I knew I always wanted a daughter. In fact, I had names picked out all throughout my childhood! When I was six years old, I made one up! Well, kind of. You know those songs or movie quotes you think someone is saying something but then you grow up and realize that’s not what they said? I was going to name my daughter… so embarassing… Annsuelika. Huh? I know! Some other names I had in mind were Haley, Hillary, and even Melody. All great names! Well, except the Ann-however-you-say-it name! But I didn’t give either of my daughters these names!
When my husband, Ethan, and I got married in May 2016, he had just graduated college, and I had one more semester to go. I don’t remember the exact day, but I remember walking to my car to drive the 45 minute ride home, and I hear, “Opal.” Not audibly, but in my heart and soul, and I knew it was the Lord speaking to me. But, if I’m being totally honest, I hated the name. I thought it was way too old fashioned, and I had NEVER given that name any thought. We were nowhere near ready to start talking about babies yet, but I called Ethan and asked him what he thought of the name.
He didn’t like it either, so I assumed that I had heard God wrong and had randomly thought of this name. Didn’t give it much more thought. Fast forward to the morning I took a pregnancy test, and there was a very faint positive line. That very day, I KNEW we were going to have a girl because I was instantly taken back to the day I wrinkled my nose at the thought of the name Opal. But from that day on, I couldn’t get over the name and absolutely fell in love with it!
Oh! And I forgot to tell you the craziest part! Opal’s due date was October 23rd. What is October’s birthstone? You guessed it! An opal! It just couldn’t be a coincidence! I told everyone I was pregnant with a girl, and sure enough, when I gave Ethan a “pie in the face” it was PINK! It’s a girl! Again, not a coincidence!
Before my Opal, I didn’t really like the opal gemstone either. I thought that I’d rather have a diamond or a ruby or even a sapphire, but an opal never stood out to me, until now! It’s one of my FAVORITE gemstones!
And that’s exactly what Opal’s name means- a precious gemstone. And if you know our family’s symbol that has become a beacon of hope during this hard year, you know it’s a rainbow. What color is an opal stone? White or iridescent, meaning it SHINES all of the rainbow colors. Again, how could this be a coincidence?
Her middle name is Grace. Our family is in full time ministry. We have dedicated our lives to following and serving our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He’s the reason we live! And we are so thankful for the grace He freely gives us time after time, day after day, no matter what we do or what we’ve done. Grace is unmerited favor, love and mercy that we don’t deserve. We wanted to speak this into Opal’s life, not just so she’d get grace, but that she would give grace, and be gracious. If you know Opal, this is so true. She is one of the most graceful and gracious people I know, even at three years old.
Opal Grace is our gem with unmerited favor.
We found out we were pregnant with our second child, and we were overjoyed! We had decided that Opal needed a sibling and we wanted them to be close in age. We really wanted a boy. This isn’t necessarily because we didn’t want another girl because either way we would be happy, but I think we were both okay with having two kids, a boy and a girl. At this point, we already had our girl, so we just thought it’d be perfect to have a boy!
I even had a dream about naming our son Noah, so I thought for sure this baby must be a boy! But, deep down in my heart, I KNEW this baby was a girl. I just kept letting people trick me into thinking maybe it could be a boy! We got an ultrasound around 16 weeks, and sure enough, the ultrasound technician told us, “It’s a girl!” Ethan was shocked, because he was convinced we were having a boy! NOPE! We would have two perfect, beautiful girls!
God didn’t give me a name this time. I truly felt in my heart that God was letting me pick this one out. I had ALWAYS loved the name Lucy, and during my friends’ bible study, we were reading “The Chronicles of Narnia” and I was reminded of the name. It went PERFECT with the name Opal. Opal and Lucy. I love the combo!
I also wanted her middle name to be something from the Bible too, to keep the theme going! And we chose joy. We wanted to speak this over her life as we prayed for her in the womb, but we truly believed Lucy would be a happy and joyful baby. We were right on the money! A woman from our church actually came up to me one day and just said, “Joy comes in the morning.” If you haven’t heard the Bible verse, it is, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!” Part of Psalms 30:5. Oh, goodness, how this has rang true SO much in our family!
Lucy means “light.” And I can’t describe to you how true that has been. Lucy was only a month old when Opal’s regression started. During such a stressful, confusing, devastating time, Lucy was there, shining her joyful light. She wasn’t an easy baby, but she was definitely a happy baby. She reminded me that even in the scary, even in the sad, we can still chose joy. Happiness is something we feel, but joy is something we choose.
Lucy Joy is our light who expresses happiness and God’s goodness.
We wanted our daughters’ names to have meanings. We wanted their names to give them and their future meanings. God is so good, and we wanted our girlies to know this, even from birth!
I am SO incredibly blessed to have TWO girls! And SO incredibly blessed to be their Momma! Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful Mommas out there!