On November 9, 2015, at 7:21 AM, Krystal gave birth to our second daughter, coming into this world at 8lbs 8oz, and 22in long.
The Story of Her Name
We have had many people ask us about how we chose to name her Rayna Sparrow. As a background, the past three years have not been easy and more specifically, this pregnancy has not been easy. From the time we were appointed to be missionaries to Rwanda to now, we feel like we have been on a difficult journey of transition, change of identity, and preparing to get to Rwanda. During this time, we feel like we have had many joys, answers to prayers, times of questioning, disappointments, trials of faith and learning to trust in God’s perfect timing.
One of these trials and disappointments was the time it took to actually get pregnant with Rayna. Call me (Krystal) crazy, but having grown up with a sister close to my age, I had always hoped to have my kids close together and really wanted to have our second child shortly after having Grace. This, however, did not happen. In fact, it took much longer to get pregnant than I expected and along the way there were some serious times of disappointment and heartbreak. Nearing our expected departure to Rwanda, I began to think it would be a good idea for us to wait until we arrived in Rwanda before we continued to try for baby number two. However, I was shocked when 9 months out from our expected departure date I learned I was pregnant!
While we were thrilled to learn we were expecting a new baby, this has not been an easy pregnancy. We spent the first half with concerns about a miscarriage and the last part with serious concerns about preeclampsia and preterm delivery. Additionally, because of my diagnosis with preeclampsia we had to delay our departure date and I had to stop working as a labor and delivery nurse, an occupation I love.
Yet, God has been with us. Early on, in this pregnancy God comforted us with the verse Matthew 10:29-31:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
She is our Sparrow, and throughout our pregnancy and especially in taking her to Rwanda we must trust God to care for her.
Later, as we were looking at names, Krystal looked up the Hebrew meaning of Rayna: pure and song of the Lord. We liked the name, but we weren’t compelled by the meanings. We weren’t sure how “purity” fit the journey we have been on to being blessed with her or if it fit who we hoped she would become. The same morning I had looked up the meaning of Rayna and was praying over what we should name her, we went to church and heard a sermon that gave a whole new meaning to her name.
The sermon that day was on Mark 6:45-52 where Jesus walks on water. The sermon however, talked about how Jesus sent the disciples out on a boat into a storm and sat on the hillside watching them as they struggled against the wind all night. The main point of the sermon was that sometimes the Lord places us in the middle of storms on purpose and allows us to struggle so that we maybe purified for his glory. The pastor used the illustration of a silversmith purifying silver.
When a silversmith is purifying sliver he places the metal into a hot fire where it is melted until the impurities are separated from the pure metal. When a silversmith was asked how they knew when the silver was pure and should be pulled out of the fire, he answered, “I know it ready when I can see the reflection of my face in it.”
[It’s great sermon. Check it out: Sent Into the Storm]
As we reflected on the journey God has brought us on thus far and the journey that we will walk once we arrive in Rwanda, we can see how there are times of trials, disappointments, suffering and hardships. However, we also know that God watches over us. In the midst of trials, we can trust him to be watching. We can know that he has put us into the crucible to be refined, that we might finally reflect his image and for that we are grateful. May our Rayna, also, reflect the image of Christ as pure silver.