Most people don't know this but, my name at birth was Ryan. My parents thought that it was going to take off and be the next big popular girls name in the 80's. Except it didn't and by the time I went to first grade I had all sorts of problems with my name. Since most people just read things off a list and because my name looked and was spelled just like the male version of Ryan, I was put in boy scouts, the boys side of coat hangers, and invited to an all boys birthday party. All within the first few weeks of school! Soon enough my parents realized this was going to be an ongoing battle my whole life and my grandmother suggested chaining my name to Ryanne to make it more feminine looking and sounding. So we did! Most people don't get the chance to legally change their name, but I have. Even though I still have issues with people understanding my name, I'm glad it was changed all those years ago.
So what's the point of this story? Well it's time for another name change! Nathan and I have officially decided to change the name of our ministry. When we first began this ministry I knew that the name would be important. I did not want it to contain the name pregnancy loss anywhere in the title. My logic was that I wanted the women I was ministering to to want to come to my gathering- and no one wants to belong to the pregnancy loss club. So I came up with the name "A Mothers Love" because I felt it validated who we were-mothers- and because our grief stemmed from our deep love for our children who had died.
When I met with a new spiritual director almost two years ago he mentioned maybe changing the name. I'll admit that I did not want to change the name. I had put serious thought and prayer into the name and I had reasons for calling it A Mothers Love. So we sat on it. Once we opened the ministry up to couples last summer I knew that the name A Mothers Love could not hold up if we continued to minister to men. So we began to pray.
Nathan wanted something with the word hope in it. I told him that I felt like Mary, our Mother, had to be a part of the title somehow because she's been such a big part of helping me grieve. So we prayed and brainstormed and on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we officially changed the name and consecrated our ministry to Mary.
Immaculate Hope Ministries will be the official name of our ministry from here on out. A Mothers Love will encompass the women's side of the ministry and the men's retreats will fall under the name Heart of the Father. I love the new name! I love having Mary be a part of it with her being the Immaculate Conception. I love the power behind it and the hope it gives. We have officially bought a domain site and are working on getting a website up. We also have a few events coming up. What events you ask? Let me tell you!(And please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the following events)
April 1, 2014- I will be speaking at the St. Jude's Moms Group in Peoria,IL and covering the topic of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. Starts at 9AM.
April 4, 2014 -Nathan and I will both be speaking on the Wendy Weise Show on Relevant Radio during her 1-2 PM central time afternoon show (listen to relevant radio live by visiting their website here)
June 7, 2014-Couples Retreat in Chicago, IL sponsored by the Marriage and Family Ministries Office and The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese. This will be a day retreat for any couple who has experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy or as an infant.(details for this retreat can be found under the tab "Immaculate Hope Ministries" at the top of this blog)
Fall 2014-Couples Retreat in the dioceses of Des Moines, IA. Date still to be determined!
So there you have it-the story behind the name and the name change. Please continue to pray with us as we develop this ministry and keep walking where God wants us to go!