As I sit here this morning praying for Samuel Townes, I am reminded of the story behind his name. This journey, although in some ways feels as if it’s just getting started, we have been on for some time, and the love of our Abba Father that has poured out on us along the way is undeniable. Sometimes you need a reminder to go forward in continued trust and confidence, so this morning I am reflecting on his name.
In September, Scott was teaching a small group at our church called Four Weeks to Peace. The last week of the study, “Holding Your Peace in an Uncertain Future,” landed in the same week as our 20 week ultrasound. As we were waiting on our doctor, Scott explained a new revelation he had on a verse in 1 Samuel 9:27.
“As they were going down to the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul, ‘Tell the servant to go on ahead of us’ – and the servant did so – ‘but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.’” Scott was so excited to explain that while there is a lot packed into this one scripture – the servant is a perfect picture of our Savior, Jesus. Jesus has gone ahead of us in all circumstances and he is the reason we can “hold our peace.” And if you can imagine this, he finished that last statement and our doctor walked in — she says, “There is an issue with your baby’s heart. It’s called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.”
The word of God is real, true and still applicable in every way so now we lean into Jesus in a very uncertain future.
Scott and I had a name picked out for a little girl but of course we had absolutely no names for a boy – and guess what?! It’s a BOY!
My sister-in-law, Hannah, (Hannah is also who had Samuel in the Bible) told us at the gender reveal “I think you should name him Samuel.” Unbeknownst to me, Scott said he was open to the suggestion. He prayed and asked the Lord to confirm Samuel two more times within a week or so if that was to be his appointed name. And as you can imagine within the week our good friend Jamie suggested to me we should name him Samuel and then Scott’s mom emailed us saying we should name him Samuel.
In early November, Scott’s partner who owns the office building with him walked out at lunch and said, “Hey man, you are going to name your son, Samuel, right?” Scott replied with “Yes, how did you know?” He said, “I didn’t, it just came to my mind so I said it!”
Well if we weren’t before, we definitely are now…so we say Samuel is his God-given name.
Our goal was to have a name by Thanksgiving so we could announce it and everyone could begin praying for him by name — deadlines aren’t always the best, especially when you still don’t have a middle name!
There is a little boy that lives down the street from me who is one of the most joy filled children I know. Every time I see him, I am just reminded of the Joy of the Lord. So one day, we discussed potentially using the name, Townes and decided we loved how strong and Southern (of course) the name ‘Samuel Townes’ sounded. We decided we should talk with our neighbors first before completely settling on it.
So one afternoon while they were in the yard playing, Scott walked down there. He said, “Maleah and I are working on names and have the first one figured out but wanted to talk with you about the second.”
Reynolds (Townes’ dad): “Great, what is the first name?”
Reynolds: “Really? That is Townes’ first name!”
Side Note: Scott does not have a good poker face, so I really wish I could have seen his face.
Scott: “Well this is about to get real weird then…”
Our neighbors were so gracious and kind and their son, Townes, is excited to be “Big Townes” and our son will be “Little Townes.”
As I reflect on the story of his name, I am filled with a confidence to trust in the Lord. He was so intentional and kind with us and gave us a beautiful story of how Samuel Townes received his name.
In the Bible names are prophetic. They are the beginning of a lifelong narrative. What the Lord starts He finishes.
We all have God size callings and purposes. And we know this kid does too just by how God gave him a name.
“She called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”
1 Samuel 1:20
“‘Therefore also I have let the Lord have him. As long as he lives he will be dedicated to the Lord.’ And he worshipped the Lord there.” 1 Samuel 1:28
Let it be so and praise him who is even in the details!