Monday, April 14, 2008

I Named Her Hannah

I have a four month old daughter named Hannah. She's just beautiful, delicate features, full cheeks, dark, dark blue eyes, and the happiest smile. Smile not shown... of course... sigh. When she was two days old a small red spot appeared on her right cheek. I didnt think much of it, my daughter Maggie had had one too, and it went away by the time she was three months. When I took Hannah to her one month wellness check, her pediatrician told me it was a hemanglioma, but that it would dissappear. In fact she told me that it looked like it was starting to dissappear already. I told that to my mom, who had been concerned, and felt better about it myself. Instead of going away, it got a little bigger, till it reached its present size, which is about the size of a dime. A spot the size of a dime isnt that big unless it happens to be on a baby's face. Then it's huge, especially when a month later its still not gone and it hasnt gotten any better.
Meanwhile, my Dad came to visit and see his new grandchildren for the first time. He's a doctor so my concern level grew when he said that hemanglioma's didnt always dissappear, Gorbachev's being an example. Then she developed another one elsewhere on her body (a place covered by the diaper) and I took her to the doctor again. This time I met with a different doctor from the same practice, who told me that because the spot was on her face that I could take her to a plastic surgeon and get them removed.
So it was spiritual crunch time. Do I take her to the plastic surgeon or not. I know what most people are thinking at this point, what's the big deal about getting it removed? The big deal is that I know that God put that spot on her face, that He allowed those hemagliomas to form, and that he had a purpose in doing so. So to remove it is to defy God's plan. Would He allow me to do so? Of course. Would He want me to do so? Of course not. God tells us through his word that how we show him our love is by obeying his commands and aligning ourselves to him. So I chose to not take her to a plastic surgeon. I prayed to God to remove the mark and have tried to have faith. I know that this decision is not easily understood, my mom didnt seem to understand I dont think my dad would either (despite his being a strong christian. hmm... maybe he would suprise me). But I have trust in God and I'm called to act in faith, that anything that's not of faith is sin. And I know that he will remove the mark, in fact my coming to know this is what this blog is really about.
See, I named her Hannah, after the mother of Samuel. You'll find her story in the first few chapters of 1st Samuel. She was a barren woman, one of two wives and was tormented by the other wife and by her own longing for children. She went to God in prayer and promised to dedicate any child given to her to God. God answered her prayer and gave her Samuel. The amazing thing to me, what struck me (because I have children), is that she kept her vow. She gave Samuel to the temple for him to live there and she visited him once a year. There's this one line that I can see so clearly a picture of, where she made Samuel a little robe every year and brought it too him when they made their trip to sacrifice in Jerusalem. It had such a sense of poignancy to me, and I was amazed at her faith and ability to keep her promise. When I was looking for a bible name to match with Gideon (Hannah's twin) I chose her name, even though it wasn't my favorite name (at least in the past).
Since the mark developed, I've gone to God several times asking him to remove it. Lol, Hannah's only four months old, I'm so impatient. I've strived to have faith in God, that He is fully capable of removing it. Also, to recognize that maybe he wouldn't and that his will is still preferable to mine. The last realization has been difficult but has given me reason to go to God's word to seek Him, His charactor, and His will. And while I was studying the name Lord of the Hosts, the Spirit told me what God was going to do. A website thats done a study on the different names of God, talked on the story of Hannah when discussing Jehovah Sabaoth (Lord of Hosts). Apparently 1st Samuel is the first appearance of this name.
1 Sam 1:10-11She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 She made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head." NASU
Quote from the website:
Hannah made a crucial choice - instead of focusing on her bitterness, she accepted God's appointment to brokenness & ran in her extremity to the sufficiency of Jehovah Sabaoth, a wonderful illustration of Phil 4:6, 4:7:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to )od. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (see notes
Phil 4:6, 4:7)

Earlier in the same site, the author had written on how the name Hannah means grace, which he/they translate to mean: "God's transforming power to live a supernatural life. I personally think that my husbands definition is more fitting. He defines grace to be all the divine circumstances that God brings together to work in a person's life. The thayers definition is "that which affords kindness, favor.(paraphrased)" Then, the author asked, "Why is Hannah suffering barrenness?" This is what they answered that question with.

Compare Hannah's "illness" to Jesus' teaching in John 9:

When queried by His disciples regarding whether the blind man or his parents had sinned, (
Jn 9: 3) 'Jesus answered,

It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him

What Jesus meant was that God had created a condition so that when He relieved it, new insights, new glory would break forth for His own name & people would understand more of His mercy, grace & power than they ever could have had the affliction not been present. God does not allow hindrances or difficult circumstances to torment us or to lead us into bitterness or resentment. We often turn our "barrenness" into bitterness. God gives "barrenness" to us in order that as we bring it back to Him in prayer, so that in turn He might lead us to a solution we never would have found otherwise, a greater answer than we ever could have dreamed of. That is what Hannah's story is revealing about the LORD of hosts. He gave her the problem in order that she might bring it to Him to find the solution He had in mind.

I put in bold the words that I know the Spirit was speaking to me through. Because of this I realized that God was showing me, and all who will be affected by her mark, kindness. That He has set up a situation to show His power. I named my daughter Hannah after a woman that God used as a demonstration of his love, mercy, and grace. And now God is going to use my daughter in the same fashion, and like Hannah of the Bible, my Hannah wont be harmed by her experience. Hannah was blessed by God with five more children. My Hannah will be healed and her face will never bear a bit of evidence that she was ever even marked.