Wednesday, November 28, 2007

her name

Over the past months, I’ve had many nights when I’ve woken up for seemingly no reason with someone on my mind. I believe these “angel nudges” are God sent to wake me up and pray for someone at that specific time. Usually I find that after I have prayed, I drift back to sleep almost immediately. Last night, however, I experienced a slightly different twist on this familiar scenario. Instead of a gentle nudging, it was the sound of the dog’s turbo propeller ear shaking that jarred me from my sound sleep at about 2:30. Evidently something was stuck in her ear, because after nearly 15 non-stop minutes of this attempted self-remedy, she had still not settled down to sleep. I eventually had Nathan lock her out of the room, but not before I was wide-awake and past the point of no return. At this point, I realized I had two options: I could try to fight the wakefulness by counting backwards from 500, or I could just surrender to it and tell God I was alert and listening. I opted for the latter.

My mind immediately turned to Poppy, as it usually does, and I found myself thinking back specifically to when Nathan and I sat on our couch together back in July and decided to settle on her name. As I replayed the story in my mind, I felt God encouraging me to share with you exactly how we came to the name Poppy Joy. At the time, we had known for less than 24 hours that there were problems with our baby. The shock, the rush of emotions, the process of trying to absorb the reality of the situation, all of it was overwhelming. Yet, as we were sitting together, just beginning to dip our toes into the crazy rushing waters that awaited, I realized that in order to help fully embrace the fact that our baby was indeed alive and still just as much our little girl (you might remember that we had just been told the day before that she was most likely dead) we needed to decide on a name. I feel terribly guilty admitting it now, but to be completely honest, I didn’t initially want to even consider using any of the names that we had come up with prior to going into the ultrasound. In my warped state, I didn’t want to “waste” a name that I loved on baby that wasn’t going to live. This almost makes me cry to think about now, but it is just a reminder of how far God has brought me!

I began throwing out new names that came to the top of my head. Names that were pretty but that had no significance to me whatsoever. All of them fell flat. Then out of the blue, Nathan said “What about Poppy?” This is shocking for several reasons. First of all, Nathan has almost zero opinion when it comes to baby names. I run everything by him, and almost without fail his answer is “sure, that sounds good.” I can get virtually no direction beyond that under normal circumstances. The second reason that this was odd is because Poppy is a name that I had decided years ago was my “ultimate” name. The very first time I heard it, something inside of me latched on and never let go. I just loved it without being able to explain why. It is also a nickname that I had for my Papa when I was a little girl, which added an extra dimension of nostalgia to it. However, when I began tossing it around as an idea when I was pregnant with Marianna, I received just about 100% negative feedback, so I let it fade away. But for some reason, when Nathan said that, I knew immediately that this was going to be her name. It was like God immediately spoke to my heart and said “Angie, you are right. You can’t use those other names you were considering. But for an entirely different reason than the one you were thinking. They are not special enough for this baby I am giving to you.” Poppy is a name that I knew was special before I knew why, and God reminded Nathan of it at just the perfect time. A few hours later we settled on Joy for her middle name with a two-fold purpose. Joy is my middle name, and I wanted to share it with this baby as a symbol that even if God does take her early, she is no less important than any other future children God might bless us with. It was also just a small step of faith to vocalize and acknowledge that we knew that her life would indeed bring joy. How true that has been already!

The name God gave us for her has been almost like a promise. Her life has already brought unbelievable beauty and joy to my life and hopefully the lives of others. I was reminded last night that there is absolutely no strength or inner fortitude intrinsic in my own character that has allowed me to get to this place and be able to say that. Without God’s overwhelmingly real presence and constancy in my life, I would be lost. Frustrated, bitter, depressed, overwhelmed, angry… any of these emotions would take over if I tried to do this on my own. But Jesus has been real. My only part in this has been in allowing Him to carry me. He has done it for the past 127 days since we found out the news, and He will carry us the remaining 7 to her birth, and then indefinitely on from there. I read a few verses from Romans 12 the other day that are speaking to me during these final days of waiting. This passage says

“Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever, Amen.”

We don’t know what lies ahead, but that is okay. His ways are beyond my ability to comprehend. No one gives Him wisdom or counsel. Everything is already His. It is in these perfect Hands that I can place the future of my baby and know she will be safe.


Rebecca said...


Thanks so much for sharing the story of Poppy Joy's name. I loved it.

I can't wait for her birthday in seven days.

Much love,

Amy said...

Your words brought both tears to my eyes and incredible joy. Thank you for sharing your sweet Poppy with us.

I am continuing to pray as her birthday draws near.

The Wade's said...

