The second in a two-part entry over the decision to name our daughter Emma Rosa.

May of 2017 was much different than May of 2016. I’d traded beer for coffee, wasted weekends for board game nights, and, in many ways, pain for joy. Best of all, I’d recently learned Paige and I were expecting our first child.

There was one other significant factor influencing my life at that point: Mere months before finding out that Paige was pregnant (and after 100+ “Never” listens and counting), I stumbled upon a book my mom had gifted me in 2015 called “The Grave Robber” by Mark Batterson.

The Grave Robber

“Ryan, I pray this book will inspire, enlighten, and open your heart and soul to God’s miracles and mysteries all around us! All my love, Mom”

We’re taking a slight step away from the origins of Emma’s name here, but this is important:

Emarosa’s lyrics spoke to me on a deeply emotional level and sparked an internal desire for change. “The Grave Robber”, both the book and the written words of Jesus Christ himself, took me the rest of the way – from a pit of despair to a renewed life redeemed by pure, unadulterated grace.

I was raised a Christian and considered myself one even during the worst of days, but I’d been greatly disconnected from the faith for quite some time. I’d let others’ opinions of what being a Christian meant influence my personal relationship with Christ and had made a conscious decision to distance myself from what I perceived to be a religion that was incompatible with the love I felt for all people.

What “The Grave Robber” helped me realize is that people will always impact the reputation of any organization or cause that they involve themselves with. Their influence matters, but my faith doesn’t depend on the actions of others. I wouldn’t stop listening to or loving Emarosa because I didn’t like or agree with some of their fans, so it’s insane to forgo a relationship with Jesus Christ because of other Christians. This realization was life-changing and is something I’ll expound upon in the future.

I’m Feeling Some Hope

The loves of my life.

Back to what you came here for: Paige and I couldn’t come up with a name for our soon-to-be McGuire. We went back and forth for months, sharing names that we liked but never any we loved. We eventually settled on Jude for a boy but were struggling desperately to come up with a girl’s name we could agree on.

Then it happened.

Paige and I were jamming to Emarosa on our way back from a summer trip to Dallas (which is funny considering the role Dallas played in my discovery of Emarosa’s awesomeness). I was reflecting on how much I liked Emarosa’s name, so I turned to Paige and half-seriously asked, “Since we can’t decide on a girl’s name, do you just want to call her Emma Rosa?” Paige laughed, thought for few seconds, and said, “Honestly, I kind of like it.” And it was settled.

We welcomed Emma Rosa McGuire into the world on December 13th, 2017.

Something happens when your child is born. There’s an immediate internal change, as if someone unlocks and opens a door within you that you’ve always known to be there but never given attention to. Within seconds, I went from a boy actively trying to get on track to a man with a clearly defined mission: love this girl with all your being.

That mission drives me to this day.

4 thoughts on “One Little One in Our Hands

  1. Mom and Dad says:

    Wow Ryan! So amazing and moving! We love what you shared about your faith, and how Jesus Christ became personal to you! God has blessed you with wisdom, and a heart that is now seeking His will for your life. Also, regarding precious Emma, she is truly blessed to have the love of two amazing parents!!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rytoto says:

      Thank you so much! I love you guys!

      Like

  2. Amy Saldana says:

    Just beautiful Ryan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rytoto says:

      Thank you, Amy!!!

      Like

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