What’s In a Name?

I never thought I’d be the type who could name their baby without meeting them first. When we had Brooklyn, we didn’t find out her gender pre-delivery, but we knew that if she was a girl it would be Brooklyn, and if it was a boy it would be Shepherd. Even after she was born though, I had a hard time committing. I wanted the chance to hold her and see if it…fit. But, I didn’t really get that opportunity in the time frame I would have liked and had to trust that her name was just supposed to be Brooklyn. 

With this new little one, it’s felt very different. First of all, we’ve known this would be a baby girl since early in my second trimester from the genetic testing we had done. Second of all, we just haven’t felt over the name Brooklyn. We decided early on in our marriage that if we ever had a girl we wanted to name her Brooklyn. When she was here it felt like we said her name 100’s of times a day and then all of a sudden it came to a halt. For a little while it was hard for Adam and I to even speak her name to each other much. Other people still seem to be shy about speaking her name aloud. I assume because they are afraid of how we will respond, but when the few who are courageous enough to bring her up, speak her name aloud – it means the world to me. We used to see her name on congratulatory cards and encouraging notes, but now we mostly just see it on the slow trickle of medical bills. Lately, I’ve found myself doodling her name on scraps of paper just to get the chance to write it and to see it written. I feel very connected, very attached to her name. 
But, how are we supposed to know little sister’s name? It didn’t feel right to just pick a name from a list this time. From the very beginning of this pregnancy I felt sure in my Spirit that this baby had a name. We didn’t know what it was yet, but He knew. I started to pray for Him to show us and for patience to follow Him on this treasure hunt He would have us go on. I was content with the nickname, Squirmy, for awhile but as you become more visibly pregnant, and you know the gender, the next question is usually always, “Do you have a name picked out yet?”. The more I got that question, the more the discontentment seeped in in not having one and the more I questioned whether He really was going to give us a name?
A couple of weeks ago, I was catching up on some emails and I felt a nudge to look into the name Lydia a bit. I had looked up the meaning of this name before, but mostly every time it said, “noble”, which didn’t really land with me at all. But, this time I came across a website that had a couple of different meanings listed. The first meaning was “travail”. Yes, awful, I know. Why would you want to name your baby a name that meant such a horrible thing? Well, I thought I was pretty sure I knew what the correct meaning of that word was, but I decided to look it up in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and see what they had to say. It certainly does mean “strife, labor, agony, heartache, hardship” etc., but when I glanced down at the examples of how to use the word in a sentence, this is what I read…
“No greater travail than that of parents who have suffered the death of a child.” 
Of all the examples they could have used…
So I decided to go back to the website and read through some of the other meanings. The second meaning listed was “beauty or light”. I thought it strange to have two meanings that were so polar opposite of one another. One descriptive of  life’s deepest pains and the other of life’s greatest joys. And I thought, this name…is our story. This name, and its’ disparate meanings, tell of the new language of my heart. One in which my joys and pains are distinguishable, yet always intertwined; one always affecting and impacting the other. And the more I step back, the more beautiful the collision of the these colors become.
Lydia: A hardship that has brought forth great beauty and light. 
And of course, He didn’t stop there. He gave me a few other things to really let my heart embrace this name. 
The name originated from the Lydian people who lived on the western coast of Asia Minor. They were known for being a successful people who first made use of the coin and for their outstanding musical talent. For those of you who don’t know, Adam works for a small wealth management firm. He works with successful people every day and has committed his career to helping others manage their wealth so they can live out of their passions. He is especially passionate about helping people get creative with the gifts the Lord has given them so they can give back in ways they never would have thought possible – even long after they’re gone. I can’t say the motives of the Lydian people were the same…but nevertheless….”coin” is a way we see God work within our hearts and the hearts of others on a daily basis. As for the music part, this has always been a connecting point for Adam and I. When others are watching movies or TV shows, you can find us live-streaming a concert or perusing youtube clips of new bands we like. More little treasures. 
Lydia was also a pretty cool chick in the Bible. She was actually a descendant of these Lydian yahoos and was known for being a successful businesswoman in her time from selling purple dyes (I’m guessing this might be where the noble meaning comes from since purple has historically been associated with nobility). But for me, purple is the color that most reminds me of Brooklyn and just seemed like another way He was whispering, ” I know you, I love you…” 
In addition to all of this, Lydia became a Christian through Paul and was known for starting one of the first house churches in Philippi. She used what she had and gave back to the Lord. I love that. As a household we are continually training our eyes to see ways to do this and asking for our hearts to be changed in the process. It’s just important to us, even though we know there’s a lot of shaping left to be done.
And the cherry on top….is that the Biblical meaning of the name Lydia is: a standing pool of water. Which I had to chuckle at since I have taken so many baths with Lydie this pregnancy. I feel connected to her in some strange way soaking in the warm, sudsy water. 
I am thankful that trusting Him never puts us to shame. I’m thankful He has given us a name that our hearts really feel connected to. It feels so good to call her by name. It feels like I know her more, and I didn’t want to wait until she was “here” to share her with you, because she’s here now – just tucked away inside me. We are less than 2 months away from our due date and I feel a mixture of sadness for this special pregnancy and bonding time are coming to a close, and readiness for her to be in my arms! When little Lydie moves around inside of me and pokes me with her little precious parts, I wish I could just reach inside my tummy and scoop her up. But for now I’ll keep looking for the treasure to be found in the waiting. 

6 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. Just wanted to tell you I love your writings. And, my first grandchild who is now graduating from high school, is LYDIA. So you can imagine I love that name. I’ll be anxious to meet your Lydia.


  2. What a beautiful name for Brooklynn’s baby sister. Just perfect. I love that she’ll grow up having these words from her momma and know that she was loved so intentionally before she was ever held in your arms.


  3. What a beautiful post you are such a talented writer, it is such an honor to follow along this path with you. Thank you for sharing your words on the way God is moving you. Can NOT wait to see Lydie bug!


  4. I just found your blog. Amazing! And yes, God is amazing too. We have a Brooklyn and a Lydia in our family and both are spitfires! Thank you for sharing your story and allowing “beauty from ashes.” I can’t wait to see pictures of Lydia.


  5. New here to your blog – found it through Desiring God this morning. So touched by your story. I think the name Lydia is so sweet. I have to admit as I was reading about Brooklynn that the name Bridgette came to my mind as this new baby is like a “bridge” or gift to your first sweet girl that’s with her Heavenly Father. But then I kept reading and saw that you had picked Lydia and what a sweet name that is. God Bless you all!


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