Today we celebrate my little man’s first birthday. I can hardly believe it’s been 366 days since I first got to hold him in my arms. As I reflect on his life, I am reminded of the story that brought him to us. I’ll spare you the details of our journey as many of you have read them before, here and here and perhaps here. This is part of the story, though, that I haven’t told much. It’s the part that led us to his name.
Before we started trying to get pregnant, my husband and I did not see eye to eye on the timing. I was frustrated, to say the least, believing that it was God’s will for us to have a family and seeing all of my friends become pregnant one by one. But he wasn’t ready. He didn’t feel released to start that season of our lives. One night as we engaged in a heated discussion on the topic, he looked at me and said,
“I need a clear word from the Lord that it’s time.”
“Why,” I responded. . .confused that the Bible’s instruction was not clear enough.
“Because when it gets hard,” he gently answered, “I need to be able to look back and know that the Lord said it was time.”
A stone of remembrance.
When we were engaged, our pastor at the time and the minister who married us, shared in our pre-marital session about having stones of remembrance. He told of many stories in the Old Testament where God’s people were instructed to set such stones as a reminder of His instruction, His leading or something He had done.
I know it was the Lord because hearing my husband utter those words brought a rush of peace over my otherwise anxious heart. How could I argue with that? So I waited on my husband and I prayed myself for the Lord’s timing.
We learned that I might struggle to conceive the very same month we felt the release to begin our journey. The timing didn’t seem to make sense at all, except for the fact that the stone of remembrance became more and more significant as we walked the hard road to establish our family.
My husband thought he meant when parenting gets hard. And while that was a legitimate reason to seek God’s timing, more immediately our stone was a reminder of His promise of life. . .of a family.
Sixteen months ago, pregnant with my son (my second born), we couldn’t decide on his name. We looked at every baby name book and website out there and made lists of any names that stuck with us. We talked about them constantly but still, nothing seemed quite right. The name Joshua was always on our list and was actually a boy name I had loved for years. Yet we glossed over it every time we had a conversation.
One day I was praying over our son and I was led to read the book of Joshua. Perhaps something will jump out at me, I thought. That night I asked my husband to do the same. I wondered if his heart would connect with the words.
A week later we knew Joshua was to be his name. We felt the words of Joshua 1:9 were strong words to speak over the life of a boy. . .some day a man.
Joshua = God is salvation or God saves
But even more than the meaning of his name or the powerful and popular verse in the beginning of the book of Joshua, was the story in Joshua chapter 4 when he is instructed by God to gather 12 men among the people after crossing the Jordan, one from each tribe, to gather 12 stones.
“So Joshua called together the twelve men. . .and said to them, ‘Go over to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder. . .to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, what do these stones mean? tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. . .These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. . .The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up. . .He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” Joshua 4:4-24
When my husband first told me that he needed a word from the Lord, a stone of remembrance, I didn’t have any idea what that would mean to us. I look back on it now as I encounter tough days as a mom, knowing He has called me to this. But all throughout our journey to get here – infertility, 3 miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, countless doctor’s appointments, dozens of ultrasounds, fertility drugs, thousands of dollars, millions of tears and 2 miracle lives – I was always able to look back to the moment He said, “Yes.” Those of you that know our story intimately know that our son’s life was an absolute miracle. . .so that all the peoples of the earth (or our friends, family and those that read my blogs) might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful. . .
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be dismayed. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We don’t know where He will lead us friends, but we can be sure that He is with us wherever we go. I pray that you all would keep a stone of remembrance of His faithfulness and goodness in your lives.
Do you have one you can share with us now? To encourage those that are believing God for something?
Happy, Happy Birthday Joshua Kent. . .may your very life be a stone of remembrance for your family and generations to come – that they might know the hand of the Lord is powerful and able and that He is good.