Son, I want you to know that a name is not just a name.
A name represents who you are. It reveals the dreams and desires and prayers that your parents have for you. Your sisters both have names that mean something, that represent the desires of our hearts for their lives. And you are no different.
Your name means “young warrior.” And let me tell you what it means to me.
You have a dad who is a warrior. You haven’t met him yet but one day you will recognize what a gift God is giving you, to be born into his family and to share his name. And one day you will see what I have seen over the past decade and especially over the past month.
You have a dad who is not afraid to fight the good fight. He fights for people’s souls. He prays and he challenges and he doesn’t let the darkness win if he can help it. He doesn’t give up on people; even when he is exhausted and at the end of himself, he will do whatever it takes to fight. He knows what is at stake.
And there is a lot at stake, Owen. You are a gift from the Lord, a precious blessing, innocent in many ways – but you are being born into a world that is under a heavy curse. In fact, it groans under the weight of that curse, and many times it may seem that the darkness is winning.
But it’s not.
There is a Savior, son. A Savior who is the greatest warrior, who came to fight and do battle with a snake who thought he could win. A Savior who, when we thought He should pick up a sword, instead laid down His life. And in doing so, He won. He drank the wrath and became the curse so that men could be freed. And then He rose from the grave in victory and let us taste what hope really is, hope for a world that seems so crushed and bruised.
But the problem is, people don’t know it. They don’t see it or understand it. They still live in the curse, Owen, the curse that Jesus drank, and they don’t understand the freedom that He offers. And that is what is worth fighting for. Truth. Justice. Freedom. Let those words ring out in your heart and feed your courage and drive you to fight like a warrior for the kingdom of light.
Owen Spencer Shugart, I cannot wait to meet you. You are loved and prayed over and appreciated already. You will be a baby and a boy and a man, unique and wonderfully made. In so many ways you will be different than your father, but in the ways that matter – I hope you are just like him.
You are our precious gift from God. I’ll see you soon.