What's in a name?

This is a question that has popped into my head repeatedly in the busyness of the last few weeks. Something I still treasure more than words express is to hear people use Isaiah's name. Somehow this simple gesture seems to validate my son's brief life. In hearing his name, it reminds me that he really did exist. I really was pregnant with him for 32 weeks. Its not just a whimsical dream of some far off carefree life.

I am a member of an online support group and recently, we have been doing a name project where we take picture of each others babies' names and photograph them in interesting ways. It is such a simple project, but I can't tell you how powerful it is to see your child's name written out. Its a tangible representation of how he left a mark on this earth in his brief life. Here's a few of my favorite examples:

Sadly, these sweet pictures are not the only ways I have seen my son's name in the last couple of weeks. From time to time, Matt and I like to go visit Isaiah's "property." We know he is not really there, but it is a special place for us to go and spend time where his physical body rests. Because Isaiah died in the winter, we were not able to get a tombstone right away. We designed the stone a while back but were told that it wouldn't be in until spring or so, and that they would call us as soon as it was in.

Two weekends ago, we were out visiting the property and we were shocked to see that his stone was already set. No one called to warn us. I know it may not seem like such a big deal, but there is something shattering about seeing the name that you lovingly picked out for your son etched in granite.

So final. So real.

A flood of emotions hit me as I gazed upon this marker. Part of me was happy about how it turned out and the fact that there will be a permanent marker of his existence, but I was also flooded with the memories of what happened and the realization that my son really is buried and I will never see him again this side of eternity. I can't help but think, "Is this really my life?" "Did this really happen?"

Alas it did. I am coming to terms with the fact that I may never fully understand why God allowed this to happen. Daily, I am choosing to trust God and his goodness. Something that used to come so naturally to me, now really is a daily choice. Its so easy to trust God when things are going well, but its a whole different ball game when life is hard.

Something I have really been seeking to do lately is focus on the truths of God. Though my emotions are quite the roller coaster right now, and can't be trusted, God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliver; my God is my rock,
in whom I take refuge."
(Psalm 18:2)

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