I wanted to share this letter from a friend ever since Josiah was born. I just had to ask her permission first. She consented but shared she would rather stay annonymous because she didn't want it to become about her. She wants to give God the glory and I respect that.
Many people have been asking why we gave Josiah three names, especially since Daniel is one that we have used for Nathan already. This letter explains why. When we chose Josiah's name we had narrowed it down to 2. Josiah or Daniel. We chose Josiah James and told the girls to let people know that's what his name was. Shortly after our friend visited and shared what you are about to read. It was at that point we realized why Daniel was on the list and decided that we needed to have it be part of his name as well. As a reminder of what we knew so well already, Satan had tried to snuff out his life but God wasn't going to allow it, He kept the lion's mouth shut.
Since then we have had a few people tell us that they felt prompted to pray for us in the days before Josiah was born. We just want to say thank you to those of you who felt the promptings of the Holy Spirit and were obedient to do warfare on our part. This was a testimony to us of how we always need to be faithful when God puts someone on our hearts and asks us to pray for them. We believe it is because of this that Josiah is with us today. We don't understand all what happens in the spiritual, but we don't have to. We just have to be faithful. We don't understand why God chose to save Josiah's life when we know that there are many people who have lost children, we just know that we need to trust. If things had turned out differently that wouldn't have changed who God is. God is God and we will serve Him no matter what comes our way. But we also know the importance of giving testimony of His great works to encourage others in their walk with Him.
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O LORD;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Here is the letter our friend wrote:
Dear Josiah James Daniel,
Every baby is a gift from God, but I have a story that will reassure you that you are a very special gift, and that He has a big plan for your life.
The night before you were born I woke up out of a deep sleep as if I hadn't been sleeping at all, I was instantly wide awake. The first thing I felt was that I had been dreaming about your family ALLL night - but I couldn't remember one single dream. I just know that they (your mommy especially) were strongly on my mind, and I believe that God was helping me pray for her in spirit, even while I was sleeping.
My next reaction was pretty human - "Oh great, now what am I suppose to do that I'm wide awake at 5 a.m.?" Then I remembered that I should ask God if He woke me up. So I did that, and right away your mommy and daddy were on my mind again. I took that as a cue to pray. I started to pray like anybody would pray for a woman who may be about to have a baby - that God would send strength and peace, that the baby would be born healthy, that things would progress quickly....Then I asked God how He wanted me to pray.
I know that He gave me a few scriptures to pray over you all, but the only one I could remember later that morning was from Psalm 23- "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." My mind wouldn't go past that line and yet I tried to argue with myself saying "That's not really an appropriate verse to welcome a new baby into this world!" But I prayed through it. I started to ask God more fervently for wisdom and knowledge for the midwife who was helping, that there would be untangling of the umbilical cord, that there would be doctors available if needed. I prayed that you and your mommy would both be safe and healthy all through your delivery. I thanked God for the strong faith and trust in Him that I know your mommy and daddy already have, and I prayed that He would make it even stronger.
All through this time that I was praying, my spirit was telling me that I was praying for a boy. And whenever I came to a part where I wanted to say "he" or "him" my spirit said "Daniel". So I asked God, "Why Daniel?" God told me to look at the list of Daniel's attributes, or at his character. He was a man of God and in him there was no wavering from what he knew was right-whether it was kind of food he would eat, or to whom he would pray. He had incredibly strong faith. He was a man of prayer. He was a man of deep integrity. He had no fear of man, only a holy fear of God. He knew that God was in control at all times, even when things got really tough. The name "Daniel" means "God is my judge." That sums up who Daniel in the Bible really was - he had no fear of what man could do to him, he lived only by what he knew was right according to God.
I believe strongly that God was telling me that you have character of "Daniel" inside of you, you will be a mighty man of God.
That very afternoon, your sister Jennifer called to say you had come into our world and that it was by emergency c-section. I'm afraid I may owe her an apology for interrupting her with my own questions: "When did she go into labour?" "What's his name?" Sorry Jen :)
That's the story of how I know that "Even before you were born, God knew you and had a plan for your life." (my own, loose translation:), and that you are a very special boy. A picture that God has put in my spirit is one of you having already faced a lion's den. God was with you, He closed the lion's mouths, and you were born healthy, strong and handsome. How great is our God!
My prayer for you is that "You will grow in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:52) just like Jesus did when he was a boy. And that "the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. AMEN." Hebrews 13:20-21