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Love, Planning & Baby Names

This is a story about planning. I’m a planner. I like certainty. Life hasn’t always allowed me this luxury, but I’m grateful when it does. At 15, I met the man I knew would be my husband. Just more than a year later, I was a starry-eyed high schooler dreaming of wedding dates and perusing the calendar to find the next ”First day of Summer” on a Saturday... 2014. Did I care that it was five years in the future? As per our anniversary, well, no.

Two more years after that absentminded daydreaming, I heard her name for the first time. It found its way through my ears and directly into my heart. I could feel it would be the name of our first baby girl. Eventually, I’d type it down, as though I’d forget. And as I look at this small screen (yes, that’s a 4 haha), I think back to how I dreamt of this baby girl. How I loved her and prayed for her, though it would be a long, long time before we even talked about children. Her name was a spring of hope, as I knew even then that the man I loved held one puzzle piece, and I held the other.

Between that moment and now, life would fulfill some of our plans and force the creation of new ones. It would take us to colleges in different states, through hard times, put us together again, then reveal even harder times. We’d learn God’s grace and say our vows on that beautiful day in June I’d dreamt about years before. We’d start adult jobs and adventure across the country. We’d get the dreadful news we always planned against and move back, to spend a year and half wrapped up in the love of family and cherishing every single second. And when life would present us with the very hardest, most feared loss of all, our baby girl would become fully and completely ours. My daddy was the first one who knew before he left us a few days later.

This baby girl’s name has followed us through all those times and it concurrently brings me to tears and makes my heart soar to think that in some form, she has always been with us. As love, as puzzle pieces each one of us held and protected, as a dream, and as a sweet little soul who was waiting up above until God would give her to us at a time we needed life’s greatest miracle.

Our lives here consist of a whole lot of plans and even more deviations. The one thing that has remained constant through it all is love, in so many forms—in relationships, in discovery and in dreams. I am humbled now to be just days away from kissing this darling baby’s face and giving her the name that was never really ours to plan for. It found us with unexpected and breathtaking certainty, just as she did.

And, I have learned, from fortuitously meeting my husband in a high school stairwell, from hearing a precious name as a fleeting piece of conversation, from navigating life, and from the moment that this sweet baby girl became ours, that the best things begin wrapped in love, when I’m not planning on them at all.

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