One word frees us
of all the weight
and pain of life;
that word is love.
~ Sophocles, Greek Tragedian
What’s the big deal about a name? Everyone has one, right?
When I was old enough to figure out there were meanings behind names, I asked Ah-Ma why she chose “Bonnie” for my name.
I expected some sort of meaningful story or another.
“I didn’t know what to name you when you born, so the nurse handed me a book of names. Bonnie was the first one I came across that sounded good. Easy to pronounce.”
Okay… Thanks, Mom.
God’s In The Business
As I got older, I came to like my name because people have to smile in order to say it. It’s hard to be super mad and growl “Baaah-nee”. See? You make a grin at the end.
We don’t get to choose our names, but they point to our identity. According to Geneaology.com, our first names can reveal a “recycled name” from a family’s past or a virtue our parents hoped we’d possess.
Some live with their given name from birth to deathbed. Sometimes, a name can be changed.
In Toni Morrison’s Pullitzer-Prize winning novel, Beloved, Jenny Whitlow was named by her slave owners. Jenny answered to “anything”. Her name held no meaning. It was a dead name.
Jenny has no importance until she earns her freedom, meets her husband and becomes beloved. She is re-named “Baby Suggs”. Her new name became a game changer, launching her into a meaningful and significant story line.
Beloved is fiction. God’s love is not. He is in the real business of changing names.
God Changes Names
A quick glance at the Bible, and we find a list of names God’s changed:
Abram — Abraham
Sarai — Sarah
Jacob — Israel
Simon — Peter
Saul — Paul
God doesn’t just change names in Biblical times.
He changes names today — yours and mine.
“To him who overcomes,
I will give some of the hidden manna.
I’ll also give a clear, smooth stone
inscribed with your new name,
your secret new name.” ~ God (Revelations 2:17)
Doesn’t the word “secret” turn this verse on it’s heels?
Between Two Lovers
The word in Greek, used in this passage is
okeios. an intimate knowing
The new names God gives are clandestine terms of endearment – like the ones whispered between two lovers.
The name we go by matters.
Who we belong to and what that person says about us affects our identity.
God isn’t the only one busy rewriting our identities. The world also loves to murmur names for us, as well as our experiences.
I am learning to practice hearing the name God calls me. I’m trying to get to that intimate place to see myself clearly and feel the love He has for me.
The world may call me by one set of labels — small and plain. I may even call myself by some others. God calls me Faithful and Beautiful.
My initials are FB.
What name is God giving you?
What other names is the world trying to put on you? Which ones are you using yourself?
**** LISA LEONARD NECKLACE GIVEAWAY ****
Two Lisa Leonard Designs Necklaces
Guys – win one for your gal!
Gals – win one for yourself!
Love and intimacy grows in the daily soil of God’s grace. TWO Faith Barista readers will be randomly chosen to receive Lisa Leonard’s gorgeous reminder: By Grace Alone Necklaces.
I bought one myself last year, to mark a new direction He’s pointing me towards — and to remind myself that He has the grace to see me through. I love wearing it, and I am so excited to host this giveaway!
ENTER TO WIN: 2 Winners will be chosen!
BY SUNDAY 2/14/10 – Midnight
1. Find the original meaning of your name.
Click here and go to Name Meanings Website, enter your name to get the meaning for your name.
2. Comment below with your name AND it’s original meaning. You’re entered!
1. Go on Twitter and send the tweet below out to your peeps. Comment *a second time* that you’ve tweeted. You’re entered – again!
What Does Your Name Mean? http://bit.ly/aMd6zS Drop a comment & win a @LisaLeonard necklace via @TheBonnieGray
2. Share this post on Facebook. Click the Share icon below. Comment *a third time* that you’ve Facebooked. You’re entered again!
Two computer generated, randomly selected winners are: Jessica S & Rebecca F! Congratulations to our two winners — and a big thank you to everyone for participating!
By Grace Alone Necklaces are part of an exclusive jewelry collection at Dayspring’s (In)Courage Gift Shop.
A big SHOUT OUT goes out to my friend Lisa, who generously sponsored today’s giveaway. Be sure to checkout her complete collection at Lisa Leonards Design and blog, It’s The Little Things. Thanks, Lisa!
Most of all, thank you for making Faith Barista an awesome community of faith voices. You’ve made me love being here!
Photo courtesy of Photobucket.