I have been following your story for awhile now, and I want you to know that I am praying for you and your family.

I have a yearly Bible, and I flipped ahead to what will be Poppy's birthday and I found this verse: "I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing Your praise before the heavenly beings. I will bow down toward Your holy Temple and give thanks to Your name for Your constant love and faithfulness. You have exalted Your name and Your promise above everything else. One the day I called, You answered me; You increased strength within me." Psalm 138:1-3

Please know that you are in the prayes of countless people. I pray for you to be blessed with God's undeniable strength and for comfort to rain down on you.

Laurin said...

Angie, I LOVE her name... a very special one for a very special little girl! I am literally counting the days until we get to meet her!

Kara said...

I have been following your blog now for a while, and I will be praying for you in the days to come even more so! I love her name and all of its meanings! Even though we will never meet this side of heaven, know that someone in OK is thinking of you and your family and lifting you up to our Heavenly Father!


Mandy said...

I have often wondered what the story was with Poppy's name. I love unusual and family names so much and her is very special indeed. I know exactly what you mean about "wasting" a name on a baby whose life may be short. Those were my exact words to my husband too and I feel so ashamed now. Madeline was a favorite name of mine for a long time and I know we chose the right one for her. God bless you as you are in the final few days of your pregnancy. I know the unknown is scary but try to be present in the Lord's perfect timing with Poppy. I will be checking here to see how you guys are doing. I wish I lived a little closer and could attend your "shower". I know it will be very special. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mandy Hopkins

Given Grace said...

Isnt God amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story of Poppy's name. It is such a beautiful name.

Waiting and praying with many others. May you feel God's peace and comfort as her birthday approaches.

Tracy said...

The name Poppy holds a special place in my heart too. I named by grandfather "Poppy" when I was little and forced my cousins to call him that as well :)

Poppy is a great name for great people!!! I have never known a Poppy that wasnt special in every way. So, great choice!

Rach said...

It's strange that you mentioned that you have been up many nights and have prayed for people that God has brought to your mind....

I, too, have been awakened recently many nights (something which is not normal at all for me - as I normally sleep quite soundly). Each time that I have been awake in the middle of the night, I have felt an urgency to pray for sweet Poppy. Sometimes I've only been awake for just a few moments - sometimes much longer... but think of how amazing it is that while God has impressed it upon you to pray for others when you have been awake - that He had impressed upon me to be praying for you...

Anonymous said...

praying for yall!

-Liberty University, Lynchburg VA-

Anonymous said...

I love how you came up with her name. I have wondered how you guys decided on her name. I myself have always loved the name Poppy. I am continually praying for you and your family. Like you, the Lord wakes me up in the middle of the night to pray for people. He actually woke me up the other night and had you, Nathan, Poppy and Marianna on my heart. I would love to attend your open house, but I am not able to travel right now. I will be thinking about you though. I will also be thinking about you on December 6th. I have had this date in my mind ever since you shared it as Poppy's birthday. I wish you all the best!!
Nicole Wilkes Eaton

Jessica said...

Thank you for this entry, Angie.
I have often wondered where Poppy got her name. I assumed it was a variation of Papa. Joy is Katelyn's middle name, too. I am still praying for you and your family, as the Lord leads me. Is there anything you need in these next few days? Dinner? Let me know!
I lobe you all,
Jessica Fiveash

kingfamily said...

The first time I read your blog, I thought what a beautiful name. You cannot say the name Poppy Joy without smiling.
Brandi in PA

Kim ( said...

My girls pray for Poppy every night and especially my daughter Kailey loves the name Poppy. Every time we say it - she says "aaahhh". I also remember reading about the day Marianna was born and your Papa went to be with the Lord shortly after that. I thought to myself you may have even gotten Poppy from him. Poppy Joy is perfect and so is her name! I am REALLY bad with names but I feel like I will never forget the ones I have met through this journey but I will certainly not forget Poppy!
We will be praying for her tomorrow especially for some good news about her sweet head.
Love, Kim

Laurie said...

This post is by far the most beautiful one you have written, your honesty brings me to tears. Your faith is such a precious testimony to the One who holds you in His heart. I am so blessed in my heart to see how far He has brought you through His promise of this precious little girl. He has done great things in preparing you and Nathan to witness His Perfect Plan as it unfolds. You bless Him with your faithfulness, touch His heart with your trust, and glorify Him with your willingness to face an uncertain future by placing it in His Hands to work out. Poppy Joy and Marianna have the most wonderful parents in the world and they are blessed. I am so blessed to be part of the praying multitude who petition Our Heavenly Father on your behalf. May His peace and Joy flow all over you in these coming days as we all wait to hear that Poppy Joy has arrived!!! God richly bless you every moment of every day.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Jeanne said...

