To be called by Name

Julia. My sweet 18 month old girl who is super into names at the moment. It all started when we pulled a few books out for bedtime. One was The Jesus Storybook Bible. Haven’t heard of it? It’s stellar. I used to read it to her before she was mobile or could grab and tear pages…so I stopped reading it to her at or before her first birthday. But, we pulled it down from her shelf and left it on her nightstand for our night night reading time. 

Sitting down with Julia, I pick up a book to read, to which she promptly said “away, away, away” as she pushed it out of my hands and toward the book basket on the floor. Leaning back toward the nightstand, I was sure she’d go for Rainbow Fish 1,2,3 next. Picked it up, and it was “away, away, away” again. J turned back and pointed to her Bible, and said clear as can be “Jesus!” 

My girl wanted Jesus…his picture on the front…calling him by name. 

Here’s the thing. We haven’t read the book in over 6 months, and we could definitely talk to her more about Jesus. But somewhere in her little heart, somehow, she knows who Jesus is. She called HIM by name. And unless she has an out-of-this-world memory, Jesus has made himself known to her. Does Jesus talk to toddlers? Appear in their dreams? Do they know him and their knowledge or understanding of him fade as they grow up, having to re-learn his ways again? All I know is “Jesus” is as known to her as “Mommy” and “Daddy.” What a fun and loving Jesus we have, who reveals himself to the little ones who help reveal him to us! 

And He has given her a name, through us, her parents: Julia. But she’s never been able to say it…it is a little hard. So two days ago, at breakfast with Nani and her cousin, someone said “Julia,” and my little girl blurts out “I’m Julia”…saying her own name for the very first time. Once again, clear as day, she calls someone by name, this time, herself! 

To top it off…at lunch today, eating her “dip” (aka yogurt), with me sitting next to her munching my salad and opening the mail, this little one says “Amber.” She’s babbling about something, but she says it again. I pause and listen, making sure I heard it right. And then she says “Amber’s nose” and I’m sure my daughter has just said my name, for the first time. How sweet, and how fun. Called by Name by my daughter…the name given to me by my parents and my God. 

(at Papa’s on Independence Day)