The Great Name Reveal

The arrival of our baby girl is getting closer and closer, and we are all so excited to meet her! Her long awaited arrival has actually been a very special time for me. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms and tell her exactly how much she means to me. As I prepare for her entrance into this world, I’m reflecting on the journey my heart has been on since we found out we were going to be blessed with a little girl. I want to document this journey for her sake and mine, and while it feels very vulnerable, I’m going to share it here in the hopes that it might serve as an encouragement to someone.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the LONG story of our

Gabriella Kate

I have always imagined myself as the mother of boys. There was a family of four boys for whom I babysat for several years.  I always dreamed of how wonderful it must be for that mother to be adored by her four sons while doing her best to keep up with sporting events, dirty laundry, hungry mouths, obnoxious play, etc, etc, etc. For some reason, this sounded wonderful to me, and I also felt like I was well suited for the job. I’ve become more fond of girly things over the years, but I would consider myself to have been more of a tomboy in my younger years. As a planner and organizer, this “dream” (or well, mapped-out plan that I was giving to God for my life) seemed perfect for me.

When we found out we were pregnant with Reuben, I quickly began to remind God of my dream to have all boys. I told Him that if I couldn’t have that dream to at least give me a boy first, so if I did have a girl, she would have an older brother. When we found out Reuben was a boy, I was SO relieved and excited that all seemed to be going according to my grand plan.

Thanks, God. I love it when you do what I tell ask you to do.

As I’ve begun my journey of motherhood with a son, I have enjoyed every bit. I love watching him play, sword fight, rough house, wrestle, and develop on obsession with ESPN SportsCenter. I love shopping for boys clothes, and have never even been drawn to the girls side of the store OR the bows. Oh my goodness, the bows. As Reuben’s 2nd birthday was approaching, God began to stir our hearts toward having another child. While this was very exciting to me, my mind was straight back to the obsession of reminding God about my dream for boys.

God, you remember I’m best suited to be the mother of boys, right? We’re gonna try again so if You can just make sure to hold up your end of the deal, that would be great.

Much to our surprise, we became pregnant quicker than we expected. We began to wrap our heads around the idea of having another child within the same calendar year. By Christmas 2011, we would be a family of 4…a dad, a mom, and 2 wild boys. Well, on May 17th, we went in for our gender revealing doctor’s visit. On this day, God revealed He had a much different plan for our lives. He had blessed us with a little girl. My immediate response was tears…LOTS of them. Our doctor asked me if I was crying happy tears or sad tears. I told him I was just surprised. I was expecting a boy. He quickly informed me that it wasn’t his fault that our baby didn’t appear to have the parts we were hoping for 😉 I laughed and just told him I was an emotional pregnant woman…don’t mind me.

As I walked out of the office, my first feelings were disappointment, desperation, and betrayal. Hadn’t I told God I was best suited to be the mother of boys? What was He thinking? I’m not cut out for this! I have two very close friends who had each just had their second boys. See, God? You did it for them. Why not me? All the while I was thinking in the back of my head, “Amy, be thankful for what you have. Your baby is healthy. Be careful. You don’t want her to grow up feeling unwanted.”

At this moment I had to choose…sulk about the dream that wasn’t go according to my perfect plan or embrace the new dream God had perfectly designed for me and my family. I chose to embrace the dream. Heck. When have I ever backed down from a challenge? Well, what I didn’t know was that embracing the dream meant embarking on a journey of redefining myself and my view of who I am as a child of God.

On what I believed to be an unrelated note, God had been stirring in my heart to begin a women’s Bible study at our church. I had been wanting to go through a Beth Moore study, specifically “Breaking Free,” for quite awhile, simply because I had heard so many wonderful things about it. In the opening session, I shared with the ladies that I was a facilitator of this study, but in no means a master of this material.  I knew God had brought me to this place for a reason, and I needed to experience what He had for me.  I let the ladies know how thankful I was to have them by my side, not following my lead.  Well, while watching the opening video, God Rocked. My. World. It was one of those moments when everything was silent except for what I felt to be an audible voice speaking right to my spirit.

Amy, the daughter you are carrying will grow to become a strong woman of God. I’m taking you on this path to break free from your bondage so that you may be better equipped to be both her mom and the woman I’ve created you to be.

I quickly realized that my journey toward freedom, with the help of this amazing study, was critical.  Not only would it get me to a place where I personally could finally live a life free from years of emotional and spiritual bondage, but it would take me to a place to be the perfectly designed mother for our baby girl.  BUT…not without commitment, discipline, honesty, tears, and tremendous effort on my part.

I came home that night and shared with Nick about the revelation I had in Bible study that day.  I told him how I felt that this 10 week study was critical for both me and our baby girl, and how thankful I was that God had opened the doors for me to lead the study.  The biggest news I shared with him was that I felt the name we had picked out for our daughter needed to change.

We had a name picked out for our daughter for several years (just on the off chance that God might forget about my perfect plan to have all boys).  I loved the name, and was 100% committed to it.  Nick had asked me a few months earlier if there was any chance of changing the name.  I said, “No way.  Unless God Himself gives me a new name, this will be her name for sure.”  Nick nodded and accepted that we were settled on our daughter’s name.

