The beauty in a name and a promise…

I had a friend of mine suggest that i should tell you all the story of how Zoey’s name came about and the promise that God gave me to cling to as my world fell apart and then slowly but surely , one by one,  the shards of utter destruction were used to build back a life i would have never asked for but desperately wanted all along …

Steve and I had to fight through a lot of friends and family who told us that Zoey should be aborted.  That her existence would ruin us.  People in some of our circles had never seen a couple survive what we were choosing to take on.  So as we lay in bed one night with that ginormous ” book of names” you can pick through…we both knew this name had to be powerful and symbolize all that our daughter was already and all that she could become.  Her name needed to tell a story.  We wanted her name to be greek because her brother’s name is greek.  And then there it was ZOEY…the name Zoey means LIFE….how appropriate was that ….we were fighting so hard for her “life” and to prove to others that her “life” was just as worthy as any other baby.. that settled it right then and there…her name would mean LIFE!  Then came the middle name…

if you know anyone who has a special needs child I’m sure they have either heard of or read the poem “Welcome to Holland”…

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!” you say. “What do you mean, Holland?” I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

And since my middle name is Lynn Zoey became Zoey Holynn 🙂  She is LIFE filled with unexpected beauty.  She was not at all what we planned for but she is a better plan than we could have even known to pray for.  
And then because Jesus is just ever so faithful and into details….my birthstone is turquoise…and in the months leading up to Zoey arriving I had to endure so much ugliness from others and my own doubts and fears but through it all God just kept promising me beauty out of ashes.  He sent me to this passage in Isaiah that i have not only highlighted it like 100 times in my bible i have folded over the pages so i never lose it .  The passage starts out ….
” Afflicted city, storm battered , unpitied.
Im about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise”....
Oh my stars people….how precious is Jesus to each of us….It is like right there in his love letter to me he said ” i see you pk, i see your affliction and how battered and unpitied you are right now but hold on…i am about to rebuild you with stones of your very own birth”  Even now it just makes me cry thinking how faithful God has been through this whole journey …..He has rebuilt us from the ground up and we are made of precious stones that no one can tear down ”  The ending verse says ” I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best..God’s Decree”  I love him…He promised and He has been more than faithful…it has been the most excruciating journey but He did not lie…it has turned out for our best and from ashes he rebuilt beauty in our lives..

Isaiah 54:11-17 The Message (MSG)

11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
    I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
    construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
    and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
    what a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
    far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
    far from terror—it won’t even come close!
If anyone attacks you,
    don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them,
And if any should attack,
    nothing will come of it.
I create the blacksmith
    who fires up his forge
    and makes a weapon designed to kill.
I also create the destroyer—
    but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
    will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
    I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
        God’s Decree.


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