At the time I needed something unique. I didn’t want to be like the rest of my friends naming their baby girls iterations of “Hannah” or “Katelyn” or “Madison”.
There is nothing wrong with those names, I just (selfishly perhaps) wanted my daughter to stand out from the multitude.
I was pulling for all of these names at one point or another to name our baby girl who would come early in January of 2002. None seemed right.
I know some parents wait until the baby is born to see which of the hat-full of names fits. They look into her dark blue eyes and search for the name she was meant to have. They hold her, wiggly and screaming and tell each other that she looks like a…. Sometimes they even leave the hospital undecided with “BABY GIRL” in the name field.
We knew from the 19-week ultrasound what she would be named.
And when she came home from the hospital she already had a bevy of personalized frames, blankets and bags with her initials or name embroidered in red plastered around her little baby room. Hope Elisabeth.
But a new mother never skips ahead to graduation announcements, report cards, or the millions of future fill-in-the blank commands in the new hour when she’s holding a slippery, screaming infant in her arms:
“Hope, go clean your room!”
“Hope, stop irritating your sister.”
“Hope, do you love me?”
“Are you listening, Hope?”
“Hope, I will walk with you through this. I’ll never leave you.”
A new mother never imagines how many times she will use the name she herself has chosen. A word previously unique and special has now become overused and tired on her mouth.
I never believed I would fatigue saying her name. But I do.
But God never wearies of speaking my name. Even if He calls me over and over from the other room and I ignore him, He still doesn’t fatigue. He is patient, and calls me yet again, not cursing the name he gave me but lacing His voice with love for me.
He says, “Sarah.”
He also calls my daughter saying, “Hope” with the vigor and fervor that I lack as a tired mother.
To Him, her name isn’t overused. The words aren’t spent vainly coming from his lips. And when she was old enough to understand I told Hope what her name meant. Meant to me, at least: Something good is about to happen.
Somehow, in God’s gracious way, we are all called Hope.
For the grace He’s given us.
For the future we have in Him.
For the permanent (and not fleeting ) beauty our souls possess.
For the promise of Jesus.
His hope is never spoken in vain. His hope is never trite. And because of Him, something good is always about to happen. His hope is never overused.