Fall 2003 was one of the most hectic, stressful, insane times in my life. I had a six month old baby girl who loooovvvveeed to fuss, cry, and NOT sleep. Matt and I were living in a small apartment. He was going to seminary and staying at home with Belle. I was working full time, taking a heavy load of grad courses, and studying furiously for a crazy hard comprehensive final exam to complete my master’s degree. I was a busy, busy girl and floundering first-time mom. My hands weren’t just full, they were overflowing.
One night I was walking to my car in the parking lot of our apartment building when something caught my eye in the sky. At first, I assumed it was a helicopter coming in for a landing—we lived very close to a hospital. But as I got a better look, I realized, it wasn’t moving. I stood there staring at it for a few seconds—the biggest, brightest star I had ever seen or have ever seen since. This may sound silly, but my immediate thought was, “God is telling me something with that star.” As I got in my car, shut the door, and went to start the engine, I felt the words, “you’re pregnant” spoken to my heart.
And I proceeded to laugh out loud. No, I certainly was not pregnant! I had no time to be pregnant. I had a degree to finish, a crying baby to care for, a job…. The notion was ridiculous, and in seconds I forgot about the whole ridiculous incident.
A few weeks later at an office luncheon, I began feeling sick… really sick. I remember sitting there, surrounded by co-workers, when the thought hit me—I’ve only felt this way one other time in my life. Suddenly I remembered that star. As soon as I could get out of there, I raced to the pharmacy and picked up a pregnancy test. I snuck it in the apartment and took it. And you guessed it… I was pregnant.
I sat on the floor with Matt in the next room and bawled my eyes out, too afraid to tell him, completely overwhelmed, and absolutely terrified. The next day, I went to my doctor, and she confirmed that I was, indeed, going to have another baby. Belle had just turned seven months old.
Matt, of course, was wonderful. He was happy, and that helped. Still, I couldn’t imagine my life with another child. I was barely keeping my head above water with the one I had, not to mention the horrible post partum depression I had just struggled through. The thought of walking through those dark places again was horrifying.
In my heart, I knew the baby was a girl. I just knew. Matt kept asking me about names, and I told him only one had come to me. Estella. Every time I thought about the baby, I thought about that name. I liked it. I didn’t love it. But it was relentless and refused to go away.
Then one day while at work, I decided to look up the meaning of the name, Estella. As my computer pulled up the website, what I saw nearly caused me to fall out of my chair. I was still not ok with this baby. I was still crying every night. I was still questioning God’s horrible sense of humor. And there it was... the meaning of the name Estella... is “star.”
Just like that, I understood that this was His plan, in His timing.
Now think what you will. Think it’s a coincidence about the star I saw that night and the feeling in my heart. Think I’m crazy for all of it. But be assured that Estella Dru Slaughter is a special little girl with a special story to tell. Ask her and she’ll tell you, God named her Himself. And that little girl… she does shine. I am convinced she has a purpose beyond anyone's imagination. She's going to surprise us all... again.
Happy 6th Birthday my sweet Estella Dru. Shine away.