Sunday, August 12, 2012

What's in a Name part 3

The recent break in blogging can be blamed on the difficult nature of this blog. The prose is raw as is the emotion. Thanks for reading the story of my son's name...

While we had settled on a middle name, the first continued to allude us. Even though we liked numerous names, none really stood out.
One night as we read to Mary Grace the story of Nehemiah from her storybook bible. The children’s book paraphrased the meaning of Nehemiah’s name as “God will wipe away every tear.” The beauty of that metaphor for God’s all-encompassing comfort brought tears to my eyes I hope I’ll never have to wipe away.
When I found out I was having a boy, I was so scared. Michala often quotes me as expressing my fear as “girls are easy, you just have to love em, but boys…boys you got teach em stuff.” What fueled that lack of self-confidence in my ability to be a father to a son was my name.
My relationship with my own father, while having many great strides, has been rather rocky. In some ways, much of my misguided attempts to become a man were desperate grasps at a Father’s love. Much of our time spent together doing my childhood were excursions to the local pub, where I would play darts or pinball, drink cherry cokes and argue with the old guys about sports.  Don’t hear me wrong, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything but sometimes I desired more. I wish my dad had taught me how to be a husband, how to love Jesus, how to be a man.
So as I learned that our second child would be a boy, a fear settled over me. Would I be doomed to repeat the sins of my father and father's before? Of course we all must face the ramifications of all our fathers' collective shortcomings.
Nehemiah’s story takes place in the midst of a people knee-deep in curse. He returns to the promised land that had been lost due to the failures of the previous generations. As a leader, Nehemiah calls the people to a new life, a redeemed life, a restored life. For so long the people had suffered yet now God Comforts.

We believe that our son will play a major role in the redemption of our family name. We believe that he will be a comfort to our fears. Nehemiah reminds us that exile does not last. There is a time to return, a time to be comforted by the One who comforts. 

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