In my last blog, I chatted about the time and place we were born into in History. For every baby born the year of COVID, the parents spent time and thought finding a name they wanted to call their child. With great care, they chose a name befitting the new arrival. The name they choose will be the identifier for the child their entire life. Once their name is recorded in the State Birth’s and Death’s register, all documents relating to that tiny person will use that name and number from then on. The name can only be changed by marriage or a petition for a change of name with the court system.
Hopefully, the child will like their chosen name. Some parents can give their child a name that provokes other children and people to tease them, causing great distress. Other parents must use the grandparents’ names as a second name; this was common practice in previous generations. Naming a child well is a responsibility parents need to take seriously, as it can cause unforeseen consequences in the future for that child. Every era has its favorite names, and there will be a whole crop of Jason’s or Amelia’s in a particular year. Then there are the ‘old fashioned’ names like Gladys (my grandmother) or Mabel, seldom used today.
There are deeper levels that name goes as well, and parents may well choose a name that befits the person they would like their child to grow up to be or characteristics. For instance, the name Philip means a lover of horses. Do all Philip’s love horses? Not at all, but the name originated from Greek and meant the same in several different languages. Whole webpages and books are dedicated to finding a name for your child, and according to them, more classical and Biblical names are coming into favor for 2021. We want our children to embrace their uniqueness amongst all the noise of thousands of other children growing up within their generation.
We want our children to embrace their uniqueness amongst all the noise of thousands of other children growing up within their generation.
My parents named me after Deryn Edmonds, the Church minister’s daughter, who married them and served as their bridesmaid. ‘Deryn’ has and continues to be an unusual name, often mistaken for Darren, which is a more popular name. I had many problems at school with teachers who did not know it, and I was invariably asked to spell it. People mispronounced it. Often, I would end up answering to anything that began with a D. Children would tease me, calling me horrible names that started with D, like Derelict; even my parents would call me other nicknames, and so my name became something that I loathed.
It was only many years later when I found out that Deryn meant ‘Little Bird’ in Welsh, that I started to appreciate it and all that it stood for. A little bird has freedom; it can fly, choose to move away from danger, is independent, and does not enjoy being in captivity, so the name became ‘Freedom’ for me. An artist friend of mine gave me a lovely piece of Calligraphy to remind me that “the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17) Knowing this made all the difference, from a name that was a curse to a name that I could fully embrace and rejoice that God knew that was the best name for me. So my mission became telling others that they can have true freedom in their spirit even though others want to enslave them to legalism, or they feel imprisoned in a life they did not choose or the world around them that may be in total lockdown.
God has promised us that He would be giving us a new name.
Better still, God has promised us that He would be giving us a new name. Everyone who is victorious shall eat of the hidden manna, the secret nourishment from heaven; and I will give to each a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one else knows except the one receiving it. (Rev 2:17).
Even when our names do not give us joy when we feel they mean ‘derelict,’ our new name will have the secret meaning of ‘delight’ as we know the Lord delights in us and will give a new meaning to our name when He claims us as His own.
Are you happy with the name your parents chose for you?
Do you know what your name means?
What does knowing that God will give you a new name look like to you?
How can you live in the power of your new name?