First things first: you should know that you're an answer to prayer. I asked God for a baby over and over, many people who love us and some who barely know us asked God for a baby on our behalf, and He gave us you. From the moment I found out about you, I have been incredibly aware of the fact that I'm physically carrying an answer to prayer. That's you, Selah Marie.
One would think that, since you didn't come to us right away, your name would've been long planned. Not exactly. Selah, you almost weren't Selah. We absolutely love your name, but we hesitated because it rhymes with your mama's name. Well, I hesitated- your daddy knew who you are. Selah, your name comes from scripture, and we see it most often in the Psalms. Psalms is a book of songs in the Bible, one of my favorite places to park my mind, and in many of these psalms, we see your name: Selah. There is a lot of thought about what Selah actually means- it's thought to be a musical direction. When we see Selah in the Psalms, it is believed to tell us a couple of things: to pause and reflect on what was just said, and to praise.
Dear one, you came to us after a pause. I really thought that, when your daddy and I were ready for a baby, it would just happen! But that's not our story. We waited for you. And while we were waiting, sometimes it felt like life was moving forward for everyone but me, like someone had pressed "pause" on my life.
Selah, it's because of you that I learned to praise our God in the pause, to give praise and gratitude when I didn't really feel like it. It's because of you that I was reminded and learned in a new way that I don't worship or praise because things are going the way I think they should or because I feel like it, but because of Who He is, and He is worthy. It's because of you that I learned to pause and ponder Him- His Word, His character, His goodness. It's because of you that I learned to trust- really trust, in a whole new way- in the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus, whatever that turned out to look like in my life. Even if He never gave me what I so desperately wanted, He is good, faithful, and worthy of my trust. Our Father lovingly used you before He ever sent you to us to teach me that everything I view as a pause is an opportunity to praise. Every single time I say your name, I pause and praise.
On the day we confirmed that you're a girl, we were tossing around middle names, and Marie just stuck. Your daddy said, "I think that's it," so I had to google to check meaning. And when I did, I almost cried. One of the "alternate meanings" (I have no idea who decided it's an alternate...) of Marie is "wished-for child". Oh my girl- were you ever. I hope you always know how much you're wanted. By us, yes, but also by the God who made you.
Marie is a derivative of Mary, the name of the mother of Jesus and several other women we know in scripture who followed Him closely. Do you know when Jesus performed his first miracle? It was at the request of his mother, Mary. When others were consumed with getting things done, who sat at His feet, choosing what was better? Another woman named Mary. Who looked for Him at the empty tomb, and then ran and told others He is alive, just as He said? Another Mary.
Selah Marie, my hope and prayer for you is that you come to know Jesus as your Savior and that you're a Mary kinda girl. That you're not afraid to ask Jesus for a miracle, that you ask in faith and watch Him work. That you take the time to sit at His feet every day of your precious life, knowing that He is better than anything. That you seek Him and make Him known.
Selah Marie, it's because of you that I'm becoming a more Mary kinda girl. I'm learning to ask Him for miracles, expecting and believing that He would come through. I'm learning to be still, to pour out my heart and my tears at His feet. I'm learning that no matter what it is that I want or need, Jesus is better and Jesus is more. I've gotten to know Him better and make Him known more in the season of waiting for you and now in the season of preparing for your arrival.
Selah, I hope you do these things: pause and praise, ask for miracles, watch Him work, sit at His feet, seek Him and make Him known. My sweet girl, I hope you do, not because I want you to be "good", but because I want you to know and experience His best for your life. Because Jesus- He is the very best person to know. I hope your daddy and I and our family and friends give you and teach you good things in this life. More than anything, I pray we give you Jesus. Because Jesus- He's better than anything else we could ever hope to give you.
This Jesus life can be tough, my girl. There will be times when you can't see what He's doing and times you just don't understand. Trust His heart when you can't see His hand. Love of God and love of the people He has made: this is what matters. Don't get caught up in everything else.
I'm so thankful for you, and as crazy as it may sound, I'm so thankful that we waited for you. The Lord has grown a new compassion in me for women who are hurting that wouldn't exist otherwise. I have no doubt that we would have adored you, no matter when or how you came to us, but I truly believe that waiting for you has given me a different kind of appreciation for the treasure and gift that you are. Jesus knew that. He wasn't withholding goodness from me, Selah- He was giving me you.
As you grow, from the time you were smaller than a strawberry, I've been praying for you. That your feet would be beautiful feet that bring the good news. That your legs would develop perfectly and run the race He calls you to, not looking side to side at what other people are doing, but walking in the paths He has for you. That your heart would be soft towards Him, that it would beat "Jesus, Jesus" with every heartbeat. That your lungs would breathe in His grace and out His praise. That your ears would be quick to listen, that you would be both a hearer and a doer. That your eyes would see His goodness, and that you would see yourself and others as He does. That your arms would be strong, lifting others up to Him and lifted in praise of Him. That your hands would be open to His plans, that they would be about the work He has for you, again, not worrying about the assignments He has for others. That your mind would be sound and sharp. That you would not discount the things and tasks that seem small. That He would form you perfectly for your good and His glory.
I love you so much, and I haven't even met you yet. Hearing your heartbeat, watching your heartbeat and seeing you wiggle and wave on the ultrasound screen, watching my belly get bigger, feeling you move- I still can't believe you're mine. More than mine, you are His. It's my hope and prayer you always remember that.