On Friday, April 18 at 1:45 p.m., Samuel Edmund entered the world. He weighed in the smallest of our children at 7# 10 oz and 20″ long. We are home resting and recouping. In the days and weeks to come, there are several posts I could write, from seeing God at work while we were in the hospital to learning to accept grace and the generosity of others to learning how to incorporate curious littles into infant care; but for today I think I will share the story of his name.
10 years ago, when I was pregnant with our third child, John and I were both given the desire to honor his father by naming a child after him. The name we chose (if it was a boy) was Samuel Edmund. While not all of our children have Biblical names, most of them do, and there is so much to admire about Samuel’s life from how early he was dedicated to serving the Lord to the strength he showed in confronting Saul about his wickedness. The baby ended up being a girl, Anna Elizabeth.
Anna had so many medical problems as a baby, I ended up spending her entire first year of life on the road somewhere~ to a dr appt., to therapy, to the hospital for this or that test…and too, John had married later in life (and I’m so glad he did!) and his contemporaries were beginning to have grandchildren. When we got married we both wanted to have a large family (as in let’s have 5 or 6 and see how we’re doing), but we eventually came to the point we had to be content that that might not be God’s will for our family and be grateful for the children He had already blessed us with. And I was, but somewhere in the back of my mind, sometimes given voice and sometimes not, I felt like someone was missing. I was missing Samuel.
7 years later, I knelt down to pray with my husband thanking God that He has always been faithful, always provided,no matter how difficult the situation we faced. John’s response? “You’re pregnant aren’t you?” Yes, we weren’t expecting it, weren’t looking for it, but there was a baby on the way. I was more than a little apprehensive to tell him because he would be 50 when this baby was born, but God had been working on his heart in advance, softening it and giving him a new appreciation for human life. Again, we had a little girl, and while we could not name her Samuel Edmund we had the opportunity to honor a beloved grandmother and my mother by naming her Emma Louise.
Then his dad got sick and passed away last June from cancer. His mom’s health requires a lot of attention, we have 3 children we are homeschooling plus a very active toddler. John turned 52 on his last birthday. We really weren’t looking to have any more children. Then in August of last year, we learned we were going to have another baby. Standing by his father’s side while his body shut down had given us even more of an appreciation for the miracle and preciousness of life. While we weren’t seeking it, we knew this baby was a gift from the Lord. We also knew this baby was Samuel Edmund. We would have been happy with another girl, but very very surprised…that’s how certain we were that this was our Samuel Edmund.
After all this time, we weren’t sure if this was the name the Lord had for him or whether it was just a memory we were holding onto, so we committed to pray and be open in case the Lord led us in a different direction. But nothing else seemed even close to right or fitting, so Samuel Edmund he remains. My only regret is that he was born after his namesake had passed away. Edmund loved the babies so much; but John had shared with me that before his dad passed away he had told him that if we ever had another boy we were going to name him Samuel Edmund, after him. I am so thankful.