As my heart was stirring after the opening session of our Bible study, I was thinking back on other significant breakthroughs in my life and realizing how important it was for me to have a mental cue to redirect my thoughts anytime the enemy’s lies started to creep in.  For example, over the course of our 5+ year dating relationship, Nick and I had our fair share of highs and lows.  When Nick proposed to me, he chose to do so on March 21st, the beginning of a new season.  This was symbolic of putting the past behind us and focusing on the beautiful new season we were beginning together.  This theme of “new season” permeated our wedding.  The concept provided me with confidence anytime my thoughts would wander to the problems and drama we had experienced in our past.  I would simply remind myself that we were beginning a new season.  The past is behind us and new and wonderful opportunities for growth are in front of us.

Being realistic with myself, I knew there would be times when the enemy’s lies would creep in about my inability or insufficiency to be a mother to my beautiful daughter.  I knew that having a mental cue would help me tremendously in combatting the lies.  The initial first/middle name we had picked for our daughter simply meant “Christmas.”  This didn’t bother me because I loved the name (AND Christmas is my favorite holiday); however, I thought about how powerful it would be for my daughter to have a name that reminded me of what God had told me about who she will be.  Nick and I had made a list of a few other names we liked, just in case we changed our minds or “God Himself gave me a new name.”  Two of the names on the list were Gabriella and Kate.  Gabriella means “heroine of God,” and Kate means “pure.”  Once we put the two names together, Gabriella Kate, we instantly fell in love.  Not only was it beautiful, it was also a powerful reminder of who God promised us she would be.  Heroine means, “a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds or noble qualities.”  Yep, that’s my girl 🙂

As I continued along with the Breaking Free Bible study for the next 10 weeks, I slowly worked through a process of breaking the bondage of insecurity and lies I had been living in for YEARS.  I realized that several of the identities I had labeled myself with were not honest, but simply a mask to cover the insufficiency I felt I possessed.

Amy is a tomboy.  Mask.  I longed to be a girly girl, but didn’t feel pretty enough to play that role.

Amy has it all together. Mask.  I wanted people to know that I couldn’t do everything, but would they still want to be my friend if they found out?

Amy is best fit to be the mother of boys. Mask. Having a little girl would be wonderful, but I have too many issues that I don’t want to pass on.  I would rather have boys so I can avoid dealing with those issues all together.

Recognize a pattern here?

I have only just begun my journey toward freedom, but I’m so thankful I’ve started!  One of the most powerful tools from the study has been to recognize the enemy’s lies and replace them with God’s truths.  It was very eye-opening for me to begin to realize how many of the enemy’s lies I was believing to be true!

A verse that has been speaking to me through this whole process is Psalm 27:13:

I will remain (continue in the same state) confident (with full assurance, excessively bold) in this, I will see the goodness (kindness, generosity, faithfulness) of the Lord in the land of the living (here and now!).

I’m so thankful that I can have a confidence in Him because He is faithful and does have a perfect plan for my life…which happens to include our precious daughter, Gabriella Kate.

To my pure heroine of God, I can’t wait to meet you!  I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen to be your earthly guide to knowing, understanding, and believing in our Father’s love.


14 Comments on “The Great Name Reveal”

  1. Wow Amy! What a great story. I love reading all about you and your family.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen Luper says:

    Amy, I’m so proud of you! I miss you everyday, you are such an amazing person! You are going to be a wonderful mother to Gabriella Kate!

  3. Jen Tufts says:

    Friend. Isn’t our God so gracious? He wants to posses your whole heart. And he won’t relent in his pursuit. I’ve been on a journey towards identity in the past seven months as well and the best thing I’ve learned is that I. Need. Jesus. And I’m starting to dig into the truth that his grace is sufficient for me. I am grateful for so many seasons where God has been at work in us. I see the evidence of his grace and am reminded of his long faithfulness. Love you!

  4. Billye Reich says:

    I lov when God speaks to people! AND they realize it!

  5. karen serna says:

    i love you friend… and this amazing story! can’t wait to meet gabriella kate! 🙂

  6. mamamac222C says:

    Here’s a familiar verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each man (woman) should give what he (she) has decided in his (her) heart to give not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.” You have decided to embrace being the mother of Gabriella Kate not because you’re stuck with her but with freedom as you believe that it is God who knit her together in your womb! Now, look at verse 8, “And GOD is ABLE, to make ALL grace abound to you, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you wiil ABOUND in EVERY good work!!” AMEN! There is no greater joy for a parent than to hear that their child is walking in the truth!! I love you and I am so proud of you!! Mama

  7. […] for our baby girl. He told me she would be a strong woman of God, and because of that promise, we chose to name her Gabriella Kate, pure heroine of God. The ambulance ride to the hospital was one of the most desperate times of my […]

  8. […] know this post where I talked about the struggle I went through last summer when I found out I was going to have […]

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