Before she was even born, I knew what name I wanted to give our precious future daughter, if we ever were blessed with one --- Heistheway.
I was still single and working at a Baptist missionary college prep as a teacher. During one of my breaks I was going through my Bible and going through Scripture.
I wanted to try to create a name for one of my future children; that is, if I ever got married. It had to be a name that would point others to Christ and be at awe at Him and His salvation.
Thoughts of magnifying Jesus and words in my Bible jumped out at me as I scribbled on sheets of paper. I was reading the following verse:
"Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." -John 14:6
So I wrote, "Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Life." until I wrote down a different series of combinations writing down about Jesus, "He is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life."
I had an "Aha!" moment. There before me was that beautiful sentence about Christ, a perfect name in it's form --- Heistheway. That would be her name, whoever she is, whenever she'd come, whenever I'd ever get married if He wills.
A few years later the Lord blessed me with an amazing godly husband who loves to study His Word and apply it in his life. Our courtship had ended in a sweet wedding on the beautiful island of Saipan where I was born and raised.
In the beginning of our marriage we had spoken more about how we viewed the blessing of children and what that meant to us, but most importantly how God saw children. We studied our Bibles and our concordance and saw heavenly rich words to describe children of the womb to be "a reward," "heritage," "blessing," and "fruit."
There were majestic verses describing how a baby is knit in the womb and how women of God pleaded and cried over their barrenness. One verse that hit me the most was the word that the Lord uses to describe a baby in the womb and that is "reward."
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." -Psalm 127:3
A reward is usually something received in return for kindness, service, or similar. Then the Lord also describes children as part of the inheritance with him, "an heritage." Such richness!
We saw that this fruit of having children was not a guarantee. It was up to Him whether he wanted to bless us or not. In fact, after we entrusted my womb for His glory I did not get pregnant right away.
My husband told me later that he was contemplating adoption. It was a few months after we had been married and I still wasn't pregnant. For most people this wait may seem extremely short. To us, we wondered and prayed that if it was best that God would bless us with a child.
One day my husband and I were playing a great game of frisbee out in our back yard. It was a great time to spend with each other while giving him a break from his busy flight student studies. I excused myself to go in the house to check up on some things.
I opened the side door to our kitchen and closed it behind me. The smell in the house made me feel nauseated. Nausea? I had never felt this way before. The only scent around me was that of our boiled eggs as part of a meal I was to prepare later. The scent of boiled eggs had never bothered me all those twenty-two years before.
"That's strange," I thought to myself. Then it hit me. Before taking another step, I wondered, "Could this be the feeling of nausea that I've heard of that relates to pregnancy?"
I asked my Sweetheart if we could buy a pregnancy test that evening and we did. When those positive marks showed true on the test, we were praising the Lord for such a blessing! We were beyond ecstatic!
We happily shared the news with our family, friends, and church members! I'd rub my belly often talking to her and singing to her, telling her how much I was looking forward to meeting her and holding her and kissing her.
Tim would place his hand on my belly at different times of the day that he was home from his flights. He would talk to her as a passionate Dad would telling her how much he loves her and looks forward to holding her one day.
We decided to keep her gender a secret so that it would be a wonderful surprise at her birth. So we picked out a girl's name as well as a boy's.
She came two and a half weeks before her supposed due date. It was a Saturday and we had just gone shopping for organic groceries at our local co-op.
We passed by a familiar face in housing and stopped to wave and say, "Hello!" from our car. She asked me how much longer I had. I said, "Oh we have another two and a half weeks!"
That night I cooked dungeness crabs in coconut milk with onions and garlic in that nice creamy broth and ate that with a side of rice and greens. It was delicious! We ate outside in the fresh air since it was a messy meal and enjoyed the outdoors.
I was making the meal so that I could give our home midwife directions on how to make it for my "reward dinner." It was part of her plan. She wanted to be able to know how to prepare the meal that I would like to eat after I gave birth at home.
A few hours after eating this rehearsal "reward dinner" I was laying in bed asleep and being constantly woken up every hour or so of what I didn't realize were contractions. I thought they were Braxton Hicks contractions so I would ask my husband to help rub my back every time they would come.
I was still closing my eyes, pretty tired, and mostly asleep. I would reach out my hand to him and say, "Sweetheart contraction" to which he would reach towards me and rub my lower back a little to ease the pressure. Then we'd fall asleep.
