There is an African proverb from the Nigerian Igbo culture that goes,
It takes a village to raise a child.
The truth of this statement never really struck me until we recorded this episode. Maybe because after being a daughter for 3 decades to these two women, Mommy and Mama Yoy, I can finally share in the sentiment of being a Nanay (mother) myself.
Listening to their stories experiencing marriage, motherhood and ministry in a land away from home reminded me just how thankful I am to grow up in an environment where I was surrounded with family, even if not all blood-related. 30 years later, I am also very aware that there are a lot of mothers here in Dubai that still experience the same thing that these women did. But, it also made me appreciate the gift of community that is still available even in a foreign land. Even as simple as having someone to call in the middle of the night if my kid is having a fever and not have to worry about time zone differences, or as major as knowing who to trust to care for my children in the event that I can't, is comforting.
One thing that struck me though was that their bond as women had the foundation of friendship and laughter, but was cemented in the love for another woman, Mama Mary. Their sisterhood really brought to light how the bond of motherhood - physical, emotional and divine, is innate in all women. And it was this bond, including that of the greater community that they eventually became part of, that guided Mommy to raise her five children here in Dubai.
In re-listening to this episode, a couple of things sprang to mind.
- I am not alone. Motherhood, or parenting rather, never promised to be easy. You cannot be a Christian on your own and neither can you be a parent on your own.
- Sisterhood is a gift. The world will talk of squads and girlfriends. But, there is strength in true sisterhood. A true sisterhood will either make or break a woman. There is nothing wrong with having many girlfriends, but blessed is she who has found, and works to sustain, the bond with a true sister. There is a real difference when you witness any relationship that is anchored and founded in Christ.
- As long as we are alive, there is always hope. Like any parent, Jeric and I have prayers on how to raise our children right. And guess what? We are far from perfect and commiting parenting mistakes are agiven. But, it will only through God's grace that we will be able to stand up each time we fall, and keep walking on that path of parenthood that we set on.
Mga Langga, if you are reading this, then I pray that the relationships you currently have in your life are life-giving. And that the fruit of those relationships would be harvested both now, but even in future generations.
But if you feel that you still do not have those life-giving people in your life, I pray that you may be protected against those that prowl around you, stealing away your hope and joy. That the Lord will send you true souls who will be authentic blessings in your life. People who will always remind you that there is hope and that,
Palangga ka sang Diyos.