you were supposed to be born in march like your dad and your older brother but you weren’t about to get your birthday lumped together with us, so as soon as midnight marked the passing of march into april you let your mother know you were ready to come out…pretty emphatically, actually. within 30min of arriving at the hospital you surprised even the nurses when you started crowning before a doctor arrived or anyone could give your mom medicine to dull her pain. she wasn’t sure if she could do it…but we prayed. i’ve never seen your mother in so much physical pain before but thank you (and God) that you made it easier on your mom when you pretty much came out with only a couple pushes.
you entered into this world on 4/1/14 at 3:02am, on a late night with an unexpected but much needed spring rain, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz and 20.4 inches tall. you were drinking mama’s milk within an hour of arriving. right from the get go it seems you knew what you wanted and went straight for it.
so, as you know, a lot of people pull all sorts of pranks on your birthday. in fact some people weren’t sure if your birth was a joke someone was pulling. it seems like you tricked your parents really good because they got all relaxed when you gave your parents two false alarms in the earlier weeks before your birth. i hope you don’t get discouraged if people don’t take your birthday seriously, because, son, your parents consider it a really significant day. we are truly privileged to be your parents and excited to see your life unfold. God makes every good and perfect gift…and He knows what He is doing.
in fact, did you know that’s what you first name means? NATHAN means “gives” as in “he/she gives” or “God gives.” your mom really loves your name as it’s the name of a really clever prophet in the bible (you should check out his story…not just because this prophet totally puts a guy with your dad’s name in his place) and wanted it for you very early on. i wasn’t so sure because i had friends with sons named nathan and i wanted something more original. but God woke me up early one morning to pray for you when you were still in the womb and that is the name He kept brining to mind. later, i asked God what he wanted for you and i got this vision of an owl flying up into the sky then overlaid with gold on a coat of arms. i asked God for an interpretation and this is the one i sensed i got: the owl meant that you would be wise and insightful (which reminded me of a word God gave to our friend gustavo, that you would be intelligent). flying up meant that God will lift you up to interact with powerful people and powers. gold meant that you would be honored in this role.
the coat of arms leads me to your middle name, JIN. like your older brother, that name is a one syllable name that could work in japanese or korean, reflecting your mixed parentage. there are different possible meanings for that name depending on the chinese characters you use to make that sound. when we read “blade” as one possible meaning we laughed and mom said that’s the one that stuck out to her. the more i thought about it, it seems fitting to the pointed nature of your arrival and even with nathan the prophet and his approach. nathan was not a blunt instrument that just declared king david’s sin but was a blade that artfully and effectively cut to his heart. with a story as a parable, nathan stirred up the king’s sense of justice and at the right time pointed to david’s culpability to deliver the conviction effectively, whereas with a blunt approach david may not have been able to objectively see the gravity of his sin and unjust act.
son, i pray that you would confront the powerful in an effective way, giving people the word they really need to hear from God.
“Here I will make a horn grow for David
and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
– Psalm 132:17-18 (the psalm God led us to and that we read together a couple hours after you were born)