any children. Not having kids lets us have so many more years alone to prune and fine-tune our marriage. Not having kids helps me understand what it means to be complete, complete in my God.
I am the child of a King. Nothing else really matters. And even when I forget that at times, it doesn't make it any less true.