“It’s a little girl!” the sonogram tech announced.
That was the first thought that came to my husband’s mind upon hearing the amazing news that we’re having another girl.
Kevin squeezed my hand but neither of us could take our eyes off the screen, staring at our beautiful daughter. As I watched my little girl move around on the sonogram screen, joy and relief filled me. Joy in her heartbeat and her health, and relief in feeling a deep bond with her—God is growing my ability to love a second child.
As the supernatural peace about having two girls set in, I started dreaming of her name and who she would become. I thought a lot about my one-year-old daughter Lydia, too. How will they be similar, and how will they be different? As I prayed through names we had considered, asking the Lord to reveal her name, there was one phrase I couldn’t get out of my own mind: Lydi and Liza, my daughters.
I left that open handed and started imagining decorating her nursery. I thought of the rose flower wreaths I made for a party that I’d been holding onto as décor just in case we had another girl. All of a sudden, the idea of roses seemed to fit her.
Tears came suddenly.
E L I Z A .
Kevin and I have certain criteria that we love for names: familial, biblical, and meaningful. Preferably a name carries all three, which narrows our list quite significantly! We came up with the name Eliza more recently than some of the other names on our list. As we were thinking of family names one day, we got stuck on my mother’s middle name: Elizabeth. We considered that but also loved the name Eliza, not just as a nickname, but standing alone. I thought instantly of how much this season of motherhood has brought me closer to my own mom, and how special it would be to honor her name in a similar way that Lydia Evelyn’s middle name honors my mother-in-law’s middle name, Lynn.
>For more on Lydia, read Naming Lydia Evelyn, written in April 2018.
Next, we thought of Elizabeth in the Bible, a beautiful woman of God! While pregnant with her son, who we know as “John the Baptist,” she was visited by her cousin Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus. Elizabeth is one of the first people to recognize Jesus as Lord. She was filled with the Holy Spirit immediately upon Mary’s arrival and declared Mary as the mother of “my Lord.”
Elizabeth says this in Luke 1:44, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Finally, Eliza means “my God is an oath.” For us, the meaning of God as an oath is two-fold because it represents both our promise to God to follow Him with our lives and His abounding and unfailing promises to us as His children. We have a God who has been and always will be faithful to fulfill His promises to never leave us, to always love us, to work all things for our good, and to restore us. God had promised that He would send a Son, a Redeemer, into the world to deliver His people. Jesus came to be that fulfillment through His life, death, and resurrection. Now, through faith in Christ, we can trust that He will continue to fulfill these promises as we wait in hope for eternal life. As Elizabeth said, blessed are those who believe that there will be a fulfillment of God’s promises!
Eliza may also be used as a variant of the Hebrew name Aliza, עַלִיזָה which means “joyful.” Seeing the Hebrew word for joyful is what gave us that final affirmation that Eliza is her name. It fit perfectly next to our intention for her middle name, Rose.
R O S E .
The formal meaning behind Rose is to indicate rose, the flower. But to Kevin and me, the meaning of Rose has carried much more significance because of the person we ascribe that name to.
My identical twin sister, “Rosie” as we call her, is by far the most joyful person I have ever met in my life, and I have the privilege of calling her sister and best friend. She has been a constant source of light and joy in my life and continues to be. Joy is her spiritual gift, it’s the Holy Spirit’s manifestation in her, it’s who she is. To me, “Rose” represents joy. With this in mind, it’s no coincidence that Eliza also meant “joyful.”
As Kevin and I were talking and praying over the name Eliza Rose after our appointment, that’s when it all came together…
Eliza Rose means joyful promise.
J O Y F U L . P R O M I S E .
The next morning after our appointment, Lydia woke up around 5 o’clock with teething pain. After giving her some medicine and putting her back down for her final hour or so of sleep, I was the typical pregnant-hungry-anxious as the clock hit 5:30 a.m. I decided instead of going back to sleep to take advantage of a quiet morning and sit with the Lord, thinking and praying about Eliza Rose, and continuing to process if He had really, truly given us her name.
Coincidentally (or not), I happened to be finishing up the book of Joshua, and there it was, God speaking to me through His Word. At the end of Joshua’s life as he was charging Israel’s leaders onward, he says this:
“You know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14).
This verse served as a reminder that He has promised good things for us. And though I may be in a season of abundance and blessings now as I bear children, I know that hard seasons will come back around.
The true test is believing in God’s good promises no matter the season.
I want to choose to trust and have faith in my God even when it isn’t obvious or easy.
I want to put my hope not in this fleeting world, but in the promise of eternity with my Father.
I want my source of joy to come from my confidence in His promises.
more than almost anything,
I want this daughter of mine to do the same.
I know in my heart and soul that if I continue to love God and put my faith in Jesus, God will fulfill all of the good things that He promised concerning me, even when I don’t understand.
He will never leave me (Duet. 31:8).
He will always love me (Isaiah 54:10).
He will work all things out for my good (Romans 8:28).
He will come again to restore this broken world and make all things new (Rev. 21:5).
In these promises, we find our joy.
May her name be a reminder of God’s joyful promises to our family.
May she grow to love and trust in His joyful promises to her.
Eliza Rose, we can’t wait to meet you.
We will love you until the end of our days.