The Grace to Keep Going - A Letter from Remilla Ty
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Is your life filled with unexpected twists and turns? Have you faced uncertainty in times of hardship when things did not go as planned? My dearest sister, I know this story too well.
Growing up, I expected to graduate college, work my dream job, earn lots of money, get married, and eventually have children. But over time, this checklist changed. At the age of 32, I am living my vocation as a wife and mother of 3 under 5 with another on the way. I’ve been in and out of having a full-time career because of the challenges it brings to balancing family life. While this may sound exciting, it was not always easy to accept. Who I am today, I would have never imagined to be. But God was calling me to something greater, more than anything else I had ever sought for myself.
After being a stay-at-home mom for almost 2 years, my husband and I decided it was time for me to go back to work. This was a huge transition in our household for many reasons. But after my second day of work I already knew the job was not for me. I eventually quit and found myself at home again. I still had the intentions of working so I decided to open up my own business that would tailor to family life. Finally, things were feeling right again!
Within a few months into this new chapter, my husband and I were surprised with news that would turn our life around. We were pregnant with baby #4. But I wasn’t ready to have another baby and see my body change again. I wasn’t ready to put a pause on my business either. What God was calling us to, I did not understand. During our first ultrasound, we discovered we were actually pregnant with twins but miscarried one. Even more guilt set into my heart. Was the miscarriage my fault because I did not wish for this pregnancy? Wasn’t I an advocate for life? So much was happening. I found myself in a deep depression waking up only looking forward to going back to sleep. What would others think of me?
"Was the miscarriage my fault because I did not wish for this pregnancy? Wasn’t I an advocate for life? So much was happening. I found myself in a deep depression waking up only looking forward to going back to sleep. What would others think of me?"
This was a heavy cross I did not think I could bear. Until one day, I found myself crying out of nowhere. As tears flood my checks, my 1-year-old daughter grabbed my face with her tiny hands and looked at me. She yelled “Ma-ma! Ma-ma!”, then kissed me on my lips. If her only purpose was to respond to my aching heart, then what more good could my children bring into my life? In that very moment, I was reaffirmed with purpose, hope, and most importantly God’s love for me. Her small gesture was a great act of love that reminded me of the beauty God could bring into our life if we just trust Him.
My dearest sister, when uncertainty feels all consuming, I encourage you to ask God to give you the grace to go beyond what you are capable of doing. But more importantly that you trust His will and find joy in the outcomes that follow. I encourage you to embrace these twists and turns and shift your perspective towards what it means to live out the life you were called to. It is when we respond with “yes” to what God asks of us, we get to truly experience joy in deeper, more fulfilling ways.
Your sister in Christ,
Get to know Remilla
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Remilla Ty. I’m a mother of 4 under 5 and wife to my high school sweetheart, all at the age of 32. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we endlessly enjoy boba drinks and tacos (not together). I’ve been a a stay-at-home mom on and off for the past 6 years while balancing my career in between. You can catch me “off hours” sneaking into our home office where I currently run my own design and illustration business called Thank You Design.
How does your Catholic faith affect the way you live your day-to-day life?
Being a mother of 4 little ones can be challenging. My hands (and brain) are typically full, the house is always a mess, and emotions are a raging rollercoaster amongst everyone. But my Catholic faith encourages me to love and find joy even in these messy moments. I find myself in constant conversation with God, humbly asking for His grace to do what He asks of me despite my doubts and wants.
From one Catholic woman to another, how have you discovered your sense of belonging in the Church?
Growing up I always had more “guy” friends than girls. I didn’t resonate with a lot of girls growing up because my interests and personality seemed at most times different. But it wasn’t until college when I joined the Catholic Newman club that I discovered the beauty of sisterhood and what it means to be a woman in the eyes of God. My friends and I created a ministry which we called "Sisterhood", where we invited other women to learn about the faith and the importance of upholding the dignity of self/woman. We would host retreats in our apartments and use the surrounding areas to reflect, talk, cry, sing and even work out. This group of women was something I needed in my early 20's because of all the changes I was going through in life. They helped me understand and know God's love for me.
What’s the most empowering piece of advice you’ve been given as a Catholic woman?
God’s plans are greater than our own and we must constantly seek His grace to embrace it. It is when we say “yes” that we can truly experience joy.
Tell us about a woman who inspires you. What lessons have you learned from her? How has she influenced your life?
My grandma Gigi inspires me. She moved to the States from the Philippines for a better life and to also raise us while my parents went to work. She selflessly cooked for us, clothed us, and cleaned up our mess despite being tired. And she did this without missing a morning devotional or night time prayer with my grandpa. Today, she is in her mid 80’s doing the same for my children. Never once has she asked for affirmation. My grandma Gigi has taught me that love can be most felt in the smallest acts of service.
What's your favorite way to pray?
Singing because it’s a fun and moving way to pray especially with my children.
What’s the best smell in the world to you?
The scent of a newborn baby. You go through so much in the first phase of a baby’s life, just the smell of their newness puts you at ease feeling so so grateful.
What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday off?
We love having “movie nights” at home or at my parents house. Since we’re a family of small children, it’s easier to keep everyone together in a cozy, contained spot. Plus, we love a good bowl of popcorn.
Fill in the blank
A typical day in my life looks like…
Waking up to a cup of coffee my husband made for me before going to work. From there I hit the floor running. From morning school drop off to nursing my newborn baby to keeping my kids entertained while I attempt to clean or sneak in a little social media... by noon we are all ready for a nap. But of course the day continues with after school pick ups, homework, dinner, and night time prayer. By the time 9pm rolls around, my husband and I finally get our “me time”.
My favorite quote is...
“If every flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose it’s sweetness." - St. Therese de Lisieux
I feel most inspired when…
I spend one-on-one time with my husband talking about our ambitions, passions, and how that fits into what God desires us to be.
The Catholic Church is…