For those readers who know us personally, you know that it is almost time for our first child, Emory Favor, to be born. I have carried him in my body for 9 months, and in my heart for 24. I first heard Emory’s name in late 2011, but in some ways I have known him long before then. I have known him, I know him, and I will go on knowing him in new and deeper ways.
As it’s almost time for “E Love” to be on the outside, I want to share some of how Ben and I think about Emory and his life.
In November of 2011, I heard the Father speak Emory’s first and middle name as I was waking up. I heard this not audibly, but clearly as though it were, and I knew right away in my spirit who this was, our child. I wasn’t familiar with the name “Emory” so I looked it up and found that the name means “Home Strength” and that the particular spelling I knew it was happened to be the traditional male spelling of the name. This first encounter with the knowledge of Emory communicated many things to me:
Firstly, that Emory already existed in the heart and imagination of God. Emory’s first “home” was not my womb, but with his Heavenly Daddy, where he was completely safe, known, and loved. Emory’s origin is not simply 23 chromosomes from me and 23 chromosomes from his Daddy; Emory’s origin is God, just like every single human being. When the Lord called the young Jeremiah to be a prophet, He said to him,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Secondly, Emory’s life was intentional and designed and planned for a particular time in history. The timing of Emory’s coming into the world and his body being knit together in my body (whoa!) was intended for a particular time.
Acts 17: 24-27 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.'”
Thirdly, that even though Emory would start out his life having a very small body, he wouldn’t necessarily have a small spirit. Emory, like all humans, has a body, a soul, and a spirit. These components of us are distinct but still united to make us a whole human being, similar to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being distinct and yet one. I have a personal belief that the different components of us are not necessarily always at the same level of maturity. For example, a baby in the womb has a physical body that is in very early stages of development, yet his or her spirit can be very perceptive of what is going on in the spiritual realm. We know that in the womb, John the Baptist’s spirit perceived the presence of “in-the-womb-Jesus” and it caused John’s body to leap inside of Elizabeth! In another example, a person can have a more developed physical body and be quite immature his or her thinking and emotional intelligence, and even have a spirit that has not yet awakened to knowing the Father. With Emory, I knew that Ben and I did not just have the responsibility of caring for Emory’s physical needs, but also intentionally nurturing his spirit and soul by speaking blessing over him and talking with him about what was going on in the outside world.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole being- body, soul, and spirt- be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24