Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Names, Part I.

My buddy Heather grinned, wide-eyed as she listened to me describe the latest stories of redemption taking place within our church community.

I told her in particular of one friend who has recently taken off running full speed toward Jesus in the midst of a difficult season in life.  "Actually, you two have something in common. Her name is Heather also," I commented.  "You would really love her!"

Heather stepped closer to me as she began to speak.  "You should tell her what her name means.  It's really important that she knows what it means."

I knew she was passionate about names and their meanings; a year or so ago, she shared with me the measure of grace she received upon learning that the names of her three sons --whom she had named before she truly believed--were beautifully purposed in the heart of God Himself and were a great reflection of His plans for their lives.
As she spoke of the flower for which she is named, I could tell it brought her much encouragement.  "Heathers are flowers that grow the best in rocky places - they only grow to their full potential amidst true adversity....conditions that would kill most flowers make heathers thrive."
I promised to share one Heather's affirmation with the other, and with a quick hug, she was off.

I emailed my other friend Heather that very day and shared with her the hope of what God had revealed-through someone she doesn't even know.

As I typed, my mind journeyed to the past and I recalled all the beautiful names I had picked out for my future children.  Sweet, unique, purposeful, and special monikers that would find even greater significance as my children grew older and met their namesakes.  Names with meanings that I longed to see carried out in my children.  But as Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote: "God's dreams put man's best plans to shame."  As He saw fit in His complete benevolence, the three children God has entrusted us to raise had already received names from the biological family before we knew they existed.
I know it's a trivial thing, but until that conversation with my friend, I had been sad that I missed out on the naming process with the children we hope to adopt-and all of the things that go with it, like sweet bonding time, or knowing what they look like as newborns.
However, His faithfulness is evident over every single part of this journey and I am beginning to understand that "He withholds no good thing" from His own.  So as I typed that email, I realized that God had truly gone before us in the naming of our children.  

As some of you may know, one of our daughters is named Heather also.  We have watched her blossom through the toughest of situations, and it is obvious to me that God's plan began for her even before she was knitted together in the secret place.  He knew the way her life would unfold and how He would raise her up in the midst of it-preparing her for good things.  Each time we say her name, we are speaking these things on her life. 

Inspired by God's sweet ways, I looked up the given names of our other two sweeties and saw His hand at work again...our oldest daughter, Tabbitha (notice the unique spelling with two B's), who shares her name with a Biblical heroine (you KNOW I'm into that) who, of all people, was raised from the dead in the book of Acts.   What a blessing it has been to see her come alive with a great measure of care and love - and no small amount of blood, sweat, and tears!   Tabbitha also means gazelle, and if you've seen her in action, you know what a truly graceful and gifted child she is.  God knew this when He created her, and somehow in His gentle way - He found a way for us to speak her future over her every time we call her name.

As I searched the meaning of our sweet boy's name, I was at first disheartened after seeing the incredible meaning found in the other two names.  Tyler means tile maker or tile layer...spiritual, huh?! 

However, as I asked God what He had in mind, I felt a still small voice remind me of how busy my son finds himself.  He enjoys tinkering, building, and working with his hands, even at his young age.  This is a two-fold blessing. God pointed out to me Seth shares this love for building things with Ty, which reminds us that God purposed a long time ago for Ty to be a part of our family forever, no matter what may come.  God also spoke to my heart a promise - "One day, your son will be busy building for my Kingdom and my Glory - laying tile where moth and rust cannot destroy."

This revelation of God's grace has been a breath of fresh air to me...another simple reminder that God pays attention to our hearts and cares about the little things that seem so insignificant!  It's also another reminder that you and I have a Father who is full of grace.

Perhaps you think you were named without a purpose or without forethought.  

Let me assure you that God has a loving name that He truly longs to call each of us....



Judy Walton said...

Lauren, you have an amazing gift. I was moved by your writing. Thank you.

Nicole said...

I love that you are blogging again; and I love how amazing our Lord is at speaking life over us before we even exist! I love you!! You're amazing, sweet Laurnie-PoO!

Christy said...

I am SO happy you are back blogging. It truly inspires me and although we both have children that we will never know what they looked like as newborns the heart connection is so much more than that. We are blessed <3

Lori said...

Very true!
I often remind myself that God made me n He would not make a mistake. When I first became a Christian, I needed to know that God was my Creator and He loved ME. When I first heard those words, I immediately wanted to be His child!
All we really want is to be loved and accepted. We have that with our Father!
Thanks for sharing Lauren; I agree- God gave u a gift!
Lori Weaver

Parker Post said...

Beautiful Lauren!

Martha said...


I'm so glad you've taken back up blogging. It's yet another gift you can utilize to bless all those around you (in person and virtually)!

Oh, and I read this ;)

Courtney, Jeff, Ayla & Leah said...

im so happy to see you back in the blogosphere! :)