Written by: Natalie Yeo (Photo by: Ernie Song)
A love letter to Mum
As I read Psalm 139:13 (NKJV), “For [He] formed my inward parts; [He] covered me in my mother’s womb,” I figured that you understand this very wonder and intimacy when God creates little human beings in a woman’s cavity. You know because you were once pregnant with me. God formed and covered me in your womb, and decided that you would be my mother.
You carried me for nine months. You waited expectantly for each doctor’s appointment as my itsy-bitsy head, hands, and feet formed. You gave me life.
When I was born, you held and nursed me with loving tenderness. When I started going to school, you always ensured I had a set of neatly-pressed uniform to put on, packed breakfast so that I could eat in the car, and cooked dinner so I never had to worry about going hungry. When I jumped head-first into my career, you provided wise counsel.
Through the years, you were someone I have come to know and understand. When I didn’t or couldn’t understand you and whenever I wanted to give up making our relationship work, I thought to myself, “If I don’t make our relationship work, who else could I be able to forge such a relationship with?” God chose and gifted me, you.
The most important woman in my life is encompassed in a single word: Mum.
As your daughter and having been hidden under your wings these 26 years, I can confidently express my thoughts concerning you:
You are beautiful, through and through
Even though I know this full well, your friends and ex-colleagues remind me of this fact each time I see them. Mum, you have a hidden garden in your heart, with wells and springs of water flowing from it. This secret garden that you have built and sustained came about from hours spent with God and His word on a daily basis. God made you beautiful from your conception in your own mother’s womb! Regardless of the many faces and sides of you that I have seen at home behind closed doors, you have always been beautiful. You will always be beautiful.
You are vital to the family
This family doesn’t work without you. Mothers are one of the two pillars in a family unit. According to God, “it is not good that man should be alone (Genesis 2:18 NKJV).” When you got married, you became the most important woman to a man. When you got pregnant, you became the most important woman to me. Thank you for being a pillar to me, and for never leaving this family alone.
I am grateful to call you, Mum
Whilst at work one afternoon, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper over my heart, “When Love takes you in, He takes you in for good.” It made me tear up because I realised that as Christ lives in you, His love fuelled your love to model this truth to me. No matter how many tempers I threw or how many times I unknowingly broke your heart, you took me in for good and continued to love on me simply because I am your daughter.
I will never fully know nor understand what exactly it takes to be a mother until I become a mother myself. Until then, I want to say: Thank you, Mum. Thank you for your labour and hardwork. Thank you for praying unceasingly for me. Thank you for being a woman I want to become.
As Harper Lee’s famous To Kill A Mockingbird quote goes, “You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not.”
Just as I didn’t get to choose you, you didn’t get to choose me either. Yet, Mum, today I choose you again.
Recently, I asked a 19-year-old (who does not share a close-knit relationship with her mother), “If you could eat one thing before you die, what would it be?” I was expecting to hear Swensens’ Sticky Chewy Chocolate ice-cream or Japanese sashimi, as she had just been raving about how she could not do without them.
However, after a minute of contemplation, the first answer that spilled out of her mouth was, “My mother’s cooking.” It was a moment that moved me, as it affirmed the fact that at the deepest core of our beings, we all love our mothers. Deny it all we want, we have a deep connection to our mothers that no one can take from us.
Dear friends, I am keenly aware that not all of us share the same sentiments toward our mothers. Perhaps your heart is more bruised with wounds than welled up with love for your mother. I want you to know that I did not write this article as an attempt to guilt trip you into loving your mother more.
However, this Mothers’ Day, could I challenge you to bring to mind moments of love you shared with your mother? Even if it hurts, pains, or aches your heart to remember and feel, stay with it, and allow God to fill your heart with new love for your mother.
I believe in what Exodus 20:1-17 commands us to do, especially in verse 12 where it exhorts us to “honour your father and mother.” Even if Mum did not love you the way she should have, you have a choice in honouring her because God has placed her as an authority figure over your life. As you choose to express love and honour to your mother, may your heart begin to heal and be set free.
To all the mothers reading this: Happy Mother’s Day! I pray that God will pour out a double portion of His strength, grace, and love to an overflow in your life. I also pray for a deep, Godly assurance that, as a mother, you are doing better than you think. May an unshakeable foundation be built in your heart again.
Dear Mum, spiritual mums, and aunties, thank you for investing into my life and modelling what Godly mothers look like. I truly would not be who I am today if not for you.