John had, for a long time, liked the name Ezekiel. I took a bit longer to come around to it. :) We kept considering a bunch of other names, and there are quite a few that seemed fine to us, but nothing just seemed to connect or feel that special to us.
Ezekiel means "God will strengthen" or "Strength of God." I think that has been a particularly meaningful message to me during this pregnancy. We have been through a lot of transition in this season and many big things, and even though most of them were good, it has definitely been a season of stretching me way beyond the limits of my own human strength. I've written before the challenges for me in some of that, and there is a lifelong lesson for me in learning to really rely on God as my strength and trust His strength to be sufficient, but it has been a particularly fresh lesson in this season that has gotten taken to much greater depths. As I've wrestled with some fears and anxieties through this pregnancy, I particularly felt a few weeks ago, during a group time I am a part of with other moms at the Vineyard, the Lord encourage me with and impress on me this message again--that HE will strengthen! May our son be a testimony of God's strength and the beauty of a life lived in dependence on Him!
Shalom means "peace." But, the thing about this word that is so amazing to me is that it is so much bigger and deeper than the way we often think of peace. It isn't just the absence of conflict; it is that state of all things being completely the way God originally intended them to be. Fully restored and redeemed and in the state of perfect peace as God created them. Fullness of life. I can't imagine anything more beautiful than to think of our son being an agent of God's restoration and redemption in this world, pointing to God's glory and fullness of life and peace. Shalom. The prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament was an agent of redemption of culture and restoration of God's people, though being obedient to being God in that brought tremendous challenges. Ezekiel was God's voice to bring His people back to His plans and purposes when nothing around him made that an easy or popular message or action. May both of our sons stand with courage against culture, injustices, and the wrongs around them to restore and redeem God's plans and purposes around them for this world and His people!
And so, we now proudly introduce our little Ezekiel Shalom!