When we discovered I was pregnant for the second time, our friends and community seemed to think it was the most natural thing in the world – of course we were having another baby! But after all the fanfare and rejoicing over my first pregnancy, I wondered if this baby would be overlooked. After such powerful prayers over Gavrel, would this kiddo have just as big a mission in life? One Sunday morning during church, I was praying “Lord, this baby is just as precious to me as Gavrel. I want this baby to be celebrated and rejoiced over like Gavrel was!”
In that moment, God reminded me “I am rejoicing over this little one just as much. They are loved beyond measure.” As I looked up, I saw some good family friends standing at the front of the worship center as part of the weekly prayer team, and felt prompted to go ask them to pray for our baby. I’m not sure I did a great job expressing what I was feeling in that moment, but they seemed to understand my desire for baby to be celebrated and rejoiced over.
As they prayed, they began to declare that this baby would be “courageous and strong in spirit.” And I knew that this was going to be the foundation for our name. Listening to who God said our baby was and choosing a name to fit that meaning had worked so well the first time, we figured we should probably keep running with it. So we sat on these words and mulled them over for a while.
I had a name I had come across while digging through lists the first time that I couldn’t quite shake. I loved the sound of it, and I loved the meaning. But it didn’t literally mean anything like “courageous” or “strong.” So I started back through our short lists of names that we hadn’t used for Gavrel, to see what was there. That’s when I found a middle name we’d tagged – Ezekiel – “God will strengthen.” When I paired this with the name I’d been sitting on, it painted a bigger picture. Declan – “man of prayer” became:
Declan Ezekiel – “man of prayer strengthened by God.” This described the spiritual strength and courage we were looking for – in the context of dependence on and communication with a relational God.
And this kiddo is who God said he would be. He is brave – sometimes to a fault. He is courageous. He loves to pray for his friends and family. He feels deeply and understands spiritual things in incredible depth. I can’t wait to see who he continues to become.