Day 14: Name

Day 14: Name

31 Days of Intimacy with my Savior

In Native American culture parents waited until their child’s nature was revealed before giving them a name, e.g., Dances with wolves or Stands with a fist. In the Bible names typically identify character. In fact, God has well over 100 names that identify a different aspect of His character.

Identity matters
Throughout Biblical history God has changed names so they more accurately reveal holy identity. For example, Abram means exalted father but God changed his name to Abraham, which means father of multitudes. Sarai, Abraham’s wife, means argumentative but God changed her name to Sarah meaning “I will bless her and she shall become nations.”

Saul terrorized the early church. Christians feared him most because he was so openly zealous to prosecute, aka, kill, blasphemers of The LORD of Hosts. His name means “prayed for.” When God got hold of him He changed his name to Paul, which means “small” or “humble.” Paul wrote more than two thirds of the New Testament letters/

“I gave you that name”
One of the most pivotal recovery reference books is Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass. I recall reading that many change their birth names in order to establish their own definition of themselves. “This is an ancient way that many cultures have used to mark major transformations.*”

About a year after my PTSD diagnosis when I figured out my father was the primary culprit and mom was no help, I decided I needed to change my name. Every time I heard it I felt nauseous because it reminded me of my parents.

After my first daughter’s birth, I decided daughter number two would have the name Emily. In fact, I really liked Emily Ann. I had a son instead but I really loved the name and felt it should be my new first name. Since my birth name gave absolutely no clue about my ethnicity I decided to make it the Spanish version. Emiliana means to excel or rival, and grace.

My middle name is my grandmother’s name that means “bitter.” Can’t have that so the first name that came to mind was a woman who babysat me growing up. As it turned out that name means, “consecrated to God” and “My God is an oath.” Two down, one to go.

Here’s the thing: The root of this name is the same as my birth name. When I asked God about it, I heard Him clearly say, “No. I gave you that name. It’s who you are.” Wow.

The Pièce de rèsistance
I waited and waited on The Lord for the last name. Nothing quite clicked. Then it came. My last name means warrior. That fit like a glove. It completely encapsulated my personality.

I am so important to Jesus that He thoughtfully chose names, which reflect His plans for me. I am excellent and rival the competition. I am grace consecrated to God because my God is an Oath. Most of all, I am His warrior, on the battlefield for the sake of my Lord God and the lost among us.

Other posts in this series
Day 1: Artist
Day 2: Beautiful
Day 3: Celebrate
Day 4: Delight
Day 5: Emotions
Day 6: Father
Day 7: Gracious
Day 8: Hilarious
Day 9: Inside
Day 10: Jealous
Day 11: Kindling
Day 12: Longing
Day 13: Mine
Day 14: Name
Day 15: Open
Day 16: Pleasure
Day 17: Quell
Day 18: Real
Day 19: Strength
Day 20: Tireless
Day 21: Unwavering
Day 22: Victorious
Day 23: Warmth
Day 24: Xenodochial
Day 25: Young
Day 26: Zealous

Day 27: Armor
Day 28: (Pre)Eminence
Day 29: Intimacy
Day 30: Other than
Day 31: Ultimate Yes (and Amen)

* Ellen Bass, Courage To Change, Pg. 198, Harper-Collins Publishers, Third Edition, 1994.

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