Dear Child of Mine,
As we anticipate your birth, we consider your name. It occurs to me that no matter how many years I’ve been making baby name lists, nothing could have prepared me for this responsibility. At this point, naming you seems like a massive decision – right up there with choosing to become a Christ-follower, and saying “yes” to becoming your Daddy’s wife. Yes, it feels that important.
There’s a lot to think about in choosing a child’s name. How will the first and last name flow together? What will their initials be? What kinds of nicknames might this name incur? Will people instinctively be able to pronounce it? It is difficult to spell? There are questions about honoring a family member or some cultural tradition. There’s ethnic roots to consider. And there are meanings of names to take into account.
Kevin and I had an epiphany within the first few days we learned of you, and we thought we had settled. For me, though, nothing is ever truly settled. There’s always room for more discussion, more contemplation, more mulling. Back to the drawing board we went.
I was kind of assuming I would arrive at the hospital on your birth day with two or three names selected. It would be a “game day” decision. I have heard plenty of stories of babies whose parents are debating names right up until the moment of birth…or even as late as after they go home with their unnamed infant. But then yesterday our lawyer called and informed us he would be emailing us copies of the paperwork he’d drawn up so we could look it over. Then, the dreaded question: “Do you have a name picked out?” “No, not yet,” I replied. “Well, you’re going to need to figure that out quickly so we can add it to these documents to be prepared at the time of birth.”
The two of us plopped ourselves down, settling in for a serious time of decision-making. Daddy set a timer for how long I had to add or remove names from the pool. (This seems crazy, but it’s so necessary when you’re dealing with a “waffler” like me.) Then we set about discussing the results. A decision was made.
Many people have wondered what your name will be. We have decided to keep it treasured in our hearts for now. (Well, ours and the lawyer’s apparently.)
In the midst of this naming process, my heart has cried for you, Child. I have called you by name, you are mine. To know one’s name is speak of their worth. A name offers insight into a life, has shape and color, a song attached. To utter a name connotes responsibility, relationship, intimacy. The Lord God created each of us, calling us by name, beckoning us into His Love. And with a mirrored fierceness, I call you by name, My Son. You are mine.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire
you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.