On Monday 10th April 2010, Authrine, Deborah, Abigail and I welcomed the final birth member of the family – Zoë Anya Cheryse Dryden.
For Authrine and I all of our children (Hey yo Kevaughn!) are precious. Vitality, uniqueness, brilliance and wonder are a few words that begin to explain why they are all beyond value to us. There are essential stories about each one that I could wax lyrical about for days. I look on each one and as I behold them as an individual I sometimes think they are the only human being that matters for those moments. Then God reminds me that there are others and I am overwhelmed by His great kindness to me.
This is about Zoë, though. When she emerged from the womb of her mother right in the nick of time (ahhhh the story of her timing is a good one), I was assured in my inmost being that my wife would never give birth like that again. And by ‘assured’ I don’t mean relieved as if Authrine and I didn’t want more children. I mean assured because God knows what is best for us as a family and Zoë would be a fitting end to the fruitfulness of my wife’s physical womb blessing planet earth with progeny.
The naming of our dear third daughter was the most deliberate and collaborative of all our children. Authrine and I had never been so united as we were in the season of the conception and birth of this beautiful girl. We had undergone some significant challenges in our lives together, but through it all God was with us and for us to allow us to open a great new chapter together. A better chapter, in a better place to gain a better understanding of ourselves and more importantly a better love for God. It was from the old website were travelling to the new and it was right that our daughter should signify that.
Seven years on and as we celebrate the completion of an entire cycle of years for Zoë, it is happening again to us as a family. As that baby now secures herself in her childhood with brave new steps in development so the family also takes strides to travel from the old to the new. To grow from what was to what God is doing in our lives. To stretch from the comfort of an old cocoon to burst into maturing and beautifying early stages of fresh flight.
Zoë matters because she is the reminder that in Christ there is new life. Zoë matters because she is a living embodiment of the life of Christ that is ours by faith. Zoë matters because she is a sign that whatever blemishes there were of the past are erased in this new life and there is no need to go live back in it. Zoë matters because her enthusiastic, beaming, bright, exuberant embrace of all around her let’s her siblings and parents know joy is real and is as refreshing as a clear glass of pristine water renovating the inner being with purity.
I am grateful to God to be so richly blessed by a strong and fertile wife. I am thankful that He should let us have children of such great wonder. My desire is to ever cherish, value, nurture and soberly nourish these evidences of increase. My desire is to consider this girl Zoë Anya Cheryse Dryden and hear God say again there is New Life in Him.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden