In October 2009 we welcomed our son, Luke, into the world. He was born with Spina Bifida, hydrocephalous, chiari malformation, and a large Syrnix. When we first found out about the addition of our new baby boy we did some extensive review of names and researched each of those names to see what type of character they were in the Bible. What strengths and weakness did each name carry? Did we know anyone with the same name that we felt lived up to the name?
After much research (and even some contemplation in the delivery room of the hospital) we still had not decided. I told Tommy, my husband, first I have to see him to see if “Luke” fits him. In the end, yep, he was definitely a Luke — a man of God and possibly a doctor in the future. We knew Luke was special and that he deserved a name that was fitting to whom he one day would become.
Luke’s conditions have resulted in him using a wheelchair instead of walking, at least for now, and for a long time meant he was unable to speak. In November of 2011 he underwent his seventh surgery to place a shunt in his spine to drain his large Syrnix. The surgery was a success: we’ve seen so many improvements in his reactions to things from tingling to sitting and speaking. We continue to thank God everyday for grace and mercy on Luke. (I tell you all this so you have a small understanding of our day to day activities.)
For two years, I’ve watched Luke grow along with so many of his other little friends learning to walk, talk and say their first words. As each of those little ones achieved their goals we were not sad, but discouraged that Luke had not reached those milestones yet. However, we knew that God had a bigger plan and that his plan would be sufficient for us. I knew that one day Luke would say his first words and I just prayed it was momma or daddy.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2011, Luke said his first word: Momma! Momma! Momma! I, of course, shed tears and was overwhelmed that on Thanksgiving Day, God allowed Luke to say his first word and that word was Momma. It’s been a few months and I can tell you he is making great progress! We are up to dadda, momma, Emma, Bobo and a few other words. He is working hard with vowel sounds and consonants and we could not be happier. The joy inside of our hearts the day he spoke those first few words was more than I can express through words.
With our older children, Noah and Emma, we overlooked all those simple words when they came. Although we were excited, we took for granted how sweet, special, gifted and joyful it was to hear those words. Every time Luke says Momma and Daddy now, we almost find it hard to keep the joy within. Sometimes he says Momma and Daddy to get our assistance to get him up from his nap or maybe hand him his milk. Sometimes he just sits and says Momma and Daddy for no reason other than to acknowledge he knows who we are. You can see that he is as happy as we are when he uses our ‘names’ as he looks and smiles at each of us. As each day passes and more words develop, we can’t contain our joy — instead we leap for joy!
Our joyful little Luke.
As I think about this, it reminds me of my Lord and Savior. How often do I call out to Him as Daddy? What was it like for God the first time I called Him Daddy? I can only imagine the joy that filled His heart when I turned over my life to Christ to follow Him. I imagine that every time I call out to God, He is there smiling down at me and saying I am here and your name, Christie, has been written in the Lambs Book of Life.
I wonder if my mother put much time and effort in thinking about my name to realize that one day my name, Christie, would be written down in the Lambs Book of Life. The verse that comes to me about this is Revelation 21:27:
Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I also read, just yesterday, Luke 11:9, which says Ask and it will be given to you. I ask quite often for God to pull me through a situation, to grant me strength, to provide direction and even to deliver me from situations that arise each day. There are many other times when I thank God for the day to day achievements that Noah, Emma and Luke make. The gift of affirmation of hearing Luke using words keeps me focused on the goals ahead.
I’m so thankful that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent: He can hear all my cries for help, my pleas for peace and my prayers for our family. He has come through for me every single time! When hope is lost (or just feels lost) God is always there to provide a little hope for that day to show me Yes, I hear you and yes I’m working it out — just be patient!
Has your name been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Are you calling upon the heavenly Father to meet you in the midst of your daily woes? Are you asking God to provide you the direction you need for your hope and joy to be filled? Are you thanking God daily for the little blessings he sends your way? It is a joy knowing that God looks down upon me with joy, like the joy I feel when Luke calls on me. I pray that God will continue to show grace and mercy for our family. I pray you’ll seek God, too — He is faithful to answer anyone who calls on Him. He has so many gifts for each of us in this life, and the life to come.