What’s in a Name?

I have this friend that likes to look at the meanings of people’s names and how that meaning can define their lives. Her first and middle names translate to “Pearl” and “Favor or Grace.” My son’s names translate to “Gift of God or God has Given” and “Powerful.” My husband’s names translate to “Supplanter” and “Determined Protector.” My first and middle names translate out to “Victory, Victorious or Triumphant” and either “Oath of God or God is Satisfaction.” And when I review each of the meanings of these names I can see how they can reveal much about each person’s character. 

Now for my friend Pearl Grace. She is that indeed. Pearls, the ones that appear naturally, are exceptionally rare, so rare that before cultured pearls appeared on the scene in early 1900s, a natural pearl necklace was so rare and expensive that pretty much only nobility or the very wealthy wore pearls. I don’t own a natural pearl, but I do have some pearl necklaces, a pearl ring, and pearl earrings. One strand of pearls I have are cultured pearls that my father gave to my mother. The other strand of pearls that I have were given to me by my dear late brother. Each strand of pearls have significant meaning to me, however I don’t wear them often, perhaps I should. I do have a pearl necklace that I wear each and every day, it’s not large at all (since I tend to like jewelry on a smaller scale), the center pearl is a cultured pearl and the luster on that pearl is very beautiful, with a shine that I always notice. As for Grace, dictionary.com defines it as: elegance of beauty of form, manner, motion, or action; mercy. And that’s what I notice about my friend Pearl Grace. She shines: she stands out, she’s kind, friendly, welcoming, she smiles a lot, she laughs a lot, she has a wonderful listening ear, she accepts others, and she has a graceful presence. I haven’t known her a real long time, but I can see this friendship deepening into something meaningful to me. 

My son Gift from God Powerful. God indeed gifted me with my son. After nine long years of infertility, when it seemed pretty much all hope of having a child was gone, I ended up pregnant. God gave me his name, and when I looked it up I got God’s message indeed. God granted me this child. As for Powerful, well he has the ability to be powerful, and he’s alway made himself known for sure. It’s my sincere dream and prayer that this child of mine becomes a powerful godly man. 

My husband is Supplanter Determined Protector. And this too is true of him. Now I realize that the basic word Supplanter may not have the most positive of connotations. It means to take the place of another, which could be done through scheming, force, or strategy; or it can mean to replace one thing by something else. Think of Esau and Jacob in the Bible. Esau was the first born, and he should have received the blessing of his father Isaac, but through the scheming of Isaac’s wife Rebekah and Jacob, the birthright blessing is given to Jacob instead. So, while it doesn’t sound like such a great name to have, there is an upside to this name. My Supplanter was the third child in his immediate family, falling in after an older sister and an older brother. However, he was the driving force in orchestrating the connection between his immediate siblings, and other siblings from his estranged father. He stood the gap and brought family members together, and from his actions there has formed a wonderful family bond which went from three siblings to a total of eight. We both are enriched by the lives of his other sisters and brothers. And, Determined protector – well let me just say that I see an extremely strong man who tirelessly stands and fights for those things in which he believes. So much so, that at times it really tires me out just to watch him in action. 

As for me, Victorious Oath of God. Whew! That sure says a lot doesn’t it? I know that I have faced so many, many challenges in my lifetime. Some good, some bad, and some tragic and through each and every challenge that I’ve had in my life, God has been with me each and every step of the way. I look back and see how God has moved and positioned circumstances to bring me into the place that he wants me to be. Through each one of these trials and temptations, God has made me truly Victorious. I have the Oath of God behind me, the one that says in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, ESV) With that kind of promise, how could I go wrong? I know that I can indeed stand on that promise today, just as well as I’ve stood on that promise in the past. Even when I don’t understand those things that are happening in my life, I have learned that God has a purpose in His plan. God has never failed me in the past, and will never fail me going forward. Experience and my faith tells me that it’s His plan that makes all the difference, and it’s His plan that I want. We know that God’s oath is indeed victorious. He’s brought about so many events and miracles in this world for His treasured children. He assures us that once we have a relationship with His Son, Jesus, His oath tells us that we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Think about that – we get the gift of everlasting life through the salvation of His Son – now that’s quite a Victorious Oath of God, isn’t it?

Now for the name above all names: Jesus – well it means God Saves. Jesus has many other names such as Wonderful Counselor, Emmanuel (God with us), Christ (anointed one), Savior, Lord, Master, Teacher, Good Shepherd, Son of God, Lamb of God, Blessed Redeemer, and the list goes on, and on, and on. We could spend lots of time talking about all the names of Jesus. My treasured name for Him is Beloved Savior. He is the ultimate reason for living and being. He brings all goodness and joy into my life. He makes me want to be a better person, so that I can reflect His love to others. 

So that’s what’s in a name – and to me it appears that there’s quite a bit in each of our names. 

What does your name(s) mean? 

Do you have a favorite name for God? If so, what is it? 
 

Believing God, trusting God, adoring God, walking with God, growing with God, confessing to God, talking with God, listening to God, learning with God – it’s the Heart of the Journey ❤️

 


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