Our first daughter, Aleyna Hope Clara (meaning “Bright Hope”) has a hymn with her name, Great is Thy Faithfulness (from the line “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”) and little Evelyn also has a hymn. We had a few names that we liked, but Evelyn was my first choice. In the chaos of those few hours after her birth, Ty asked what I wanted to name her before they sent her off to Des Moines. I remembered that Evelyn meant “life” and that was what I wanted most for our little girl. The next morning I remembered that it could also mean breath! How perfect! God amazes me with how well He knew her and her situation before we had any idea!
God kept steering me back to the hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. I kept pulling away from it because I really didn’t think I had a name to go with it, but He kept bringing it up again and again. We sang it at multiple churches on multiple occasions in the last few months and now, where we are, I can see how perfect it is for my little girl:
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to his temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord,
who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
What the Almighty will do,|
If with his love he befriend thee!
Praise to the Lord,
who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee,
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief
Hath not he brought thee relief,
Spreading his wings to o’ershade thee!
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen
Sound from his people again;
Gladly fore’er we adore him.
Could that not be more perfect for our little girl, struggling to breathe and spending weeks in the NICU? I’ve printed out the words and hung them up in her room and they are a constant source of comfort to me. Not just the words themselves, but the reminder that our loving, sovereign God worked out so many things to bring this hymn to my mind over and over again. If He cares that much about her name and what hymn I picked to go with it, then surely He cares enough to watch over her and care for her.
An alternate source of the name Evelyn is the latin word for bird “avis” which I didn’t know until a few days ago. Twice in this hymn it talks about God’s wings spreading over us to protect us.
Her middle names took us awhile to come up with (as in over a week after she was born). We wanted her to have 2 middle names like her big sister, one of which being a family name. Jane is a variation of John, meaning “God is gracious” and God has been! Louise means warrior which seemed appropriate when the nurses keep talking about what a little fighter she is. It also is Ty’s grandma’s middle name, my great-grandma’s name, my grandma’s middle name and my sister Kelly’s middle name. All strong women that have a legacy we’d like to pass on.
So Evelyn Jane Louise is what God named her and then slowly, He let us know what her name already was! Praise to the Lord!