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.Leave a Comment
What a wonderful reminder! Your daughter is beautiful. 🙂
I adore that name Hope! My youngest son Christian passed away in Aug 2008. I fell in love with that name when hearing Pilgrim’s Progress on the radio on night. I didn’t know then (but I do now) how much comfort that name has brought me this past year. And how God has blessed and encouraged me whenever I think of the name Christian. I guess God wanted to make sure I would always remember and focus on what is most valuable in this world– to live for and follow Christ! And the HOPE that is only through Him.
I am so glad that God is faithful and constant, even when we are not. 🙂
This is soooo good. And it was sooo good for me to read today. Thank you 🙂
Awesome~ I, too, went through the special naming process for my children. I am blessed that this word and story is so intricately connected with our ‘hope’ – our salvation, the anchor for our souls.
Fiona@ A little bit of honesty says
That’s beautiful Sarah, and so true. Thank you.
Thank you. I think I’ve lost hope lately. I needed this reminder
Beautiful, much needed post! I love the name Hope 🙂
Katie-Pensacola, FL says
sarah, i sooooo love your practicality. God is so a God of everyday. washing your dishes, doing laundry, reading a blog, sharing joy with your kids, being frustrated with your kids, smiling at the fact that you talk yourself……..God is in our EVERYTHING not just our big stuff or our tragic stuff. He IS wrapped around us like a warm blanket all the time. your posts just bring that point back to me everyday. He cares about everything, uses everything. i am so grateful to Him for using you in my life.
Thanks for your honesty. I too get tired of using my sweet ones’ names – names I chose – yelling or correcting a seemingly million times a day. Good reminder of the bigger picture – the gift our kids are and the gift of hope from above.
I have a Hope and a Madison, both named at birth, exactly for what God spoke to us about them…
May they bring their “hope” and “good hearted” selves to a world who needs them both, for what God has called them to be!
I “hope” the same for your two daughters.
Terri Conrad says
such poetic writing Sarah, thank you for your gift – we btw chose Katelyn :o)
she, along with her sister Jessica bring us hope with each new day.
Sarah Markley says
And, I’m enjoying finding out some of the names of your own children.
Beautiful story, thank you for sharing! It’s funny though, my friends 3 yr old girl is Hope Elizabeth haha… but we live in Alaska so they probably won’t bump into each other 😉
Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience says
Ah, we have a Hope here too….
I loved your post, Sarah…
Such a beautiful post! And what a great reason to name her Hope!