As many know, discussing baby names with our spouse can be like rubbing two sticks together to create fire. Frustrating and borderline painful, but the end result brings excitement and content. My lovely wife avoided the stick rubbing all together by graciously allowing me the honor of naming our first child. Whether it was feeling sorry for me, just showing me love, or a combination of both, I was stunned. What wife in her right sober mind allows their husband to have the final say in picking out your first child’s name? I don’t want to just say that’s what makes my wife great, because it’s only one out of thousands of ways she shows how great she truly is.
Now obviously we had already generated a list of likable options. Being the typical guy that I am, it took me about 30 seconds to make a decision. It was Reese, and I even threw in the name Reesy Cup just for cuteness value to assure my wife that it was a studly choice. I got the immediate response of approval that I longed for, “Awwww! I love it babe! I agree with you. Reese it is!” This moment was an stick out your chest, ego and pride boosting moment and I was completely jazzed.
Next comes the middle name. Does anybody truly have the stamina to think of a middle name after the tireless effort of coming up with the first name? It took a while, but Mary returned from work one day and shared aloud, “How about Gabrielle? It means ‘The Lord is my strength’.” Why would we even think about another name? What could possible trump Gabrielle? If there was ever a year where we most desperately needed the Lord’s strength, this was it.
A top ten list that ranks the ten most life changing and stressful events that a person can go through, deeply resonates with me and Mary. Here are 4 of the top 5: Taking on your first mortgage, battling cancer, having a baby, and changing jobs. God has allowed us to experience all of it in a little less than a year.
Sounds haunting, right? Stressful maybe? As I’ve shared with a few close brothers, from the outside in if you were to picture and attempt to imagine facing those challenges almost simultaneously can lead to panic. But now standing right in the middle of the dog pile and living it, is no more stressful. Now, let me bank on that and hopefully magnify that statement by saying this. There is no way the unbelievable strength that we’ve reflected during this times comes from anywhere in us alone. NO WAY! The power of God’s undeniable strength is what makes these life trials and stresses feasible to live through and come out stronger. There is not 1 ounce of strength in our human bodies or souls that can carry us through crazy times like this. We’ve never felt or been alone!
This definitely isn’t to say that this has been a cakewalk either. There’s been consistent hurt, countless questions of doubt, and tears that have at times transformed themselves into weeping. But God has recognized our hurt and stress and has surrounded us with his power, his agape love, and his unfathomable strength in ways that would undoubtedly knock your knickers and socks off at light speed.
Our beautiful little Reese ‘Gabrielle’, is curled up in her daddy’s arms right now helpless without the constant aid of a father and a mother. Unable to yet perform acts of surviving independently, and completely dependent on our security. In the same way and even more so, we are completely desperate and needing of the security and the strength of our Heavenly Father. I plead that no one comes to us and says, “You two are so strong,” because it’s definitely not just us two. Let that individual instead proclaim that God is our strength, He has always been our strength, and He will never stop being our strength. That’s my God! That’s the God! That’s you Lord! And this household belongs to you alone…