That was the question I was prompted to ask myself 2 weeks before registration closed for church camp from 8-11 December in Malacca.
Some pull factors:
-CM won’t be going for the camp as he’ll be overseas for a meeting
-It will be in Malaysia, not Singapore. I have to take a coach with the children. We have not taken a coach with any of the children to Malaysia before. Usually CM drives.
-I will have to take care of the passports and cash myself. Usually, this is CM’s responsibility. Now I gotta be extra alert. I have cold feet just thinking about this.
-I will have to see to the children’s needs, which include the coach ride to and from Malacca, sleeping arrangements and meals.
-Li-Ann has an appointment with her surgeon on 9 December, who will review the health of her anus due to her surgery when she was 10 months old. I didn’t want an alternative date months later, which can happen due to last minute reschedulings of appointments in a public hospital.
The push factors:
-We had planned to go for the church camp. The children wanted to go too.
-It will be a good opportunity to fellowship as all of us will be in the hotel for at least 3 whole days.
-I know God will teach us when we go.
-CM will be in serving in 2 of the committees in church. As he’s unable to go, it is preferable that I represent him as his wife.
As my mind played and replayed these factors over and over, I told God that I would go if 2 conditions were met, in order of priority:
1. The children would be able to take care of themselves, at least John and Rebecca.
2. LA’s doctor’s appointment would not be rescheduled to 2011.
I really felt like Gideon when I told God. But God graciously allowed me to tell Him what my concerns were and He provided for a mother’s heart and met those conditions.
During those 2 weeks while I was struggling, we went for a 1-week holiday with my in-laws and some of CM’s siblings and their children to Longyan and Xiamen for a clan event as well as sightseeing. It was a learning trip for all of us. Living together for 1 week also meant learning about and respecting one another’s habits and views. Generally, the children were very independent and were able to take care of themselves and look out for their cousins and even the adults. Even LA was able to tell us when she needed to use the bathroom, whether it was to pee or poo. I was amazed and overjoyed!! I also witnessed how, most of the time, the children were discerning and know what behaviour is expected of them. Of course, from time to time, we needed to remind them and teach them as we do at home. Suddenly, I realised when I told God about Condition #1, I was in fact hoping for their spiritual discernment more than their physical independence. How well God knew my heart and met my need.
When I came back, I called the clinic to change LA’s appointment. The usual busy appointment line was answered quickly by a kind nurse who told me the doctor would also be away for conference. She gave me another appointment on 21 December – just 11 days after the original appointment and within 2010. So God met Condition #2 as well.
When God gently showed me He was in charge, He was assuring me that He will see to all my needs at the camp. So I signed up by faith, knowing that God will answer my final prayer when I am at the church camp: what is my purpose in going for the church camp?
So, we will be off tomorrow, almost packed and very expectant! Please remember us and CM, who’ll be on business trip in Shenzhen from 9-12 December:
-journey mercies for CM and us as we travel separately this week
-CM to stand firm in his beliefs and not compromise
-CM to thirst and hunger for the Word
-unity for us and the family
-God to teach me and the children during the camp – especially on how we can serve together as a family
-opportunities to encourage others during the camp