When I was a little girl, I would fantasize, as I assume most little girls do, about my future family. I just knew that when I grew up, I would have two kids, a boy first and then a girl, and they would be exactly two years apart. I spent countless hours in the bathroom pouring over the giant Brand Names catalog we kept in there, picking out the perfect car seats, playpens, cribs, rocking chairs, and toys, one for a boy and one for a girl.
When I got a little older, I rode the bus with a girl whose name was Mickayla. She was quite a bit older than me and I never spoke to her, and I don’t remember why, but I remember not really even liking her. But I loved that name and determined that when I had my baby girl someday, that would be her name. Mickayla. Mickey or Kay (my Nani’s name) for short. I had it all planned out.
Maybe I had some kind of prophetic spirit as a child, maybe it’s just coincidence, or maybe God just has a sense of humor, but I did in fact have two children, a boy first and almost exactly two years later, a girl. (Truth be told, I tried for the timing of my second child, it just happened to work out my way) I was totally naming this child Mickayla!! Except out of nowhere, starting the moment those two lines showed up on the pregnancy test, literally everyone started naming their kids Mickayla! No joke, it was everywhere, it had to be one of the most popular names that year. Agitated, I thought, ok, well I can still name her some variant of Kay (I wanted to name her after my Nani), even if it’s not my first choice. But no. Every time I so much as thought of a name I liked, about 10 other people suddenly became pregnant and picked that name. Kayla, Kaylyn, Kaylie, Kayna, Kaydance. All stolen from me by the masses.
Who cares, you say? I care! The rebellious, prideful spirit in me just cannot tolerate the thought of my baby girl sharing her name with thousands of other little girls. Yes, I said cannot, not could not, because I still feel the same way.
So I searched and searched and searched for a unique name that had great meaning. Name meanings are important to me. I believe that the meaning behind our name says a great deal about who we are. The Bible is full of people who were named as an indicator of who they would be in the future. Or whose names were changed when they gave their lives to God. If names are that important to God, why wouldn’t they be to me? Anyways, I’m babbling.
Mickayla comes from the name Michael, which means, Who is like God? Kay means pure. It was perfect, and I spent months trying to come up with something that even came close to measuring up. I finally came across the name Halle. It meant heroine. If you could look back and peek in on my life, you would see that I struggled with drug use as self medication, escape methods from a difficult and lonely life full of trauma and bad choices. My decision to have a second child (in keeping with two year difference rule. You have permission to judge me), along with a big move away from some bad influences, pushed me back into God’s loving arms. So heroine seemed perfect to me. I named my beautiful baby girl Halle in recognition of the fact that her existence rescued me from the dark road I was travelling on.
Years later, I think about how God had his hand in that entire process, but not for the reasons I thought. I believe that, in addition to God’s humorous side, the reason that a gazillion people began naming their kids every variation of my coveted choice, Mickayla, was because my daughter was never meant to be a Mickayla. She was meant to be a Halle. Was her birth meant to save me from myself? No. Halle cannot save me. Only God can save me. He alone is my rescuer. While my pregnancy and maternal instinct with her may have lent a hand in evaluating my priorities and turning me back to God’s plan, she is not my savior. She is not my heroine.
So what the heck am I talking about?
I look at my kids today, and see who they are, who they are becoming. My son, Ryan, whose name means Little King, is anointed by God to truly be a little king in this realm. He has been gifted with incredible talent and intelligence in so many areas, including music. He taught himself to play the piano by ear, and I cannot describe to you the insane ability this kid has to play. Or the joy I see in him when he is playing. He will impact the world for Christ in a massive way with this God-given talent.
My daughter, the heroine, lives up to her name in every way. A lover of all of God’s creatures, I watch her go out of her way daily to defend the defenseless. She gives herself to those who are helpless, and lives her life determined to be a voice for those who don’t have one, from the tiniest sprouting plant, to the lizard who lost his tail in a fight, to the 6-year-old down the street who doesn’t have anyone her age to play with. Halle is there. She is a friend to the friendless, always going out of her way to be there for her peers who are outcast. These “outcasts” become her best friends, and I truly believe that her kindness will indeed rescue many lost and hurt souls throughout her lifetime.
No, Halle didn’t save me. But God knew who she would be before I even named her. Despite my plans, he shut to the door to what wasn’t right, and lead me to the beginning of each of my children’s destinies, right down to their names.
It just makes me think of how powerful God is. It makes me think of how he truly works all things together for our good. It reminds me that before we are even introduced to this world, God has a plan, a purpose for each of us, that each of our days are written before they come to be.
It’s comforting, knowing that you can rest in the power of God’s love. Knowing that even if we make a wrong turn, even if our own plans blind us to our God-given purpose, he is right there, steering the wheel and leading us to exactly where we’re meant to be at exactly the right time.
I get anxiety over missing out on God’s plan. I worry that I’m making the wrong choice all the time, and that somehow I have the power to overturn all of God’s plans for me (and my family) with some silly mistake. But as I pray for my children and watch them grow into these incredible people, I see how God lead me to be exactly the mother they need. I see how he intertwines our lives and is leading them (and me) into our destinies despite, and sometimes even because of, our mistakes. Because God, and only God, has the power to take what Satan intends for harm, and use it make us blossom in his Love.
Do you ever worry that you’ve missed God’s purpose for you? Does it ever feel like you are just a tiny minnow is a giant ocean, invisible to God and useless on this Earth? That’s a lie! I hope this story will remind you when those thoughts begin to form, that God is looking out for you, that he is leading you to your purpose, and that he cares about every detail of your life, even something as simple as your name. Your destiny is already written, your dreams carefully cultivated by Love in the flesh! Trust and obey, and I promise, he will lead you, step by step.
As an afterthought, I wrote about Halle, because it was slightly more humorous of a situation and a demonstration of how my plans are no hurdle for God. But just so you know, I had a similar change of plans with my son’s name. I fully intended to name him Micah, (yes, I know, Micah and Mickayla? I can’t help it) but he was instead named after a relative of his father who was tragically killed in a car accident. Despite the negative circumstances surrounding his name, I believe that, just like Halle, he was not meant to be a Micah. He is definitely a little king.
Thanks for reading today, I pray each of you is reminded of just how important you are to God!