Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's in a Name?

Since, Little E's birth, several people have asked us how we picked the name Ephram Fletcher for our son & I love sharing the story, so I thought I might as well share it here as well :)  

We both settled on his name separately from each other. His name was given to us by the Lord at different times & in different ways from each other, and it is a constant reminder of the Lord's faithfulness & sovereignty. 

Many of you know that we had a difficult season getting pregnant.  If you aren't familiar with our pregnancy story, you can read about it here. During that season, the Lord was teaching me a lot about waiting on & trusting in Him.  I really didn't know if we would ever get pregnant & was having to put that all in His hands. As I was reading in Genesis one day, I came across Genesis 41:50-52,
Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him.  Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.”The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.

I wasn't reading the scripture that day, trying to hear a word from the Lord about our struggles with fertility, but it had been on my heart for such a long time & in that moment, as I read verse 52 (highlighted in bold), I felt the Lord was giving me a promise that one day we would be fruitful & have children.  Ephraim & Ephram (a variation of the name) mean fruitful in Hebrew & as I held onto this promise from God, that day, I thought what a neat name that would be for a little boy, if one day we had one.

Fast forward, to about 2 months later...we found out we were pregnant!  I casually shared with Ben one day, in early pregnancy that if we did have a son, I would like to name him Ephram.  At the time, I don't think I even told him about the promise the Lord gave me through that scripture.  When I told him the name, he looked at me with one of those "I don't know about that" looks & basically said he wasn't feeling it.  {Insert sad face here}.

A few weeks later, Ben left for his deployment.  At this time we still did not know the sex of the baby & were planning to Skype him into the ultrasound when we were to find out the gender.  A few days before the ultrasound, he shared with me that he had been going through a really rough time & was reading through Zechariah.  The Lord really ministered to him through this book & specifically through a set of verses in Ch. 9.  

"Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.
For I have bent Judah as my bow;
I have made Ephraim its arrow.
I will stir up your sons, O Zion,
against your sons, O Greece,
and wield you like a warrior's sword."

 God really gave him peace & hope in a difficult season through these verses, but also spoke to him about our son!  As he read this, he felt like the Lord was telling him that we were going to have a son AND that his name would be Ephram.  So of course, when he shared this with me over Skype that night, I was completely on board!  Sure enough, a few days later, at our ultrasound we found out we were having a B-O-Y.  

Since Ephram's birth, we have realized a few other neat connections between his name--just fun little God things--I love how He is in the details!  Fletcher was going to be the middle name of our first born son, no matter what.  It is a family tradition on Ben's side to use this middle name for the first born son.  I don't think we realized what it meant, until Ben looked it up one day.  Fletcher means "arrow maker"  & fletchings are what makes the arrow go straight.  This really stuck out to us in a neat way, particularly because of the verses that God gave Ben for our son, with Ephraim being the arrow.    And we do want, more than anything for our little arrow to be led down a straight path :) 

Another neat little connection, we discovered while my mom was here.  During our season of infertility, she was praying for us daily & had some specific scriptures that she prayed over us.  We were re-reading them this week & saw this in Psalm 127:3-4,

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
     the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth."

All of these little connections & the way that God brought Ben & I to the same conclusion on our little man's name, in such deeply personal & different ways, just serves as a constant reminder to us of God's faithfulness & sovereignty.  He is completely in control & knew our little man before he was born! What a great reminder.  Ephram, who he is & his name, will daily serve as a reminder to us of who God is.   


Michael E said...

It's funny how the little things connections work out too! We loved the name Josiah because:
1.) It's cool
2.) He was a king
3.) he was the one king of Judah who did not stray from the Lord (The bible literally says "Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.")
But it was pretty cool when we learned that it also mean "God Heals" or "Jehovah has healed." Pretty cool for us knowing the struggles we went through to get pregnant as well!
I think Ephram is a good strong name! And he is a cute baby too!

Heather said...

What a beautiful name and story for your beautiful baby!
Thanks for sharing :)
Blessings to you!