When I suddenly found myself jobless in May of 2010, I knew what to do. I had actually taught classes on getting into the job/career you were made to do. I had also worked in the Career Services office at my graduate school. I had a great resume and future ahead of me. But instead of jumping into an aggressive job search, I did the exact opposite. I stayed home and prayed. But I didn’t even pray for a job. Instead, every time I opened my mouth to ask God for a job, what came out instead was a deep cry for a husband, children, and a home of my own. The closest I could come to praying for a job was to pray for provision. I half-heartedly sent out resumes and responded to job openings, but I did none of the things I knew to do to get the good job I was educated and experienced to do.
I ended up working for a friend, helping her take care of her large home and family, all the while paying off my graduate school student loans and trying to keep down the inward groan. I loved her children and was thankful for financial provision, but struggled at times to deal with the humbling nature of the work. I often reminded myself that this was the best training I could ask for if I truly wanted to be married and have a family. I learned an incredible amount of hands-on, practical skills for family life during that time.
My friend had books of baby names that she used to as references in the name search for her many children. The meaning of each child’s name was as important to her as how it sounded and what others might think of it. One day I was flipping through one of her books and I decided to just look at what each name meant, looking for something that might mean something to me. As I searched, I ran across one that stopped me suddenly. “My God has answered.” My heart was gripped. It was a promise that took my breath away. I had been begging God for a child, and to be able to name that child, “My God has answered,” would be amazing.
I looked over at the name, nearly wincing. What name might match with this meaning? I was afraid to look. But then I saw the name and my heart did a little leap. Beautiful! I loved it, even though I didn’t think I’d ever heard it before.
Eliana – my God has answered my prayer.
Eliana. Eliana. Eliana. (El – ee- ah – nah) The name rolled off my tongue, making me smile. It was similar to my mother’s name, Elaine. For days I walked around smiling and repeating the name, getting used to it. And then one day I realized with a laugh that I have a cousin who named her daughter by the same name. I had heard it before, but it hadn’t registered in the same way. I decided I was okay with giving my grandmother a second great-grandchild named Eliana. If I ever were given the gift of a daughter, I would do my best to convince my husband that the best name for her would be Eliana.
When Rick and I discussed it, he liked it too. We agreed to honor his mother by giving her the middle name of Rose, his mom’s middle name. Eliana Rose – My God has answered with a beautiful flower.
When the doctor said, “It’s a girl!”, we already knew her name. My heart swelled with thanksgiving to God for the blessing of this child, this daughter. She is our answered prayer. And I have a feeling we’ll be correcting people for a long time. No, it isn’t Elaina (Ee – lay -nah). No, it isn’t Ellie. Please call her Eliana. Please give the honor back to God every time her name is spoken aloud. She is our precious answer to years of hopeful and heart-felt prayers. Our beautiful flower.
The song that I find going through my mind repeatedly these days is the Edwin McCain song, “I Could Not Ask For More.” I could not ask for more than this time together/ I could not ask for more than this time with you/ Every prayer has been answered/ Every dream I have’s come true/ And right here in this moment is right where I’m meant to be/ Here with you here with me…
“For this child we prayed, and the Lord has granted us our petition which we made to Him.” I Samuel 1:27.Read More