Harvey Means “Battle-Worthy” – Our Fight for Texas
It is a name that has spurned my heart with love and joy for the past year.
But this week, I am seeing footage of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and my heart is shattering. To see so much pain, wreckage, and even death surrounding my home state and my son’s name, I am deeply saddened.
His name was unique when we chose it, and we liked that. It has been so much fun to see the curiosity pass over others’ faces when we tell them his name, to answer questions about where it came from, and to tell the story behind it.
Harvey is now everywhere, and it doesn’t feel so good. A Texas native still closely tied to the state, my gut reaction is to shy away from sharing his name now, for fear that it will bring up feelings of despair, pain, and grief for so many. For whether they’ve been affected by it personally or not, in a way, we all have been. We all see the photos and watch the videos, with hearts sinking in our chests to know what our neighbors are suffering through. We are speechless to see the rainfall and devastation that occurred and feeling like we can’t really empathize or help.
With these feelings rising up from seeing photos of the Houston area, I am reminded why we chose his name.
Harvey means “battle-worthy.”
We want our son’s name to be a reminder to him to fight for himself and the Lord in this world. We want him to know that he is worthy of fighting the battles that he will face throughout his life, no matter how big or small, and to fight for what’s good.
Houston and Texas friends: You are worthy of fighting this huge battle. The waters will take so much from you, but it is the battle of your heart and spirit that will prevail. Hurricane Katrina wrecked my hometown 12 years ago, but our town has bounced back and even thrived. I watched neighbors and best friends fight for their homes, their recovered goods, their spirit, and our community. The way everyone came together to help each other is what won then, and what is winning in your city now. Neighbors helping neighbors, literally rescuing each other. You are so inspiring.
I see you, Mom of a 13 month-old, being carried over the flood water with your baby strapped to your chest. It is not lost on me that with one small turn of the hurricane, I could have been you. I feel for you. And I will fight for you. You are worthy.
I read about you child, who clung to your mom as you waited for rescue. God knows my prayers for you through my tears alone.
I see you animals, lost and scared without a home or your people. You have been rescued. You have been fought for.
Texas, you are worthy and you will fight. You are fighting. The feelings of hopelessness are surely threatening you, but you will prevail. However much or little Harvey left behind for you, it also leaves a message: Fight for your family, your home, your neighbor, and your city. My son and I are fighting for your spirit.
While I sit in the comfort of my own home from many miles away, it’s hard to think that I can actually help. But I can. We all can. I haven’t wanted to share his name publicly, but I feel too connected not to. I have to fight for him and my home state. My word for him before birth was “resilience,” and that’s exactly what I’m seeing over and over with the people of Houston.
To help with recovery, please consider making a charitable donation to the victims of this storm. The New York Times has a great article here with a list of options for giving. On behalf of our Harvey, we ask that you consider the Houston Humane Society, YouCaring, The Texas Diaper Bank, and Save the Children. Let’s let the memory of Harvey shift from that of destroying a community to one that is building community.