written June 19, 2014
To my sweet daughter,
You are already so precious to me and I cannot tell you how eager I am to meet you! I have always imagined myself the mama of a daughter, and I have always wanted a little girl of my own.
Hannah Grace, your name also has a special meaning. First, your name Hannah continues and honors your daddy’s family tradition of names that begin with the letter “H.” In the Bible, Hannah is a woman of devotion and faithfulness, as well as sorrow and sacrifice, and the Hebrew setting of Hannah has the beautiful meaning of “gracious” or “graciousness” or “favor.”
As you grow older, you will learn Hannah’s story and read about how Hannah is a beautiful example of the way that unpleasant and difficult circumstances can produce a strong character that blesses the world. She suffered much because of her initial barrenness (which means that she wanted to have children of her own but couldn’t), and she cried day and night to the Lord. She trusted that He heard her prayers and knew of her sadness. Because of her godliness, devotion, trust, patience, and self-sacrifice, she was especially blessed by God, and was given a son (Samuel) who brought great glory and honor to God.
Hannah was not only a woman of unblemished character, but also a poet. Her Psalm of Thanksgiving stands out in Scripture and its spiritual lyric (the beauty of the words that she wrote) is equal to any of the Psalms, eloquent with the divine attributes of power, holiness, knowledge, and grace.
Your middle name, Grace, is meaningful for two reasons. It is because of God’s grace that we can live in joy and without condemnation. God forgives us when we don’t deserve to be forgiven and loved us even when we do things that do not deserve love. We can do nothing to make God love us and nothing that we do can take away God’s love for us. This is grace.
Even though I always wanted a daughter, I was often sad when I was pregnant with you. I was going through a hard time in my life and sometimes I thought that I wouldn’t be able to love you well. And I often did not love God or your daddy or your big brother well during that time. But over and over and over again they forgave me and continued to love me. Even though I understood in my brain what it meant for God to love me that way – forgiving me because of His grace – I understood it in my heart and life because of the way your daddy loved me when I was pregnant with you. In that way, my daughter, you brought grace into my life.
And now – in just a few short weeks or days, I will get to meet you and hold you in my arms! I cannot wait for that moment and am even more excited about the future that we will have together – the adventures and laughter, the sweet moments and quiet times. Your daddy and I have loved getting to know your big brother Jacob these past 20 months as we have learned how to be a family of three, and I can’t wait to see how your unique personality and character will develop from newborn baby into little girl and beyond. We are ready for you, precious Hannah Grace!
With all my love,
Hannah Grace Hollingsworth, born July 2nd at 7:01 pm; 8 lbs, 11oz.