I just took a deep breath and sighed after I read your words. Such a beautiful explanation. I really am looking forward to celebrating her birth with you, Nathan and Marianna.

Emily said...


I'm praying... for hope... for joy... for emotional, physical, and spiritual strength... for sweet and peaceful conversation with Nathan in the coming days... for protection from fear and anxiety...for faith... I have prayed and asked the Lord to bring you to my mind at each moment that you need someone to stand in the gap for you through prayer. I love you!


Anonymous said...

Just the other day I was reading a book and it randomly mentioned a poppy it bloomed bright for a short time. It hadn't much significance to my book, but it had significance for me thinking of your Poppy. Her life will shine bright even if only for a short while. Through your expression of your trial and your faith, Poppy has already impacted many people just by being alive. Thank you for sharing 2 Chron. 20 a few days ago. I have read multiple times and even taught that passage in the last week. Often we think of how people can impact others even after they die, but Poppy has impacted others before she's even been born. How amazing! What a Joy!

Wendy... said...

I found your blog through other blogs and have been reading yours for a while. Many prayers for you and your entire family here in Texas. I wish I could be there in person on December 3rd...however since that is not possible...I will be there spiritually.

I just love the story of Poppy Joy's name...sounds like a sweet angel's name!

Love in Christ,
Wendy Thomas-Schilleci

JMom said...

I love this story. I am praying for you!

So Blessed said...

How precious is your story about Poppy's name...I, along with so many others, continue to lift your family in prayer as you await the birth of your baby girl. May God's love sustain and strengthen you all.

Julie Torregrossa said...

Angie and Nathan,
We have not had the privlege of meeting. My husband and I are new members of the Moss Class at Faith. Through an email from the class site, I was brought to your blog about Poppy Joy. Since that day a week or so ago, I have spent much time reading every entry in your amazing story. It is incredible to me how He has already used your precious daughter in so many ways. I know that,personally, I have been so encouraged by your faith. I have learned more about God's love and faithfulness to us in times of need by reading how you rest so easy in His arms. I am reminded through every entry how you both know God brings that "peace that passes all understanding".

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your heart and words with me. You have encouraged me, through sweet Poppy Joy, more than you'll ever know. I am looking forward to meeting you in person someday very soon. Until then, I am praying for your family and that you will continue to let Him carry you and be your strength!

Kim said...

I loved her name before, but I love it even more now. It's such a happy, joyful name. I have a feeling her life is going to be happy and full of joy. I am praying for this, indeed!

Linda said...

What a beautiful story of how God led you back to a name you held dear, a name that was there for just the right little one at just the right time. I love the name there is something very happy about it. I have been and will continue to pray for you and your family during this season of life. I am sure that Poppy's life has already been a
huge blessing to others. Her existence in your womb has given you opportunity to share your faith and touch the lives of so many people that may not otherwise have had the privelage to read how a young woman can go walk through anything as long as she leans on the Lord. When I read your posts I know that you really believe what you say and they are not just mere words. I pray that God will enable you to see the lives you and Poppy have touched through this experience.

Anonymous said...

I'll be thinking and praying for you in the days ahead. I lost your blog and had to go find it to see how you were doing. Colleen in Ohio

Anonymous said...

I love the name Poppy. My nephew calls my dad Grandpoppy. My dad called his dad "pop". And when i ws growing up in Kansas we called our carbonated drinks "pops".
While I was in Missouri last week I shared your story with my family. I have been praying for your family for a long while. And I will keep you in my prayers for a long while to come.

Elizabeth S said...

What a beautiful story. I think her name is perfect.

Devin said...

The perfect name for your perfect angel.

Praying more as we count down...Poppy's coming!

sarahdodson said...

So beautifully written!! Poppy's indeed blessed to have you for her mommy:)

Emily said...

Lifting you up to the Father this morning.

Laurie said...

Praying for you this morning that His peace and joy surrounds you as Poppy Joys birthday is less than a week away. She is the Joy of the Season and Gods perfect gift to you and to us. May He give you His complete rest for the big day ahead as you prepare to meet her face to face. God bless and keep you close to His heart.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Amy said...

What a beautiful name she has and such a beautiful story behind it. I thank you for sharing her story with all of us. I continue to pray for all of you as her birthday draws ever closer.

Pam said...


I came across your blog from Tritan's Mom's Blog...anyway I just want you to know what an inspiration you and your husband are to me! What a beautiful name and I will certainly never forget Poppy and how blessed she is to leave this legacy. I know where your stregth comes from. Thank you for sharing.

Pam in LaGrange, GA