Drake de long-farmer
8 minute read
When it came to naming our firstborn son, it wasn’t easy. We had been talking about names for years and so we had plenty of time to refine the process and come to something we both agreed on and loved! Actually, we had two names picked out. One for a boy and one for a girl. We were set!
When my wife was pregnant for the second time, we were not as prepared. We had a girl named picked out and so 50% of the work was done. I think secretly we hoped that we would have a girl this time and wouldn’t need to worry about picking another name that we both loved and could settle on. So, this time around we decided we wanted to find out in advance and when we found out we were having another boy we realized we needed to get back to work. Life with our first baby made things much more chaotic and being able to find time to refine a name was a bit more complicated. Also, we had spent so much time on our firstborn son's name that we had actually vetoed a lot of the original options already crossed out. So the pool of options was a lot more limited this time around.
Why is picking names so hard? Why do we spend so much time toiling over it? Because there is something about a name, isn’t there? It is so much more than a declaration to get someone’s attention. It is part of our identity, who we are, how people see us and how we see ourselves. It is a huge part of how people identify us through our IDs and our lives are attached to our names. You can’t buy a house without a name or get a driver's license for that matter. You are attached to a particular family and heritage, and ultimately our names are intimate parts of who we are. We may not spend a lot of time thinking about it, but our names are so much more than random letters put together to form a declarative word.
Let’s take this a step further. Names have specific meanings too. When we named our children, we didn’t simply chose names that sounded nice to us, but we looked into the meaning of each name we were considering. Each name had a meaning and each meaning had weight. Besides, our children would carry these names for the rest of their lives.
As you can suspect, we did settle on a name for our second born. Elijah LaJoie. Elijah is a hebrew derivative, אֱלִיָּהוּ (Eliyyahu). It is actually two words put together Elohim (Eli) and Jehovah (Jah), which means: My God is YAHWEH (LORD). LaJoie is actually the maiden name of my grandmother which is a French derivative which means: The Joy. So, combined, my sons name means: ‘My God is YAHWEH the Joy’ or ‘My God is YAHWEH my Joy’. I even have a nickname for my little man, JAHJOIE, which would read, in short, God-Joy. Our little man bears the name that reminds us that our heavenly Father is both our God and our joy! Now, isn’t that an amazing name and an amazing reminder?
God had the amazing habit, in the Bible, to give people new names. It not only signified a moment of change and transformation in someone's life but the new name gave them a new identity. The new name meant something!
God changed Abram's "high father" name to “Abraham,” "father of a multitude" (Genesis 17:5) and his wife's name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15–16). God also changed Jacob's "He grasps the heel. Supplanter" name to “Israel,” "God-wrestler" (Genesis 32:28). As well, Jesus changed Simon's "Hear, Listen" name to “Peter,” "Stone, Rock" (John 1:42)
The bible calls us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and with this state comes a new identity and with this new identity comes a new name! No longer are we guilty but forgiven (Hebrews 8:12; Romans 8:1-39). No longer are we slaves to sin but free in Christ (Romans 6). No longer dead but alive in Jesus (Colossians 2:13). No longer a mess but God’s great masterpiece (Ephesians 2:1-10). The real question is, how do you identify yourself? Or better yet, whom defines you?
Drake is the Founder of boldcupofcoffee.com and serves as Executive Pastor at gateway.ac as well as being an avid speaker, writer and leadership coach/consultant.
Drake is passionate about seeing people thrive and come alive. To BELONG, wrestle with what they BELIEVE and BECOME people FULL OF LOVE, FUELLED BY FAITH, and ADDICTED TO HOPE. Drake is also a life learner and loves being challenged to think deeper and grow further. One of his favorite things to do is spend a good amount of time in a good café or coffee shop with a good book or engaging conversation. To be able to share in someone else's journey and experience is always a pleasure and honor. You can also connect with him at your personal page at drakedelongfarmer.com. To read more articles by Drake, simply click here.
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