Friday, September 12, 2008

What's in a name?

When Tyler was born a whopping 14 years ago his name was going to be Mason or Tyler. When he entered the world he was definitely a Tyler, not Mason. His middle name was always going to be Frances. There were many different people in our lives that had Frances as a middle name- my very special Maw Maw (that had already passed away), my Dad's middle name (he is actually my stepfather but who I know as my father) Tyler's biological Grandfather, my other Grandmother- Me Maw. So many people, it was a given.

Last year as we pursued changing Tyler's last name I started to second guess my decision. It never carried the same weight for Tyler as it did for me... He wasn't close to the people he was named after... I didn't feel he felt honor the way I thought he would, when I named him... It flowed really well with McGuire but would it sound right with Crotsley?... Would Tyler want part of Jody's name (his stepdad but the only Dad he knows)... These were thoughts that ran through my mind as we walked through Tyler's name change. Winter came last year & we decided to postpone changing Tyler's name, until Tyler pursued us again. I laid it down and forgot about it until today.

Today a UPS truck pulled up with an envelope addressed to Jody. Inside was Jody's birth certificate with his biological Mom's name listed- Joan Frances Mac Clellan. A small tear welled up in my eye. I owe this women a lot! She did not raise Jody, but gave birth to the most important man in my life! Jody has a wonderful stepmom, Linda, she raised him as her own son. She gave up much for her children I am sure!

There is a reoccuring theme of stepparents in our lives. Jody and I pray our children would see this as an exception and not the norm. We pray it would end here, our legacy would be different. Our hope is this would be the beginning of a new standard for generations to come. Our mistakes would not be re-lived but God's transforming work in our lives would be what they would remember. The fact that God changed our lives in November almost 9 years ago, would be what they would share, and what they will hopefully want to model.

For whatever reason receiving Jody's birth certificate brought all of this to mind (Jody says I am just mushy, but that is how God and I roll)!

My life has been a puzzle. God has been gracious to fit some of those pieces together so I could see His goodness in my pain. Several pieces of this puzzle I will never be able to put together this side of heaven. It doesn't matter, I know all of it has been for my good! 14 years ago when I was confused and feeling the loneliest I had ever felt, God was there! He used it all! Even a sweet little middle name like Francis. Tyler Francis McGuire is who God intended him to be, he was given the name he was supposed to have and until God leads us differently that is the name he will have.

God I am amazed at how very good you have been. I am thankful out of all the millions lost YOU found me. I pray I don't ever forget where I was, and the sinful life I was so happy to lead. Thank you for being merciful in my life and softening my very hardened heart. God I pray I would care more about you than I would what others think of me. I pray I would not be shy in sharing the very real work you have done in my life. God, I thank you for all the people you put in our path (Jody's,Tyler's and mine). Thank you for stepparents who were and are willing to raise others as their own. Thank you that you used it all, even if we never understand why. Thank you that it didn't depend on us, and you are the orginal promise keeper!


Colleen Moore said...

Oh cute! Tell Tyler it was God's grace that I didn't know him back then because I would have kissed his cheeks off and/or suffocated him with hugs!! (I'm still tempted to do it now, but ya know, he's not a little boy anymore...) lol

We have the same theme in our stepdad is MY DAD...Brianna's stepdad is HER DAD...and both men have loved the children as their own. And, while none of us have been legally adopted and no names were changed, it still amazes me that God continues to display HIS heart for adoption...from our earthly families to our adoption into HIS family. Look at Moses! Our adoption into our "families" is no less miraculous...God directed the heart of the parents. And, of course, the greatest miracle of all, God softened our hearts so we would accept Him as our Father...

How kind of God to give us a daily reminder of all He has done...all we have to do is look at our family!

And maybe this is another reminder to not make unclean what He has made clean? He was the one who created Tyler, and there was no way you could (or can) screw up who God intended for him to be...even though you were unaware of Him at the time...

Lord, thank You for Tyler! It is so evident that You have plans for his life...I pray that You would continue to captivate continue to woo him with Your great love for him. Thank You for making him a McGuire, a Crostley, and a most of all, a chosen child of grace. Lord I pray You anoint Tyler...that You would give him spiritual gifts, and wisdom beyond his years. I pray that You fashion in him a heart like David's - that he would worship You with ALL of his heart, mind and body. Lord, please give him joy overflowing...let him never forget that YOU named him, and even then You knew he would be FREE from sin and death, and that is why he bears the name Francis, which means "free". I ask all these things in the precious and mighty name of Jesus. Amen

Shawna, thanks for sharing your young man with us!

Stacey said...

Hi Shawna,
You were able to pen your thoughts so beautifully. The "pattern of step-parents" is, as you know, very prevelant in our family. How awesome that he takes all of our circumstances and turns them for His glory. Thank you for sharing your heart. It soothes my soul.

jnscrotsley said...

Thank you both for you comments. you both hold a special place in my heart!