Choosing our baby girl’s name was difficult. Our naming format is the problem…we make it sooo hard for ourselves: 1) It has to be found in the Bible, but it has to be obscure/unique. 2) It has to have a meaning that applies. 3) We have to LIKE it (sadly this is the hardest!)
SO, when looking through lists of Bible names, we came upon the name Jeuel (pronounced “jewel.”) I read the meaning, “God takes away; God heaping up” and I thought WEIRD. Who in the world would name their child something so morbid, contradictory and confusing? I passed it up. But as I flipped through name after name, I started to lose track of which ones I had already ruled out and I came back to Jeuel because I loved the sound of it and the unusual spelling. The second time I read the meaning, I stopped for a moment and a thought occurred to me. It said, “GOD takes away.” Of course God permits all things that happen to us whether good or bad, but there are certain things that are actually taken away specifically BY God and undeniably, any action taken by God in our lives would be for our own good. So God taking away would ALWAYS be a GOOD thing. I began to think about things that God was taking away from me right now. He was taking away my business (at least for a while) and the stress and guilt that had come along with working too much. He was taking away a huge burden and distraction in my life and using this baby girl to facilitate that. And although “taking away” and “heaping up” sounded distinctly contradictory, I realized that in the process of all that taking away, He was heaping up joy, comfort, peace, and a new enthusiasm for life and my family. All of a sudden, the name seemed PERFECT. I couldn’t imagine naming my daughter anything else. I know that in the future her name will be a reminder of how God worked in our lives during this time, and who knows, maybe it will serve to remind us that when God takes away, it is always, ALWAYS a good thing.
Her middle name was not a tough choice. We’ve had this name chosen since before we had children at all. We use middle names to honor people who have been very influential in our lives. Of course, we will never have enough children to honor all of them, so we’ve had to do some doubling up in a “just in case” kind of way. Corban has two middle names after both of his grandfathers. Jadon is named after James (I insisted!). And Jeuel is named for the two saintly women who “rescued” me when I was about 16/17 and gave me a vision of the wife and mother I would strive to be someday: Darlene Sturm and Barbara Ager. Somehow, these two women managed to be absolutely crazy about me, love and adore me, in spite of all the mistakes I made. In their lives, I caught a glimpse of Jesus’ love for us in spite of our sin and it filled me with such awe that my understanding of God’s love expanded with it. They loved the rebel right out of me and gave, and gave, and gave even though I had nothing to give in return, truly not even the amount of affection they deserved.
When James and I got married, we were living paycheck to paycheck. Both of us working full time just barely paid our rent, utilities, school bills, and covered the never ending car repairs. Two weeks before the wedding, all I had been able to do was purchase my dress, the tux, the invitations, and reserve the church. We were counting on wedding gifts to fund the entire honeymoon. I had resigned myself to the fact that there would be no decorations, no reception, maybe not even flowers, but we’d at least walk out of there married and crazy in love! But Barb and Darlene pulled off a grand finale in those two weeks. Flowers, cake, lights, balloons, food, music, and all the details came together in 14 days out of seemingly nowhere. I was amazed to tears. My wedding wasn’t anything like the stunningly gorgeous weddings I see and photograph now every weekend, but it was so beautiful to me.
As we tried to think of the best way to use the two names Darlene and Barbara, it occurred to me to try combining them. As I’m sure you can imagine, this discussion was LOL funny: “darbarb, barbdar, barlene, darbara…” but eventually one of us said “Darby” and I thought it made a really CUTE middle name and was a great combination of the two. And so it stuck. From that point on, we always knew our daughter’s middle name would be Darby. We’ve just been waiting for the right moment to use it. 🙂
Corban has been trying to help us keep the name a surprise. I reminded him, “Don’t forget, it’s a secret.” He said, “I know, Mom. Besides, I wouldn’t tell anyone because they would laugh at it.” I was amused and mock offended, “You think people will laugh at our baby’s name?” He nodded, “I thought it was silly when you told me. But now I like it. It’s pretty cute.” 🙂 I told him, “Well, I don’t think anyone will laugh. They’ll probably think we’re a little strange, but once we tell them what her name means, I think everyone will think it’s REALLY cool.”
And he agreed.
And so I introduce to you, Jeuel Darby Nelson.