Saturday, February 13, 2010

"He Knows My Name"

One Sunday night last fall, we sang a song at church called, "He Knows My Name," by Tommy Walker. As I sang the words, I prayed for our little girl somewhere on the other side of the world. I wondered who she was and what her name would be. This song reminded me that the One who made her already knew her by name and was watching out for her. (The words to the song are written at the end of the blog.)

Now we know her names. (She is blessed to have two names.) When she was only a few days old, she was given the Chinese name Ji Zhou Nan. Ji Zhou is the name of the district in which the orphanage is located. I couldn't find a meaning for Nan in my Chinese dictionary; so, I wrote and asked some Chinese-speaking friends to help me translate it. They wrote back that it is the name of a tall, strong, and rare evergreen tree that grows in southern China. The wood is hard and fine and was used to build the ancient palaces. (Xie xie Molly and Jean!) The nannies in the orphanage call her Nan Nan.

We have given her the English name Hannah Grace. How did we choose her name? Well, God chose it! Long before we knew who she was or what her name would be, God knew, and when the time was right, He told us. He must have thought David needed to know first, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I've always loved the name Hannah because I love Hannah's story in the Bible. Whenever I read it, I am encouraged that God hears and answers our prayers so that the blessing touches not only our own lives, but many other lives as well. When God blessed Hannah with a son, He also blessed Israel with a prophet. (Thanks to Bob Underwood for preaching that sermon many years ago!) We hope that our story is a blessing to all of you. (You can find Hannah's story in 1 Samuel 1-2.)

I knew I loved the name "Hannah," but I didn't know what David was thinking. You see, God gave him a name for our little girl two years ago. I wouldn't let him tell me what it was because I wanted to wait to see what her Chinese name would be. A couple of months ago, he wrote down his name on a piece of paper, folded it and put it up until we were ready to choose a name. I also made a list of names I liked. After we were matched with Nan Nan, we went on a date to eat Chinese and to chose a name. ( We celebrate every adoption milestone by eating Chinese!) We opened David's note first. He had written out "Hannah Grace," the name God gave him two years ago. Underneath were a few others names that he liked. Then, we opened my note. The top two names were "Hannah" and "Grace." We prayed for confirmation and began calling our daughter Hannah Grace. Since Hannah means "grace," she will be covered with a double portion of grace. God even picked a name that is similar to her Chinese nickname, Nan Nan.

These days I often sing "He Knows My Name" to remind me that even when we didn't know Hannah's name, God knew it. he has known her name all along, even before she was born. I wish that I could be there to watch over Hannah and take care of her needs, but I know the One who gave her life is watching out for her now and will continue to watch out for her when she comes home.

I pray that you know today that your Father who made you knows your name. He sees what you are going through and hears you when you call out to Him.

I have a Maker;
He formed my heart
Before even time began,
My life was in His hands

He knows my name,
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.

I have a Father;
He calls me His own.
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go.

He knows my name,
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.


Lindy said...

What a great story. I think it is nice that she will have a name that is similar to her Chinese name. It will be comforting to her. I do hope that Hannah and Kerry can meet up someday! How wonderful that they had one another in the orphanage.

Virginia said...

Wow, she has such and amazing and special story behind her name! She can grow up knowing that God cared about her so much, that he chose her name, himself.

Nicole said...

What a beautiful story of her name :)

LBC said...

Oh, I love the story of her name!