So, our baby girl now has a middle name, as well (I wrote about how she got her first name here). Her full name is Cora Nicole Lawson. While the name Cora seemed to have come to us out of the clear blue sky, Nicole is a family name ... it is mine. We have tossed the idea of giving her my middle name around for quite a long time now. Liam has Josh's middle name (Daniel), and Josh was a big proponent for giving Cora mine. Just as it was with Liam, though, I was the one dragging my feet on the middle name decision.
I have always loved my middle name, but there is another name that I have had tucked in my heart ever since my junior year of college. It is the name I thought I wanted - even the meaning is the one I thought I wanted - but I kept getting hung up on the fact that I know quite a few baby girls who have been born in the past two years who have the same middle name. Now, I know I could name my daughter little Jane Doe and it would be a special name if I assigned significance to it, but I still felt unsettled about using the other name.
Then, four weeks ago today, something happened that caused me to buy in 100% to naming my little girl Cora Nicole. On February 28th, a family from our church lost their precious 14 month old son, Tucker. Little Tucker's mommy laid him down for a nap, and when his daddy went in to wake him up some time later, he had gone to be with Jesus. I was an acquaintance with Tucker's mommy, Amy, in college; and became friends with his aunt, Melissa, in grad school. Tucker's grandpa is my much-admired former professor/mentor/supervisor, Dr. Carmack, whom I wrote about not long ago. If you would like to read more about the beautiful and faithful way Tucker's family has responded to this tragedy, you can read some posts Amy has written here; and his aunt Melissa has shared quite a few posts about what they are going through on her blog.
I struggle mightily with I Corinthians 15:55 which says, "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"; because it seems to me that even though I believe that death does not have the final victory, it hurts a lot more than a sting. However, it has been so amazing to watch from a distance as the Hill and Carmack families have chosen to grieve differently than those who have no hope (I Thess. 4:13). Every time I stop to try to imagine even a glimpse of what they must be going through, my heart is simultaneously broken and filled with immeasurable hope and joy because Jesus has overcome. My thoughts are lifted to a day that is coming ... a day when sin, death, heartache, and pain will all come undone. When those who left too soon will be reunited with those who had to wait and carry on without them. I know that day is coming, because I know that Jesus is already the Victor.
And so, it has been through processing these thoughts over the past month that my heart has finally settled on giving Cora the middle name Nicole, which means, "victory of the people". As I mentioned in my post about her first name, Cora means "filled heart", and it is my prayer that my daughter would have a heart that is filled with the victory that comes through Jesus. I pray that she will know Him so well that she will see Him have the victory over the sin in her life, that she will be so confident in His victory over death that she will not fear it, and that her life will be used to show others the way to that same freedom and confidence.
I can't wait to tell her about her name and why we chose it for her; and more than that, I can't wait to see how God has woven these little ideas that he has laid on our hearts into who He has created her to be. I love that He has known her name much longer than I have, and I can't wait to learn more about why He has chosen it.