Who Am I?  Part 1

“Hi, I’m Craig!”

“Wait a minute, I thought you were Norman?”

“Yes, that’s true, but that’s a story for another day.”

Okay so what’s going on here. Well, apparently, I am a man of many names, and each name has an interesting story behind it.  A couple of names are given names, a few names are nick names given to me, and many names that I have are simply descriptive names which reflect accomplishments or activities I have been involved with over the years.

They say you can know a lot about a person just by knowing their name, and I think there is truth in that.  Over the months ahead, I want to publish a number of articles that will deal with the question of “Who Am I?”  Each story will try to capture just a brief glimpse into my life and help my readers get to know me a little better.  But more important than getting to know me, I want my readers to get to know my God who created me the way I am, and who has had the most significant influence upon my life.  Many of my so-called “names” will show how God has had His hand on me throughout my life.

The best place to start a story is of course at the very beginning.  So….go back 50 years, and you would hear about my mother and father having a healthy baby boy.  I won’t go into those details, but rather, let’s go farther back, to tell you how I came to be my mother’s “miracle” baby.  Not to say that my other siblings were not “special” too, but there is one very important detail about my birth that is definitely noteworthy.

In the 50′, it was quite common for families to have many children.  My parents were no exception.  But by the time it was 1960, my mother had already birthed three children, and had two miscarriages.  After talking things over, my parents had decided that it was time to make sure they had no more children.  So my mom set up the appointment to see her doctor to have her tubes tied to prevent any more pregnancies.

It turned out though, that mom’s regular doctor was on holiday.  So mom saw the other doctor covering the clinic that day.  When she asked for the surgery to be done, this second doctor said that for personal and religious reasons, that he could not do it.  She would have to wait till her regular doctor came back.

So mom had to wait for a few weeks to see her usual doctor and again went in to ask to have the surgery.  But as the two of them were talking about it, mom revealed to her doctor that she had noticed little signs that made her suspect that she might be pregnant.  That’s fine, said the doctor, and she ordered a pregnancy test.  Well….Lo and Behold!  Mom was pregnant.  And that settled the whole matter.  The Weatherhead clan was going to add one more member to it.

It is at this point that I want to be careful not to overspiritualize this, but I do look back and consider just how close it came for me not to be born at all.  And yet, as a Christian, I do take a strong stand that from the moment we are conceived, we are a child created by God, and in my case, I believe that He was looking out over me.  Psalm 22:10 says:

From birth, I was cast upon you;

From my mother’s womb, you have been my God.

This has been a special verse to me, as I believe that God knew all along that my mother was pregnant with me, probably even before the first visit to the doctor.  It could easily have been overlooked in those days, and I could have become an infant death without them even knowing.  That would be God’s hand of protection.

Or, if mom had gotten pregnant between the two doctor visits, then that too would be a minor miracle.  First, that it happened in this short interval period at all.  Second, that mom sensed it and had it checked out. And then thirdly, with already having had two miscarriages, what was to stop it from mom having another one.  Again, only God’s hand of provision and protection made it possible for me to be carried and born.  In either case, mom has often called me her “miracle” child.

Oh yes, you are probably still wondering about my name confusion at the beginning of this story.  Well, both of my parents were happy with the two names they had chosen, but apparently they did not completely agree with the order of the name.  They liked giving me the name “Norman” which was my mother’s father’s name.  (And that will be another story to come.)  But they also wanted to call me as my primary given name “Craig”, which sounded strong.

Now the remainder of the story is still a bit fuzzy.  The name written down on the form was to be “Craig Norman Weatherhead”, which makes sense.  You use your first name in public, and you treasure your middle name-sake given to you.  But somehow, during the discharge paperwork, it seems that my names were reversed and I officially become “Norman Craig Weatherhead”.  Years later, when I asked about this, I was told that the latter arrangement had a kind of “nice lilt” to it.   Hmmm….and let me see….my mother was musically inclined, and my father was not so much.  So…I wonder how that paperwork got all mixed up?  Oh Mom….I have a question for you.   : )