Throughout the last few months we talked through a handful of names we thought appropriate for our daughter. There was never a long list, which made it easy and difficult at the same time. At Yom Kippur we received a prophecy about our baby being a strong warrior and as I prayed about what this meant the L-rd gave me Revelation 9-12. Surely this child will proclaim a powerful message. There are few names for girls that carry the weight of "strong warrior" but when Tom turned to our list of names we gathered while pregnant with Cassidy he found Emmylou. At one point it was our #1 choice for Cassidy, but obviously we ended up not using it.
Now we can see the leading of the L-rd: Emmylou means famous warrior.
Since I was not 100% in love with the name I asked the L-rd, repeatedly, if Emmylou was supposed to be her name. I heard YES every time. I began to bless her spirit by calling her Emmylou and I started to feel the importance of her name. Now that she is here she is definitely our Emmylou.
The middle name was also a process for us. We did not hesitate with giving her an "American" and somewhat old-timey name, fitting in with our other children, but felt it would be helpful for her to have a more Hebrew/Israeli middle name. Depending on where her Father leads her, she might end up back in Israel and if that is the case we want her to have a name she can use here that will fit more with the culture plus she was born in Jerusalem!
We had several options we considered: Tikvah (Hope), Simcha (Joy), Halleli (Praise). I kept coming back to something completely different -- Achinoam. I first heard this name at our Hebrew congregation and immediately filed it away for later use.
So what does it mean?!
My brother is a delight.
How do you say it?!
Ach- ee-no-ahm. If it's too much to gather phlegm for the Ach, it's ok to say it with a hard 'k' sound. The point is to connect with the eternal perspective that though her brothers are not here they are part of her life and part of her message.
In the weeks leading up to her birth the L-rd spoke about her middle name. I like the previous names mentioned but none of them resounded in my heart as much as Achinoam (for obvious reasons, right?). Then about a week and a half ago, as I blessed her spirit out of Arthur Burk's book, Blessing Your Spirit With the Blessings of Your Father and the Names of G-d, I felt the stirrings of His timing and His will. The title of the blessing was "Used by G-d to Turn the Enemy's Plans Upside Down" and the scripture was Esther 9:20-22:
Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces
of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days
another and gifts to the poor.
We just observed these events in Jerusalem on Sunday and Monday, the holiday called Purim, when young and old alike dress up in costumes, dance in the streets, feast like kings and give gifts of food to each other. It had not occurred to me that my due date was so close to Purim. The two seemed like such separate events. But in that moment of calling Emmylou's spirit to attention and blessing her to recognize that "the death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of something, but rather the beginning" I realized something. I asked Him about her middle name and He told me, no her name is not Hope or Joy or Esther. She is not your Hope, or your Joy. I AM. It is through her that I am giving you more hope and joy, but just like that blessing said, it is about Me. And in that moment I knew Achinoam, my brother is a delight, was the name. It connects her, and all of us, with the eternal perspective that we live this life for His glory, for His Kingdom, and whether we get to delight in our brothers now or when the King returns, it is all a delight because it's from Him.
And now that she is here, in our arms, we are delighting in His ways. Three and a half years after Zeke joined the Heavenly Army we now have another warrior for the Kingdom. And though Achinoam means a singular brother, it represents Zeke and Wyatt and every other loved one that has been called to prepare the way of the L-rd's return.