Monday, April 6, 2009

What's in a name?...

What's in a name?...

A lot.

I never realized how important names are until after I had our little boy.

Jonah David Costner

This is why...

Before Jeremy and I were married, I'd always been so interested in names and on this particular day we sat in a small restaurant here in my hometown and in small talk got on the subject of children someday. We casually laughed and said how "important" we thought names were.. completely not realizing how our words would come to such a reality far beyond our knowledge.

I mentioned that I had always loved the name.. "Jonah"


Jeremy got a big smile and said.. "Yea, I like it.. Jonahh.. " He sounded it out slowly... "Joonnnahh, how about with like .. David?"

I grinned.. "Jonah David, that's an awesome name!"

I grabbed a pen out of my purse and wrote it down on a napkin.. swirling the letters.. I remember it like it was yesterday.

One year later.

Who would have known that Jeremy and I would be happily married and in just a few short months we were going to be the proud parents of a precious little boy?
The ultrasound had confirmed our heart's desire.
He had a healthy heartbeat and was "most defiantly a little boy".

We were so PROUD.

Our "Jonah" was on his way.
Yep, the first name stuck. We loved it.
But Jonah David?... David?
Was that the right name?
I'd always heard the importance of a name.
I knew we'd talked about it.. But it was a casual conversation.
We were suddenly faced with reality.
He would have to live with it.. hear it... write it.. it would be his trademark. It was a serious decision.

I prayed for guidance.. "Lord Jesus, give us the name.. give us the right name."

I just ... wasn't sure.

The time grew closer and nothing fit.
Every name didn't sound right.
Jeremy and I decided we wanted to both agree on his full name and feel good about it.

But, I knew, from the beginning Jeremy had loved "Jonah David Costner" ... He absolutely adored that name. Not only was it Jeremy's middle name as well.. But also David was such a man of God in his eyes.

He would tell me time and time again... "Gen, think of David.. he was such a little fighter."

A little fighter.

I couldn't help but wonder why Jeremy kept saying that.

Sometimes.. we can't see the forest for the trees.

Sometimes.. the answer to our prayers is sitting right in front of our face... and we can't even see it. We make it so terribly complicated.

I searched the Internet... I searched I searched.. and searched... and searched!

I remember thinking "It was fine if Jeremy wanted him to have his name... but a little fighter?.. why not a peacemaker??"

I finally threw up my hands, decided I'd never speak so quickly about a name again, If David was what Jeremy wanted then that's what it would be and I prayed God would give me a peace about it.

Jonah - (HEBREW) A dove
David - (HEBREW) Beloved

I stared at the Baby Name Dictionary with confusion.

"A beloved dove?"
"A little beloved dove fighter?"


I hoped to understand.

Then.. Ten weeks later..

There I was, 28 weeks pregnant. Severe pre-eclampsia. Laying in a hospital bed.
"Jonah David" had to come early.
It was traumatic.
Two lives ... completely in the hands of God.

With only hours to go before we would have him here.. prematurely... around two pounds they thought.

My eyes swelled with tears and I started talking out loud to Mom who sat beside me all night long ...


"Yes Gen?"

"You know, I was thinking.. Jonah... In the bible you know?.. "


"He came a different way too. It wasn't how everyone expected.. I mean, who would have expected him to get where he was going in the belly of a whale. But it was God's plan all along.. That's kinda like our Jonah .. you know.. He's coming a different way. But there must be a purpose. Don't ya think Mom?"

I saw Mom swallow down hard and nod with a slight smile.

There was a purpose.

The next evening...
We had the most beautiful miracle.

Our Jonah.

I thought.. "At least the first name is right."

It was a couple days before I was strong enough to get into a wheel chair and go see him for the first time.

But how I longed to see him... to hold him.
I had heard him cry and that was all.
They rushed him out so quickly.. But I knew .. He must be perfect.

This little Jonah-Boy Costner.

Then finally... the morning arrived.

I remember the walls passing by quickly... I remember the soft squeaks of the wheels on that chair... I remember the nurse talking softly about how adorable he was..

They rolled me through a dim lit room with lots of beeping noises right next to small plastic "box" then Jeremy helped me stand...

...and I saw him.

13 inches long... with so many wires attached I couldn't count them.. It was taking every effort in his body to breath.. It was taking every bit of strength he had...

That tiny... perfect..

I felt the tears fall.
And I felt such a peace in my heart.

Not only did he come a different, harder way... like Jonah.
He was a little tiny fighter... Just like David.

It was truly the right name.

That napkin flashed back in my memory.. which I'm sure had been crumpled up and tossed in a garbage. I had written the name so carelessly.. And even then.. God knew. He knew all along.

I learned a very important lesson. We should speak, walk and live carefully and with the Lord Jesus in mind. We never know when our words will change some one's life or become a reality.

Thank you Lord for giving us the right name.

Thank you for answering my prayers.


"And we're so thankful that our tiny little boy...
has such a big fight within him."


  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes, Gen! Such a beautiful story. Such a beautiful, fitting name for a beautiful little fighter!

  2. this is just wonderful Gen! I've missed your writing. Keep it up. Such inspired little stories!

  3. Oh, Gen! He's such a darling! How blessed you are! You are all still in our prayers! Hope to see you soon!


  4. Thanks for sharing your "name" story Gen. I am still crying and will probably be back to read it again, and again. He IS a little fighter. And I've told you before, I love the name Jonah too.


Thanks so much for commenting! I enjoy reading them SO much! Thanks! :)