By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. -Hebrews 11:7 (NASB)

As is often the case, God works on very different timelines that we do. And it’s not till long after the fact that we can say, “I see what you did there, Lord!”

Though I was baptized by a priest in 1999 and married in a Catholic wedding ceremony the following year, Christ was not in my heart. My heart did not see or hear or accept Him. I lived as an unbeliever, as I discovered when I awoke thirteen years later. In 2010, when my yet unborn son was on his way, it was time to choose a name.

What would his name be? For some reason, I wanted it to be biblical. There were actually some names I passed over, not knowing their biblical roots, like Nathan. But, when I saw the name “Noah,” it jumped off the page. I knew that would be his name. It was the only choice.

A few years later, the scales fell from my eyes and Jesus let me see the world for the first time. I was reborn! And I could see how I would need to live as a believer to model it for my son, named after the one man who walked with God before the flood.

So for this believer, God gave me a Christmas in July…a son whom God has gifted me (on loan) to model the journey to Christlikeness for–and to journey with. He and I are also the first and second links in a new generational chain of believers after centuries of idolatry. I’m far from perfect in my walk as a believer and parent, and I ask Him continually to help me better steward my gifts (including my Christmas in July gift), and know that there will only ever be one Jesus…but we believers live for Him, and Him through us, in the gift of the most glorious unfolding journey possible on this earth: one where Jesus guides us and is seen through us as we faithfully walk as followers of the one whose ultimate gift is for our salvation.