TO HADASSAH (IV) […and to jedidiah]

Long before I even thought I will ever possibly have you, I was in a really dark place, with my faith (in God) near non-existent. Among the many things I had taken to as escapes, I read incessantly. I closed the back cover of one book and opened the front of another the next moment without a break. That was until I read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion Trilogy…that was when “Hadassah” fell on my heart. At that time, I did not know your father. Some years before then, he faced his own struggles, fought his own demons, and strove to find even a sliver of hope. He did find it…a peculiar thing to hold on to…a name… “Jedidiah”.

So desperately did he need to not forget this reminder that he added it to his pen name. The full story is his to tell. In his own words, “’Loved by God’ (which is what Jedidiah means) is a good reminder…to know I was loved by God despite what I was going through…served as a solace”. To David the King too, this name was a beautiful show of God’s mercies being new every morning. To have gravely sinned against God so and face harsh consequences as a result, and yet for God to be so mindful of him, as though he were the only human on earth is truly a wonder. God sending the Prophet Nathan to inform him of Solomon’s God-given name, Jedidiah [Jedid-Yah… beloved of Yahweh (God)], was him breathing calm over David, saying “you are still a man after my heart.”

I understand fully, why your father felt drawn to this name and what it symbolizes. He had no idea who I was at that time, but sometime later, he purposed to name his son this if he ever had one. And I, somewhere in the world somewhere on a path I could not have guessed would cross his, purposed to name my daughter “Hadassah” if I ever had one.

I could not but take a break after I encountered the inspirer of your name in that Trilogy, my daughter. Hadassah. She had a faith I could only dare to dream of and an impact on others’ lives I could only attempt to wish for. So powerful was her character and so meaningful was it to me in so many ways that I was moved to re-evaluate myself. It played a major role in what I will call my deliverance. After that first read, I have read it a minimum of three times more. Hadassah is a Hebrew name which means Myrtle Tree. The Myrtle tree by nature is evergreen and resilient in the face of the elements. It is a biblical symbol of righteousness and compassion (of God and the resulting restoration of His promises to man), and the character Hadassah embodies these qualities and lives out the meaning of this name thoroughly. I cannot wait for you to meet her.

When I found out I was having a girl, your father (who had come to read the Trilogy too) and I knew we’d give her the name. I was filled with so much joy, but it was not until I was pregnant with a boy, and again, we knew we’d give him that name, that the ‘coincidence’ of your names became apparent to me.

That one name fell on the heart of some random woman one day, and another fell on the heart of some random man another day. That these two random beings met and married. That what they purposed to do with those names became possible.

That the name that fell on the heart of the woman was Hadassah. That Hadassah is only mentioned once in the Bible (Esther 2:7). That it is the alternative name of one of the greatest women to have lived then… a Queen…Esther.

That the name that fell on the heart of the man was Jedidiah. That Jedidiah is only mentioned once in the Bible (2 Samuel 12:25). That it is the alternative name of one of the greatest men to have lived then…a King…Solomon.

Dear daughter…dear son…what a wondrous coincidence!

 My dear, dear, darlings…may your names be blessed!!

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