What’s in a Name?

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(How people see me.) My dog Rudy loves to boss the cows.

I’ll confess I never truly liked the name Tammy. I blame my name for all the pats I received on the head from male employers and for the punches in the arm instead of dates I received from guys I thought were cute in college. It’s my name’s fault for why I’ve worked so hard to prove myself because if I didn’t, I feared I wouldn’t get past the little white yapper image in people’s minds when they thought of me.

I read a book once about the psychology behind a name. The author stated our names shaped a portion of our personalities because it dictates how people perceive us to be and therefore how we are treated. Pretty interesting stuff! See why I blame my name for all those pats and punches?

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(But this is how I see myself…) Franklin the goat guard and my niece Addie.

After finding out I was pregnant at the age of 44, with my number four, my husband Jay stated if this child was a girl he wanted her to be named Isabella. Later that night, we had dinner at Donatello’s in Tampa, Florida. While leaving the restaurant, the owner handed me a rose, kissed both my cheeks, and said, “Goodnight Bella.” While the words rolled off his Italian tongue releasing into the night air like poetry–let’s just say…it sealed the deal.

Silly huh?

Well, maybe, but I went home and looked up the meaning of the name Isabella, and found it meant “devoted to God.”

Nine months later, Isabella was born.

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Recently, I thought about how important a name is to God. So much so, He changed several people’s names in the Bible pointing towards His plan for their lives. He changed Abram which meant “high father” to Abraham meaning “father of a multitude.” He changed Sarai meaning “my princess” to Sarah which meant “mother of nations.” God changed Jacob meaning supplanter to Israel which meant “having power with God.” Later, Israel’s sons became the twelve tribes of Israel.

Did you know Simon meant “God has heard,” but Jesus changed it to Peter meaning “rock.” Can a name shape a destiny? In my daughter’s case, I can only hope.

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Bella’s name should mean lover of mud.

I looked up the meaning of Tammy and it is derived from the Hebrew name Tamar meaning “Palm tree.” When I told my Momma she named me palm tree she stated, “I should’ve never named you Tammy because that set your destiny to move away to Florida!”

But there had to be more than a tree…

I looked up the Hebrew significance of the palm tree. That’s where it gets interesting…

The Palm Tree means “flourish.”  It is a tree that can flourish through the storms and drought. It can bend and not fall over because of its root system. It can produce fruit in its old age.

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” Psalms 92:12-14 English Standard Version.

So, I will embrace the name Tammy even if it means a pat on my head every now and again because I’m a flourisher!

You can be too…

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While we endure the Covid crisis we may feel a little discarded. We may feel we’ve lost our identities. We may feel our destinies have been altered because of that job we lost, that loved one that passed away unexpectedly, or that illness we had to endure.

But here’s the light that shines through the chaos and darkness… God’s still in control. As long as you’ve placed your life in the palm of His hand your destiny is secure. Here’s the truth…your identity isn’t found in your name as much as it’s found in His.

So, if you’re like me and been like eh over your name…if you’ve accepted Christ as your personal Savior you’ve been renamed anyway. Your name is now

Chosen

Redeemed (saved)

 Sanctified (purified)

 Loved

 His Child.

What a relief that’s so much better than Tammy and palm tree! I shall hold my head high for anyone who wants to give me a pat.

Isn’t that so much better than your own name?

Hang in there. God’s plan will unfold in due time. This too shall pass.

In the meantime, if you’re bored and tired of doing those puzzles you might want to look up the meaning of your own name. I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Till next time…

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Mourning the Loss of Expectations

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Feeling sad today. Missing travel. Missing Main Street, USA at Magic Kingdom. Fearing that awful, monstrous…The Unknown.

I don’t shove these feelings down.

I don’t scold myself for not trusting God enough for not having enough faith.

Please.

The Bible is pretty much ALL people who aren’t enough but for whom God decides to Be everything.

He’s always filled in the gaps, where we aren’t enough.

No, what I’m doing is recognizing that my expectation for life does not match reality.

The journey of letting go of expectation and accepting reality is called grief.

It’s a crucial part of our mental health.

Grief is tricky. It messes you up to stifle it OR to languish in it.

Grief isn’t a destination. It’s a hallway between rooms.

If you don’t use the hallway, you are stuck somewhere you aren’t supposed to be.

If you live in the hallway, you are missing out on the life waiting for you.

But you can’t skip the hallway.

I’m just walking through a little hallway today.

I’ll do it with Jesus. I’ll pause. Show Him something I’m sad about or scared about. He’ll just hold my hand while I say goodbye to the thing I’ll miss or have a good cry over my lack of control. But then He’ll gently guide me to the next thing.

Eventually, like so many times before, I’ll accept that my expectations were never anything more than that. THIS was always what was going to be. This is what God planned and will use for my good.

I’m just not there yet. I’m walking down the hallway.

It’s okay to be sad.

Just living out loud in case someone else needs permission to feel sad too.

 

This article was written by Sara Edwards. Thank you Sara for visiting The Hallelujah House today.
image.pngSara Edwards lives and works in the lovely town of Windermere, Florida. When she’s not carpooling her children, Ellie and Caleb, or working as an Office Manager for a local real estate agency, she’s co-leading a small group at Family Church in Windermere with her husband, George. Her other passion is leading worship as a vocalist in Family’s Worship Arts Ministry.