by Shelley Noonan


Here you will get a rare glimpse into Jan’s heart.  Then read on and share the dreams you had and still have for your daughters…


I remember my husband and I praying over my ever growing tummy.  It was December and in two months, I would be a new mother.  We were excited and a little scared. After all it was our first child and we wanted to get it right. Being the Christmas season, we were even more mindful of the importance God puts on names: Immanuel, Prince of Peace, Messiah-would personify all of God’s plans for His Son. What about His plans for our child? Could He impress us with a name that would shout out her destiny to us? We went to prayer.

If it was a girl we would name our daughter Rachel, meaning “Little Lamb”, after a little girl I taught in Sunday school. Her prayer requests were a staple in my classroom that year as she faithfully stood her ground through the trials of public school.  She witnessed boldly and courageously.  Her pure-hearted life spoke volumes to me.

As we continued praying for a middle name, Heather and Joy impressed me. When I looked up Heather, it meant joyful one, too. Bingo! God had a destiny on this daughter of mine to be joyful.

In February, our Rachel Joy arrived! We had so many dreams for our new little daughter. Grandma’s dream was to decorate her with lace and bows-from head to toe!  Her father’s dream was to develop her athletic abilities-after all, look at the way she held that ball! My dream, of course, would be that she would grow up, get married, and live down the street.


She did wear bows and lace until she could bat a ball. She did play softball, basketball, and volleyball-much to my husband’s delight. We gave her every opportunity to develop these talents and the possibilities of college scholarships began to mount on the horizon. But she was also a singer. At two, she made up a little song about Jesus being her shepherd. At nine, it was how Jesus was coming back some day, and by fourteen, she added a guitar and started playing with our church worship team.

Then the unthinkable happened:  September 11th.  Along with the explosions going off in NYC, one giant one went off in my daughter’s sixteen year old soul: If she had one life to live, she wanted to make it count for God. In that moment, a passion exploded in Rachel’s heart to share the Lord’s love with her generation.  That was the dream she would follow. She would start by doing it through music and living in another state to attend music and ministry school.

My husband and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes the day she packed the car, heading out to follow His dream for her life.

It would mean letting go of ours and embracing His. In those challenging moments we reminded ourselves of the day we dedicated her to the Lord as a baby. The day we said, “Lord, use her for your glory.” The day we prayed for a name.  That name shouted out her destiny to us: she would bring the Lord’s joy to her generation. Being reminded of these things gave us the courage to release her once again to His loving care.


Jan May is a freelance writer and author of the New Millennium Girl Series chapter books and writing curriculum. She is a homeschool veteran and creative writing teacher. She hosts a website for homeschoolers with free resources, projects, and kid friendly recipes. Come and visit! www.NewMillenniumGirlBooks.com



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sarah January 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

Thank you for sharing that, it makes me excited to see what God`s plans are for me.


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