My Hope Is Only Jesus

On my first Mother’s Day, when our first born, Theo, was about to turn one, my mother gave me a present. It was a beautifully illustrated children’s storybook called My Precious Baby, originally written in Korean and translated into Chinese. Inside, she had written,
To my dearest Jane, my precious baby:
Happy Mother’s Day!
May your journey as Theo’s mother be filled with God’s love and grace.
Love you forever, Mom “

What a gift! I cried when I read those words, overwhelmed by how much my mother – my guide, role model, and dearest friend – loved me, and a little frightened by how much I already loved our baby boy. What would my journey as our children’s mother be like? 

There have been so many good times: watching my father teach my daughter how to do the monkey bars, something I have never quite mastered – and marvelling at the ease with which she can now swing across them, going on a catamaran ride in Bali, and seeing the grin on my son’s face as the wind propelled us forward, further and further from the shore; enjoying our nightly practice of sharing our highs, lows, and buffalos (funny or unexpected moments) before praying for each other.

Recently, our family memorized Psalm 23 together, one verse each day over the course of a week. On the final evening, I encouraged the children to pray using the verses as a starting point. As I heard them thank God for being with them when they were afraid and for helping them to walk on the right path, I was filled with a great sense of wonder. Our children are talking to the living God, I thought. God was working in their lives, and I had the privilege of witnessing it firsthand.

our children’s lives are in the Lord’s hands

But there have been challenges, too. Last fall, one of our children was having a really tough time at school, and though we did everything we could to help, we kept getting concerned emails from the school. I remember heading home from work one day, tears streaming down my face. I dreaded having to discuss the contents of the latest email. I loved our child so much, but I had no idea what to do. I felt useless and hopeless.

I wasn’t praying, just worrying. But all the same, in my ears – my Bluetooth headphones, to be exact – I heard God’s answer through the words of a song we had been singing at church: ‘To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus…

I stopped walking, struck by the realization that our children’s lives are in the Lord’s hands, and that try as I might to be a good mother, they are his children. He knows what he is doing. He knows the plans he has for them – and they are plans not to harm them, but to give them a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

And although the journey is ongoing, we have witnessed God working miracle after miracle in this child in the last few months. He guided us to the right help and resources, including at Kidzone, where we have been blessed by the teachers’ patience and love. By God’s grace, this child continues to grow in confidence, joy, and self-control day by day.

I often feel unworthy of my role as a mother. This is true both in the joys, when I catch glimpses of God’s character in my children, as well as in the challenges, when I am completely dependent on his mercy to sustain me. My hope is only Jesus!

On this Mother’s Day, may you be filled to the brim with God’s love and grace. Happy Mother’s Day!

St Andrew's Member