“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (The Message)
Last time we were together, I was sharing about how God affirmed through the power of prayer that I’m where He wants me. I also shared how God used our daughter to bless someone she didn’t even know because God used who she picked as the winner that particular month.
Today I want to share how God blessed my daughter that day as well. It goes back over a decade when I was pregnant with her. I love names. When my husband and I were engaged, I was more interested in talking about baby names (even though we weren’t even sure when we wanted to start a family) then I was in wedding decorations. I have always loved unique names, meanings of names, family names, etc. If we were going to be blessed with boys, we knew that we wanted to honor the men in the family with each boy sharing a part of their father’s name and their grandfather’s name, etc. God did indeed bless us with two boys who do exactly that.
For our daughter, I wanted to bless my paternal grandmother but later found out she hated her name, so we scrapped that idea. I had a specific name in mind that I loved, but thought it might be a little too unique so we moved that to her middle name, and needed a beautiful first name to compliment it. We found out she was a girl in my fifth month and shared that news with everyone, but kept her name a secret. We chose a name around the sixth month and started secretly referring to her by that name… until the end of the eighth month when I absolutely had to change it. I found another name I thought I loved more and asked Bill if he would reconsider. He liked it too and so in the final weeks of her living safely inside me, her name changed.
I love her name, but always had questioned whether I should have stuck with the original name or gone with the name Bill suggested which was equally pretty. My conclusion was that pregnancy hormones are real and strong and that is the reason for her name on her birth certificate instead of either of the other two choices. She has heard me tell this story many times and she even uses her “original” name as a nickname at times. Both are beautiful and both are part of her birth story.
However, the reason that our daughter picked the winner that she did that particular night was because the winner’s name rhymed with her name. Her chosen name. Her legal name. The name that I had always blamed on pregnancy hormones when now I realize it was God’s prompting. That is when I knew.
When it says in the Bible that God knew us before we were even formed, before we were even considered, He means it. I truly believe that God wanted our daughter named exactly what she is named because He had a plan to use her, our daughter, on a particular night over a decade later to bless a particular person that we have never met face-to-face. God wanted us to pray with this friend over the phone because God cares that much.
Do I think that I am the one who blessed that woman that night? Absolutely not. I think God could have used anyone to pray with such an incredibly special lady, but I think God loved her enough to let her know that He cares about her down to the detail of having someone pray with her. I believe that God loved me enough to allow me the privilege of getting to pray with her and get to know her that much better. And I believe that God loves my daughter so much that He used her to affirm to a stranger that God listens and is in control.
Again, God doesn’t just do one blessing and call it good. He used the blessing that He gave to the member that night to bless my daughter and me one more time. He affirmed to me that the name we chose for our daughter wasn’t a second choice or a third choice. It was the choice He had picked out for her before she was even born.
I will never look at her name in the same way again. I will never doubt how personal our God is again. And what He is willing to do for our family, He is waiting to do for you as well.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016