The following post was written on 18 November 2020 and has sat in my Drafts list untouched since then, aside from being read and witnessed by The Husband and one special friend. It has been hard not saying anything all along, especially after the baby’s gender was confirmed at 21 weeks. But this way, God gets the most glory. Here is Little Seedpod’s story.
I’m sure many people have wondered over the last five years whether we were going to have another baby or not. Before our son was born, people used to ask us all the time when we were going to have a baby. We did take a while to get around to it. But one or both of us we’re studying for a lot of the first chunk of our marriage. Being quite a private person, I did not want to discuss my thoughts or plans about having children. I used to get annoyed. Until I turned to my cheeky side to respond to the questions:
“No, we’re going to adopt a gang child.”
That turned the tables on people. They either laughed and moved on or actually took me seriously, which gave me some bonus amusement.
This time around, having one child under our belt, we didn’t get asked as much. I would just say, “We’ll see.” That was quite an honest assessment, because I was in a place where I really was kind of waiting to see what happened. My body had been through a lot. I had issues to recover from after having our son and then the bronchitis turned up, dragging respiratory and sinus issues into the equation. I honestly didn’t know if my body could handle having another child. For a while I was in a place of “We’ll see.” If it happened, it happened, and that would be good. But if we didn’t end up having another one, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I wasn’t desperate for another one, especially with regards to the state of my body. For a little while I fell into the trap of thinking, maybe I’m not supposed to have another child because my body wouldn’t be able to handle it.
In the last year, God has been whispering a name to me, every now and then. The name of my baby. When I didn’t even know if my body could handle having a baby, God sweetly whispered to me a name that gave me hope. The name was Scarlet. You might know the name Scarlett (with two t’s) from the actress Scarlett Johansson or the character Scarlett O’Hara from the book and movie Gone With The Wind. Scarlet or Scarlett basically means red or deep red. But that’s not the meaning that God assigned to this name for my child. He gave me a scripture, well, not just a scripture, a story. Let’s go to Joshua, chapter 2.
This is the story of Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute in the highly fortified city of Jericho at the time when the Israelites, led by Joshua, were just beginning to enter the land that God had promised them. Joshua sent two men to spy out Jericho and the land around it. Rahab hid the two spies in her house. Why? She believed in the power of God and in his promise to give the land to the Israelites. She grabbed a faith in God that was beyond her circumstance in life and she hid these two men despite the danger it posed to herself.
and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. – Joshua 2:9
Messengers from the king of Jericho were sent to Rahab, telling her to give up the spies, but she had hidden them on the roof and sent the pursuers off on a wild goose chase.
Before she hid the spies, Rahab begged them to spare her and her father’s house when they attacked the city.
“Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” – Joshua 2:12-13 (emphasis added)
The men didn’t just agree to save Rahab and her family, but swore an oath upon their own lives that they would be saved if Rahab kept quiet about them. They said, “we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” (Joshua 2:14)
Rahab helped the men to escape down a rope out the window of her house in the city wall. And this is where it got interesting for me. Looking ahead to when the Israelites would come to attack Jericho, the men said,
“Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household.” – Joshua 2:18 (emphasis added)
Do you see the appearance of ‘scarlet’? The scarlet cord was ‘a sure sign’ (v12-13) that God would save Rahab and her family. The scarlet cord was a sign of God’s faithfulness to Rahab as she had been faithful to him in protecting his men.
To me, Scarlet was a sure sign of God’s faithfulness to me. Even though she didn’t yet exist, God whispered her name to me. Because he knew she was coming. Earlier this year I was challenged to think about the top five desires of my heart, if money was no object, and to ask God for those things. Because he is a God of the impossible and if we are faithful to him, he will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:3-4). Looking into the depths of my heart, I had to admit to God that I really did want another baby. I wanted another baby and I asked God to grant that desire and to make my body well enough to have that baby.
God wanted to give me a sure sign of his faithfulness. He kept reminding me of the name Scarlet and the meaning behind it. And oh, he knew that I would tell the world about it too, because it’s just so beautiful. My God is a sweet, sweet God.
Now, what’s important to me about middle names is honouring our parents by choosing one of their names as our child’s middle name. And since our son’s middle name comes from my husband’s side of the family, if we had a Scarlet, her middle name would come from my side of the family. She would be Scarlet Ruth.
Then I found out I was pregnant. I can tell you there have been a lot of tears. There’s also been a lot of feeling decidedly sick. And a lot of reasons why not much is getting done around here! But every day, I thank God for his faithfulness in giving us this child.
After I found out I was pregnant, I was having my God Time one morning when I was drawn back to the Joshua scripture again. I was thinking about Rahab and remembering how I had talked about her in my devotional about Ruth and Boaz. Boaz, the Mr Darcy of the Bible, the kind, respectful and honourable man who redeemed Ruth (and her mother-in-law Naomi) by marrying her, was Rahab’s son. Despite her sketchy past, Rahab had begun a new life with Israel and mothered an amazing example of a man. Ruth was Rahab’s daughter-in-law. It suddenly hit me that Ruth was connected to the story, the name, Scarlet. Scarlet Ruth. I couldn’t have engineered a better name myself. I was having a great, ahem, slightly emotional moment, with God about this.
After this beautiful revelation from God, the enemy attacked. What if Scarlet is a symbol of blood because you’re going to have a miscarriage? Maybe it’s the name of the baby you’re going to lose. It was not the first time the enemy had attacked with this. Previous times when God had whispered the name Scarlet to me, before this baby existed, the enemy tried to make me think it was to do with a baby that would die for some reason or other. But now that there was a baby, that attack carried more weight. The enemy does NOT play nicely.
“I don’t believe that,” I said. “I have faith that God has given me this baby at this time for a reason and that he will be faithful in looking after it.” The instant after I declared my faith and God’s faithfulness, God swung his sword into the fight. “You don’t give a dead baby a middle name.” God spoke this with a firmness that shut down the enemy’s attack. Yes! God was not making up a story about a baby that was going to die. When I am faithful to him, he fights for me.
And so, I will continue to be faithful to God through this journey. No matter where the road takes me, no matter how sick I feel, I choose to believe that God will be faithful to look after me and my baby. I choose to believe that she will be a sure sign to the world of God’s faithfulness.
I am writing this when I’m only 9 weeks pregnant. We cannot find out the sex of our baby until around 20 weeks. But oh, I know already. All glory to my faithful God.
Scarlet Ruth Oh was finally born today, a little late but quite fast. You see, ‘Little Seedpod’ has always been our Scarlet Runner Bean.