There has been a lot of excitement around the Flexibly Blessed household!
Our daughter has blessed us with a new little grandson, born on Good Friday (after 2 days labour!) Mom and baby are doing very well. And we are all thrilled!
Last September daughter J announced she was pregnant. Okay, I guessed and caught her off guard, and the look on her face was … well … an announcement! Anyway, from the time she shared the news, one of the overriding questions was, “what will you name the baby?” She was very good at keeping this a secret as she and her Partner B wanted it to be a surprise revealed only after the baby was born. Okay, I did manage to get the news a couple months early (apparently that’s what I do!), but kept my vow of silence. The new parents believe picking the name is a sacred thing, not to be taken lightly. In fact, the new little one’s name has a very distinct meaning.
This last week, I have been thinking seriously about names and their meanings.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare)
Names! From the moment we are born we are given one. And as we grow, we get additional ones. Daughter J became “Mommy” when Baby J was born 6 years ago. And before that, she was “Daughter”. Oh, and I became “Nanny”, and hubby “Papa”. Year after year, we gain more names – student, graduate, doctor, crossing guard, hair stylist, etc. These revolve around what we do. We also derive names from relationships with others, like the ones mentioned earlier, as well as ones like friend, neighbour, husband and wife. These are the good names. These are ones we can be proud of, and that lift us up.
But there are other kinds of names too though, aren’t there? Ones less edifying. Sad names. Sometimes these are called “labels” as they are often linked with how we have been perceived. Maybe it was something we did, whether purposeful or accidental. Often these names come from misunderstandings that grow and fester. They can be hard to shake. Sometimes we give these names to ourselves. I know I have. Maybe we are embarrassed about something we did, or disappointed in our choices. Unfortunately, these names keep us stuck in the past. We are locked and chained in a tiny box. Personal growth becomes stymied with this thinking. I have realized that if I want to grow and be healthy, I have to leave these types of names behind (which is why I have not offered any examples). I have to turn my eyes off of other people’s opinions and judgments (even my own!). I need to turn my focus on to God. This is what I have been doing. For myself. And for others too.
So, if you need a reminder (like I often do!) these are some of the names our Wonderful Creator gives us:
He calls us Friend (John 15:15) and Chosen (1 Thes. 1:4).
Ephesians 2:10 calls us God’s handiwork, created to do good works which were prepared in advance. I’ll take that one!
My Grandma used to remind me regularly that I am God’s temple, a residence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19)
Other names are: His messenger (Matt 28:16-20), His Child (Galations 3:26), and Brand New (2 Cor 5:17)
Here’s two of my favourites: Greatly Loved (Romans 5:8) and Free, Free Indeed (John 8:36).
With Him I am Glad (Psalm 92:4) and the Singer of a new song (Psalm 40:3-5).
He even transforms my ashes and makes them into beauty (Isaiah 61:3)
And may I suggest Isaiah 62:1-5!
This list is not exhaustive. Our Beautiful Creator calls us many more names all of which lift us up and help us to reach new levels becoming who we were born to be. They free us to become our true selves!
My daughter J and Partner B took great care and pleasure to name new Baby O.
God does the same for all of us.
Now this, is a very good thing.