when i was pregnant with luke, sam and i discovered that we were not very compatible in the name-choosing department. and when i say "not very compatible," i mean we couldn't agree one bit. on any name.
it's a wonder our children ended up with names at all.
around twenty weeks, we found out that luke would be a boy, which was even more troublesome, as figuring out a boy name was proving much more difficult than figuring out a girl name (more on that to come, though). i liked traditional but simple names; my caveat was that i couldn't give a child a name that i had ever known anyone else to have. sam didn't care so much about the association thing, but the names' meanings were of particular importance to him. thus, caleb, which i really liked and which was not associated with anyone at all to me, was out, its meaning being "loyal like a dog." sam couldn't stand the dog part. sam, on the other hand, came up with lots of interesting ideas: jedediah, hezekiah, zerubbabel. interesting, but un-spellable...not to mention, well, atrocious, really. in my opinion. ahem. his favorite was zephaniah, which means "he whom God has hidden." so i agreed: the baby could be called zeph for as long as God kept him hidden; but once he was un-hidden, he needed a different name!
finally we agreed on luke, which comes from latin and means "light." whew. one down.
when i was pregnant with eliza, then, we stalled on the name-list creation until we found out she was a girl. she, too, was zeph in utero. but although we agonized over names for her, it really was a foregone conclusion. back when we were sixteen years old, silly teenagers having silly conversations, we once talked about what we would name our children (not our children together, of course, but each our own), and we both agreed that eliza was a good name for a girl. (perhaps that was the year we were reading pygmalion.) so all those years later, agonize though we did, it really was no contest: our little girl would be eliza, "consecrated to God." once she wasn't zeph anymore, of course.
fast forward a few more years. this week, the real zeph passed away. zeph, he or she whom God had been hiding in me for about eight weeks now, will not have the chance to come into a new name this side of Paradise. i was sweetly reminded today of the wise words of the ever-loving elephant horton, "A person's a person, no matter how small." indeed. zeph, our little person, you were and are loved. and deeply missed.
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with his singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).