Last Christmas we gave our children the TV series Heidi!
As I eagerly watched the first few episodes with my little ones, I couldn’t help to think how the name Heidi is part of my life from as early as when I was only 6-7 years old!
I grew up on a farm in Bloemfontein in the Free State during the middle/late seventies. There wasn’t electricity available on our farm and TV was only just introduced to South Africa, thus we didn’t have TV, either. It was during this time that the Heidi series (translated into my mother tongue - Afrikaans) was released and we came to know about it through family. It was broadcasted on Tuesday evenings and my Dad would drive my sister and myself to my Grandparents several kilometers away to watch the 30min episode of Heidi. It was the highlight of the week for us. We could not imagine missing one episode and Daddy diligently took us every week!
Then one Tuesday afternoon, as we were ready to jump in the car, friends of my parents arrived, unaware of our plans to go watch Heidi at my grandparents. That Tuesday evening two little girls cried for an hour in disappointment for missing Heidi! That week my dad bought us a TV. We already had a generator on the farm to provide electricity for lights, hair dryers, etc. and it was able to provide enough electricity to run the TV. What a joy to watch Heidi in the comfort of our own home!
The years went by, we grew up and Heidi was a very pleasant childhood memory. In 1991 Christo and I got married and early 1993 I was overjoy to discover I was pregnant! But my joy was only for a short while, as it ended in a miscarriage at 8 weeks, the end of April! I was devastated. Since we got married I longed to have a baby of my own and I was so afraid I would not be able to have babies, although the miscarriage was due to tick fever, diagnosed a week later. It took me weeks to recover from the tick fever and miscarriage and to worsen my emotional state, Christo was due to leave for Europe in August. The year before he was also in Europe for ten days and I missed him so much! I was dreading the time he would be away, especially since I was still not pregnant and trying to recover from the tick fever.
At the beginning of July, Christo came home, announcing he is going to take me with him to Europe! He cared too much to leave me alone under the circumstances. It was just what I needed to pull me back to reality - going to Europe for 10 days! The Lord provided through my dear husband, something else to focused on! Christo only needed to be in the city Neuchatel in Switzerland for two days, for medical equipment research, the rest of the time we would enjoy the beauty of Switzerland and even planed to visit Paris and Euro Disney!
It was an amazing, blessed time!
Long summer days in the breath taking mountains of Switzerland.
We walked along rumbling glacier milk rivers.
In Switzerland we stayed in Lauterbrunnen, Gstaad and Neuchatel.
We peeped into every available watch shop , choosing a coo-coo watch to hang against my wall at home.
After being in Neuchatel we headed for France and stayed in Euro Disney for three days.
We reserved one day for Paris and I walked until I could not walk anymore and wished I could crawl (that was after I’ve already taken off my shoes and walked barefoot!)
We looked down on Paris from the Eiffel tower and Arc the Triumph, did shopping in the Galleries Lafayette and visited the Opera house.
We ate French fries at the side walk of the Av Des Shamps-Elysees (costing us a small fortune!) visited the Notre Dame, bought me two original hand paintings on our way back from the Eiffel tower and Christo and I posed for a sketch (not very real) but a nice, very expensive souvenir to take home!
We laughed like children in Euro Disney and Christo bought me a huge Mickey and Minny Mouse to take home!
The last day we drove through Titisee-Neustadt in Southern Germany and ate apple strudel and black forest cake!
It was unavoidable to visit Switzerland and not think back to my childhood story Heidi!
One particular day I was staring into the breath taking mountains and praying to the Lord to please give me a little girl, who I can name Heidi!
On the exact same day, a year after we returned from our blessed time in Europe, our first son was born.
I was totally overjoyed, holding my tiny little baby in my arms! After CJ I had another two miscarriages, before a little girl was born in July 1997!
The girl I prayed for, almost 4 years ago in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland. I knew we would call her Heidi, but since both Christo and my mother’s names were Marie, we decided to call her Heidi-Mari - I just loved the name!
But this is were my dream stopped! Heidi-Mari was a colic baby who cried constantly the first year of her life! At six months we took her to a homeopath and she was diagnosed with an extreme sensitivity to diary and MSG. She definitely cried less, after I took diary and MSG out of my diet, but she was still a high need baby! I just couldn’t bond with this little girl and I saw my dream of having a little girl who will be my best friend, my own little Heidi would scatter into pieces!
I was ready to do anything to change the situation. I was pondering the possibility that the name ‘Heidi’ was a curse on my little girl. Taking in account the sad story of the Heidi-character, a little girl who lost her parents at one year of age, her grandpa who didn’t want her at first, her aunt who took her away while she was so happy with her grandpa and her longing for her grandpa and friends, while in Frankfurt! Then there was my own sad circumstances of longing for a little girl, after my first miscarriage. December 2000 we decided to stop calling her Heidi-Mari, but only Mari! This wasn’t without a lot of misunderstanding from family and explaining to friends and our own struggle to get use to the new name, me secretly longing to still call her by the beautiful name Heidi-Mari!
Then in 2003 while pregnant with our 4th child, I bought a book on the meaning of names! Josua was born in 2000 and we were surprised how this little boy was walking in the meaning of his name! We wanted to pray about the name of our 4th child and make sure it had a meaning that will enhance the calling on her live! It was only then that we discovered the meaning of Heidi-Mari’s name! Heidi meaning honored and blessed!
Heidi-Mari was now 6years old, called Mari for just over 2years, but still we just couldn’t bond and I was still mourning the loss of the beautiful name Heidi-Mari! Just there and then we decided to change her name back to Heidi-Mari! Oh what a joy it was. We explained to her what made us change her name and asked her what she would like to be called! She immediately asked to be called Heidi-Mari!
Knowing the meaning of Heidi - honored and blessed, something changed in my heart too! The Bible verse going with her name is Ps 29:11
“The Lord will give strength unto his people;
the Lord will bless his people with peace.”
Every time I called her name, I pictured the blessing she is for me and every one else in her life and the honour she’s destined to bring the Lord through her life! The power of God’s Word came to life!
Today Heidi-Mari almost 14 years old and such a blessing to this family!
I cannot imagine running our household and raising my babies without Heidi-Mari! She is my best friend, we enjoy hours of crafting, baking and cooking together and she now and then helped out in the health shop.
Today I know my little girl was destined to be Heidi-Mari. The Lord called her Heidi-Mari, even before I knew her name and I rejoice in Him for guiding us back to her original name - An honored young woman, a blessing to the Lord!
Since this incident we prayerfully choose the names of our children! As my children grow and mature, they amazingly walk in the calling of their names!
CJ is Christo Johannes, a Follower of Christ, gracious, with a very special anointing and inward strength that makes him a leader;
Josua is our General and a bringer of Truth, since a very young age he showed insight in spiritual issues, above his age;
Danika our little morning star princess and since birth so attentive;
Andrew is a living testimony of Ps 27:1
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” He is courageous and enduring and I’m waiting in anticipation to see what the calling on his life is;
David is the king, strong but with a sweet, loving spirit, obedient and always ready to repent. Even his physical qualities, distinguishes him as a king.
For Daniel we speak discerning and righteousness into his life;
and for Prince Michael high estimation and praises for His God!
We’re consciously aware of the meaning of our children’s names and deliberately call them on their names so the purpose of their lives can come in action!
Never underestimate the Power of Words and even more the power of a name!
"... I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My Hands;
Your walls are continually before me."