We did this a few times until it was time to wake up. It was the Lord's day and we needed to get ready for church service. At the time Tim was reading the Scripture verses of the day at the beginning of the service. So we didn't want to be late.
I woke up and didn't think I was in true labor. The contractions would come and go and were not very constant.
An interesting thing happened to me. I felt extremely hungry! As I realized this I started to tear a little. We had just bought so much organic food (to make most things from scratch) and we were working on becoming debt free. So we didn't have much money budgeted for "eating out." But I was hungry then and there and I wanted to eat Chinese food from a nearby place that delivered!
Though it wasn't organic food, we could have hot food with real meats and whole steamed vegetables and rice quickly. My husband asked me what was wrong. I tried not to cry out the words, "I'm really hungry...but I want to eat Chinese food."
What a sweetheart he was! He happily ordered many variations of dishes I was craving for and we ate away! We had steamed broccoli and different variations of spicy chicken and mixed vegetables. There was enough food for a party and this food was for breakfast!
We'd laugh and talk and eat and then I'd have a contraction. I would breathe through my contraction and tried to talk to my husband during one. I could still talk to him! So I didn't think I was truly in labor or very close to it because I could talk.
You see, my midwife had told me all the steps I needed to take to be sure it wasn't a false alarm. She also told me some words that I took seriously when she said something to the effect of, "Call me if you can't walk or talk through a contraction."
We decided to walk outside and get some fresh air and make sure this wasn't the real thing. How could we know? We had never done this before!
We called some of our church members and told them that we would be running late that day and that we would see them sometime during the service. Then we called our certified nurse midwife Vicki and told her all the things that had been taking place. I sounded very calm and probably didn't show much signs of being in labor. I felt great really!
We were completely clueless whether I was in actual labor or not that really we were embarrassed that we were calling our midwife. What if this was a false alarm? She asked us, "Do you think you could come by so I could see what's going on?"
"Sure!" I said. Then we tried to go in the car. I opened the passenger door to our green Volvo station wagon and sat down on my seat. As the contractions came it made me feel uncomfortable to be sitting in that position. I told my husband, "It doesn't feel good. I don't think I can make the drive to Pensacola."
Then we went inside and gave our midwife a call. I told her, "I don't think I can make it over there." She said it was completely fine and that she would come over to our house.
We called up our church members and told them that we'll probably miss the worship service, that our midwife was coming to check up on me, and we may see them for the fellowship meal afterwards.
Vicki arrived quickly, checked on me, and had a hearty grin. I was "5-6 centimeters" and yes I was in labor! They got the child's swimming pool ready in our living room and we called our church members. We told them that we weren't coming and were expecting our baby!
Heistheway's water birth was beautiful. My husband was sitting behind me in the pool as part of my last minute surprise request. He was glad to do it.
Heistheway was calm and serene when she birthed into that pool. As she was lifted up into my outstretched arms my husband and I marvelled at this precious miracle! She didn't cry. As I cradled her in my arms, her eyes were wide open and met mine. What preciousness!
What do we have here? It is a girl! "Heistheway...Heistheway" I kept saying in hushed delight. "Hello sweet Heistheway! We love you! We love you sweet girl!"
Then Vicki gave her a gentle rub to encourage her to cry. Our midwife wanted to be sure our baby girl didn't have any leftover fluid. She had a hearty sweet baby cry. "Oh my baby! I have our baby in my arms!"
I nursed her and we loved her. We prayed that the Lord would teach us to be the parents that He wanted us to be for her and for any of our future children, if He would so bless us!
We have enjoyed all our precious moments with Heistheway and taking great delight in her smiles, her love, her love of God and His Word. She loves to serve our family and others and begs us to take on great responsibility.
She flourishes and she's strong. She loves to learn how to be fruitful with her hands in cooking (a home chef she calls me), knitting, hand sewing, crocheting, making yarn, artwork, and more. Heistheway loves to share Gospel tracts and DVDs we buy from Living Waters Ministry.
When we first started sharing them more fervently and I was nervous, she begged me to hold my black tract wallet. In the meantime while I was busy shopping, she was busy witnessing to a friend who came from a non-Christian background. Heistheway told me that she was going through the Ten Commandments just "like Mr. Ray Comfort and Mr. Kirk Cameron" does on The Way of the Master's evangelism video clips!
Heistheway, you are a gem! We love you! You have a beautiful heart that pours out love to others and loves the things of God! May you always seek Him in all that you do and be the woman that God wants you to be! Happy 9th birthday precious daughter! We love you!