What’s in a Name?
Have you ever thought about what’s in a name? I’ve been thinking about this lately, because I’ve found myself missing mine sometimes. Not that I have felt a void, or a longing, but I noticed that when I hear it, I get one of those “oh! hey! that’s me!” kinda feelings. If you’re not sure what I mean by this, let me explain…
We all come into this world nameless. Then our parents dub us something that they have either pondered and prayed over, really like or has some special meaning to them. Sometimes it makes me wonder though, when I see kids named Apple or Blanket… Anyway, my name is Jennifer. It is of Welsh origin and it means, “fair and smooth”. It’s ranked #6 in popularity, which should annoy my mom, as she named me this thinking it was unique. Although, maybe she was the trend setter, as it hit it’s peak in 1970, taking the #1 spot, just a few years after I was born.
By the age of 5 I had decided that the playful shorter version of my name, Jenny, which I had been called regularly, had reached it’s limit. Since I was headed to Kindergarten, I was too old for such a cute identity and I was to be known as Jennifer from that day forward. And so it was.
Fast forward 10 years and a new name had been bestowed. I am now also know as Mom. It was a pretty awesome day to say the least. I loved it. I could hear it all day long! I think I cried the first time my son actually said it. Those emotions were just as strong when I birthed the next three. The name Mom is the bomb.
Marriage brings a new name into the mix as well. I must say though, the first time I was called “Mrs. Mottola” I looked for my mother-in-law, then realized it was me.. and I liked it. I am proud to be my husband’s Mrs.
I have several other names now too. My husband calls me “Honey” a lot. I answer to “Hey” and “Ma’am” although I prefer “Miss”.. the kids in the neighborhood call me Miss. Jennifer. My friends usually call me “Jen” or “Hey Girlfriend”. I like these names, and the identities that accompany them. I’m sure there are other things I have been called, some nice and some not-so-nice. The point is, names are not just names. They are titles. Identities. There is power and emotion behind them.
Lately when I hear, “Jennifer”, it has reminded me that I am me. It’s the title of my identity. I am a child of God, a sinful human whose been rescued from herself, who loves deeply and cares too much, who’s passionate and strong willed and has a mix of gifts and talents that God has given me. No one ever had or ever will have the exact DNA as me.. or as you.
Sometimes I think having so many titles can keep us so busy fulfilling them, that we can forget who’s at the core. Have you forgotten who you really are? My name is Jennifer. It’s nice to meet you. Who are you?