But, what if you found yourself a minor character in someone else’s story?
Because of my mother’s fate, the script for my life was already written.
Believing that I had my own story to write – and breaking free to live it – that is my story.
A Mail Order Bride
It’s true, stories don’t happen by accident. They are planned.
Mine was planned by my mother — Ah-ma, a tender, fresh-faced seventeen year-old beauty who brought me into the world.
Ah-ma was a mail-order bride from Hong Kong, to a bus boy in San Francisco Chinatown. Ah-ma was the second of eight children back in Hong Kong. Because she was the second daughter, she was chosen by her parents to marry a stranger 10 years older.
Her parents sacrificed her happiness, for the greater good — to bring her family out of poverty and emigrate them to the land of opportunity.
They divorced when I was five.
The pressures she carried were then placed on me.
She constantly reminded me that I was all she had, that I was the one to take care and provide for her.
Ah-ma wanted me to live the same life she was given, to work hard for the greater good– to provide a life that was worry-free and make up for her sacrificed youth.
Who would want to break their mother’s heart and crush her dreams of a better life?
I Worked Harder
From the time I was thirteen, I worked to help support the family.
And I was miserable.
More Than My Mother’s Daughter
One Christmas Eve, I heard a preacher say, Jesus came to give us hope.
“Hope,” I wondered, “Where’s my hope?”
For decades, I lived on duty and guilt, fulfilling my mother’s expectations. I saw no hope in my future.
Is this what God truly wants for me?
In that moment, I knew that living someone else’s story just couldn’t be what I was created for.
I decided, then —
“I am more than my mother’s daughter.
I am my Heavenly Father’s daughter.”
Knowing she would disown me, I made a decision to break free from Ah-ma’s story, to start living mine.
Not every one gets to choose the life they want —
There is pain in making the right choice. And it’s worth it.
“For you created my inmost being;
My frame was not hidden from you…
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
~Psalm 139: 13-16
I entered today’s post in the The Million Miles Short-Film Contest!
I narrated and filmed my story from the streets of Chinatown, San Francisco– where I was born!
Thank you for giving me the courage to share my story!
You’ve encouraged me to be real, with the stories you’ve shared here on (In)Courage. Thank you!