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What's In a Name?

  • Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. Genesis 3:20

    I once heard it said:

    the most important three words are: I love you

    the most important two words are: I’m sorry

    and the most important one word is your name

    There is so much power in our names. We have heard our names called many times. When we hear our name, we feel recognized and noticed.  The import that we connect with our name often depends on how it is used. For some, hearing our name can bring on negative memories, especially the use of our whole name. I always knew that my mom was exasperated with me when she used both my first and middle names together! When my older daughter was younger, I rarely used her full name of Andrea; I either called her Andi or Ann. When I used her full name, she replied, “Why you say my name Andrea?” Now that she is 18 and all grown up she wants to be called Andrea and I have a difficult time remembering! Her name is very important to her.

    Being called by the wrong name can also elicit feelings of distress. There have been many times that I have been called by my sister’s name – and Sunnie and Laurie are not even close to each other! How fortunate are we that God knows us each by name and never gets it wrong! He knew us by name before we were born and continues to call our names throughout our lives. Often, our names have a story behind them. That story helps to make us who the Lord intended us to be.

    A new friend here at Refreshing Hope Ministries asked about my name. I shared the story with her but thought that I would share it here as well.

    First, yes, Sunnie is my real given name. My full name is Sunnie Joy! My parents were very young when I was born. My mom was about to turn eighteen and my dad nineteen. It was the early sixties when I was born. My mom read the name Sunny in a book and liked it, but needed to spell it differently so she chose Sunnie. My dad wanted my name to be Laurie Anne. My mom said absolutely not. So they made a deal, if their baby was a girl, my mom would name her and if it was a boy, my dad would name him. I’m a girl so my name is Sunnie Joy!

    The story doesn’t end there. Remember that it was the early sixties and my parents were very young. The doctor who delivered me did not think that Sunnie was a proper name so he would not sign my birth certificate right away. Whenever someone came to visit my mother in the hospital, he would ask them to try to convince her to change my name. He said, “Sunnie is a very cute name for a baby, but that baby is going to grow up to be a woman. She will hate having that name.” No one was able to convince my mother otherwise so he eventually had to sign the document and I have been Sunnie Joy for my entire life. I am now a grown-up woman and I love my name! It has shaped who I am. It has opened many doors for me. I truly believe that God selected this name for me when time began. For that I am thankful!

    What is your name story and how has it affected your journey?


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5 comments
  • 0
Linda Martin
Linda Martin Sunnie, I actually smiled the entire time reading your story. It reminded me of my husband's Uncle James. Uncle James and his two sisters never married and lived together all their lives. The plan was which ever outlived the three would move in with us.  He was 79 years old at the time. Uncle James could not read nor write and had farmed all his life. Now the funny part,  we all had different names. My sister Sharon, was "Sherrie". My dad,  a retired Minister, and last name was Hilton was "Preacher Hill" and the old time wrestler, Rick Flair was "Rick Player" and well my name was, "Geraldine". You see my first name is Linda but my family calls me by my middle name, Darlene. When we would go to his Dr. appointments and if there was any questions, he would tell the nurse to get "Geraldine". For awhile, I would correct the nurses that my name was Darlene. But then it became so routine, I would eventually just say, "Yes, I am Geraldine". Uncle James lived with us for 3 years before he passed.
March 24, 2015
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Sunnie McPhetres
Sunnie McPhetres Now it's my turn to smile!
March 24, 2015
  • 0
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you!
March 25, 2015
  • 0
Rod Fortner
Rod Fortner Not for sure about my name but I also have a (almost 21 year old) daughter named Andrea (who's currently studying in Japan). I also call her at times Andi or Andea, not for sure how I started on that but probably when she was a child. Anyway, names do have great meaning. In fact Rev 2:17 & 3:12 says that we will be given new names! They will describe us like no one else. We can see that when Lucifer's name, which meant Shining One or Morning Star, had his named changed when he rebelled and became Satan which means adversary and the father of lies. I often wonder, as we all go through the trials of this life which molds our character for eternity, what will our new name be and what will it say to others about us when our name is spoken? Overcomer, faithful, encourager, stedfast? Whatever it is, it will be a "Good" name that God will give us for all eternity. Praise God!
March 29, 2015
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David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles Names are important! My grandma chose my name... My mother had named me Dianna Jean...Grandma said it was too long of a name for such a small baby...she shortened it for me taking the first two letters of each name and adding an E at the end,so that Dianna Jean became foever Dijee. It suits me well and I loved it so much that I grew up to name my first born daughter Dijee. It's my Nick name but her real name. We both  love our name and I have a forever memory of my grandma because of it!
December 6, 2015