... Seth Austin McKinney
“Placed by God”
It’s true. We’re having a third boy in three years. And yes, we’re a little crazy.
Another truth … we’re changing the name we had chosen (and already embroidered on shirts).
I felt that I needed to share the reason for Baby No.3’s name departure. Apart from the fact that Chad wasn’t a huge fan of the name “Brit,” there was a more significant catalyst for the change. And I’m not sure I’ve told many, if anyone at all, about it.
The journey started in January 2012. I attended a Women of Faith conference. And while I honestly was not incredibly impressed with the program, God used the event to speak a very clear message to me. I was supposed to have a third child. I felt unmistakable direction—this baby needed to be born. And it would be an honor, a privilege and a blessing to be able to bring this special child into the world.
However, at the time, our boys were 2 years old and 9 months old. I was in no way wanting to add to the chaos in our home. I could barely handle the children I already had and couldn’t picture managing a third. I also battle Hashimoto Disease (hypothyroiditis) and had strict doctor’s orders not to get pregnant. So, I cataloged God’s voice into my “to-do-later” file and moved on.
Several months later, I felt God’s nudge again. And, in true Jonah fashion, I made excuses to avoid following his will. God used circumstances, people, an improved thyroid level and a tiny bit of sporadic “baby fever” to continually remind me of his plan. Chad and I would talk about it, immediately feel overwhelmed and then usually get distracted by a needy toddler. Needless to say, I missed my window for voluntarily submission.
That fall, I began having some complications with my birth control pills. After several different medications, I had enough. In late October (mid pill pack), I abruptly tossed them in the trash. I knew how to do ovulation and conception math. And there was no way we could get pregnant.
Six weeks later, I took a pregnancy test. Certain that I was not pregnant, I immediately threw it in the trash … only to return six hours later and find it lying on the bathroom floor, face up and reading two positive lines. And thus, God won.
Immediately, I was reminded of the 11-month journey that led to this point. But in complete honesty, I still didn’t surrender to his will. I was overwhelmed and anxious. My hair was falling out, and I would spend a majority of the day nearly hyperventilating at the thought of adding another boy to the mix. I say, “boy,” because I honestly knew that God was preparing a boy. If you know me, you know that I pretended to believe that it could be a girl. But, I knew. Denial is a state that I lived in a lot during the first trimester.
My health was not the best at the time. I’ll spare you all the details, but God prepared my body for this pregnancy. And while I’m still considered “high risk,” there are no signs of complications.
Several weeks ago, God gave our pastor, Paul, a message especially for me … at least that’s how it felt. The sermon was about accomplishing something for God and being significant, even in the most unforeseen ways. I realized that, at this point in my life, the most impactful thing I will do is carry and help create this baby.
… This baby named Brit.
“Brit Austin McKinney,” a random, haphazard suggestion that Chad made in the car, immediately stuck. From that moment, Tyler (my, now, 3-year-old) and I called him that on every reference. To keep with our places-in-Texas theme, we chose Austin as middle name. Living there was one of the most significant time periods in my life. In Austin, I became a Christian. I found my first church home. And I established the core of who I am today. And “Brit?” Well … that was most definitely not as significant. It was just fun, different and sounded a little like a coffee house rock star.
On Sunday, God pretty much got out “the red spoon.” In parent speak, I had sort of missed his counting of “1,2,3.” The sermon was about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He begged for the impending task to be taken from him, for the burden to be lifted. But after a struggle, much more excruciating than mine, he surrendered to the will of his father. This message hit me literally. The burden that he carried could not be described any better than the massive, expanding belly of pregnant woman. It is quite literally a weight that I am carrying. “Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
It was at that moment, I knew that God was calling us to change his name. I sifted through pages of biblical names and references (a hard task on a smart phone), looking for something that meant “God’s plan” or “meant to be.” There was only one name that fit, “Seth.” It means, “placed or appointed by God.” And ironically, he was the third son of Adam and Eve.
Chad had always loved the name Seth. In fact, it was one of the names he put in the hat when we drew Grayson’s name.
And so, Seth Austin McKinney it is.
I know that this pregnancy will continue to be difficult. I know that I will be sacrificing my body for the sake of this child. But what greater gift is there than a child? It’s with that realization that I find myself getting excited about our Baby No.3. I’m not naive in my assumptions about raising three boys under the age of 4. It will be hard. There will be days when I need to re-read this, possibly repeatedly.
But this baby has a purpose. I’m not sure what that purpose is or how distinguished his life plan will be. It may be simple and go relatively unnoticed or it may be grand. He may just change the world. I know, for a fact, that he will change mine. I will love him, just as I adore Tyler and Grayson. And I will believe, without a doubt, that he was meant to be. He was “placed here by God.”