Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Mary?

I've had several friends and family ask why we are planning to use the name Mary for our new little girl? So here is my explination:

After attending a Women's retreat in Jan. I really felt the Lord speak to me, to my heart. He spoke about things I need to learn and change, about growing closer to Him, but what I found amazing was that he even spoke to me about our baby's name.

As I left the retreat that afternoon I found myself telling God "Thank you for getting me here to this retreat today, I so needed to hear Susie Larson’s message. My heart, and my mind, just echo some of her words:

“Bedrest just mocked my vision for what I wanted to be for my kids!”

“All I could do to make myself worth something was obliterated”

Oh, God, I know those feelings. My limitations and what my body is keeping me from doing makes me feel so small …

But what I found so reassuring in Susie’s talk was despite her stories of many challenges as a child, illness as an adult, being on bedrest for months on end and almost losing her baby son, was that she was now able to stand up and tell us that “Like Joseph of the Old Testament, I became fruitful in the land of my suffering” and “God is good all the time! He truly truly has our best interest at heart.” She truly grew closer to the Lord, and came to know the joy of that closeness.

Then, she put up this verse Psalm 126:5-6

Those who sow in tears
Will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
Carrying seed to sow,
Will return with songs of joy,
Carrying sheaves with him.

It seems the Lord spoke to me though that verse … concerning my current circumstances of bedrest and even this baby’s name. There have been great tears of pain and frustration and sorrow and even bitterness. Tears due to stress, due to finances, due to illness, due to loss, due to loneliness, and confusion and just plain lack of control of what is happening in my life. But I can hear the Lord telling me He wants to take and use my tears so that we can see a harvest of joy and singing. And I realize that kind of joy only comes while growing closer to our Lord and Savior. All of our tears and struggles have done just that, drawn us closer to our Lord.

And this makes me think of my time on bedrest and of our precious baby girl due in June … I think about her so often, especially when she kicks and wiggles. I’m so grateful to be pregnant. There seems to be so many reasons for me to consider the name Mary. Besides having two best friends by that name, friends who the Lord so carefully placed in my life at just the right times, and Allen’s dear Grandma Mary who helped to shape this man I love! I also came across a name book that lists the definition of Mary to mean “child we wished for”, and of course that is so so so true!!! Especially true after miscarriages. Oh, how I long for this baby! But a few other name books we've looked at had this definition for the name Mary: “sorrow or bitterness”. I’m guessing because Mary the mother of Jesus lived through much sorrow and bitter times. But that is just my guess. I can’t help thinking how that relates to me today. Certainly I have not had to live as Mary the mother of Jesus did, but I see how it fits where I have recently been. I’ve walked through disappointments, miscarriages, depression, and other lonliness … but in all of this I keep clinging to my Lord … I can’t explain in clear words why or how I know that He is always with us but, my Lord, I know you are! I've known His comfort even in loss and confusion.

So, like everyone, we’ve known times of sorrow and bitterness (I used to think that was a bad thing, but I’m learning its not). I can see now how those tears of sorrow and bitterness watered that seed of faith, and out of those low times can come great joy and singing. It makes Mary sound like a perfect name for this little girl and then maybe followed by Faith or Joy or Grace or Elise or something that expresses our blessings from the Lord. You see, out of our time of “sorrow” and tears came this “child we had wished for” and shes not just the gift of another child, but we are being blessed by the "grace" of our God, also the gift of stronger "faith" and the gift of "joy", so that we might freely say this little girl is “consecrated to God”. (Consecrated to God is the meaning of Elizabeth and Elise)

I don’t know with any certainty what is in store for the rest of my pregnancy or for the rest of my parenting years, but Oh my Lord I know that you are at work, you have a purpose and a plan, and a great love for me and my family. I pray that you help me, please help me to grow and to change as YOU desire.

UPDATE: No finaly name choice yet, but we'll post it when we decide ... which could be the day she is born ... or a few days after ... stay tuned


Kara Jo said...

Thanks for sharing your explanation for "Mary" and also for bearing witness to God's goodness to you through much pain and dark valleys. Love you!

The Solems said...

Thanks for sharing your blog with me! I love the name Mary! Some middle name suggestions from me would be; Mary Sue (wonder why?), Mary Anne (Anne of Green Gables), Mary Kay (after your first born Mikayla). I am excited to see what name you pick and to see that precious little one! In Christ's Love. Susan

Mary said...

The quickest way to grow in holiness is via suffering; especially suffering that you did not bring on yourself (but even people with hang-overs pray more for pain relief than those who are sober!) What a beautiful testimony you've posted...a testimony of accepting God's will during this pregnancy and in life in general! Jesus certainly loved his Mother Mary...what a great way to honor HIM, by naming your precious girl-baby after HIS mother! Much Love, One of your Mary Friends! :)