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Names and Identity

December 15, 2011

Wordle: Daughter 1

She is all of these and more, my oldest daughter, though I have failed to name her. Even her given name is a second choice- a close alternative to my first choice whose meaning was tragic in the country where she was born. I loved my first choice, Bella… beautiful. And I never searched for the significance of Ella (beyond she in Spanish).

But I am realizing the gravity of naming the glory of God in our children, of calling out the image of Him we see in them.

This week I spoke with a friend about her babies she has never met. I asked if she had named them. Too painful. She would wait until Heaven. But I am at her house and the name book is out, and I peek. Ella?

The inherent meaning of Ella is beautiful, the spiritual connotation is sustained and her verse, Psalm 91:11, “He ordered the angels to guard you wherever you go.” The timing of this discovery, priceless. Beautiful feels personal, sustained feels like a kiss on the forehead from my Father, all will be okay. Oh, if you knew the story of Ella’s last few months! (Another blog!)

And so I am going to name. Everyday. You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are courageous. You are a singer.

And it makes me think of another naming  that happened centuries ago, that we celebrate in but a few days! Isaiah 9:6 “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

If our children are not named by us, who will name them?

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