What’s In A Name?

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine at work looked up what her name means.  It was funny at the time because some of us were giving her a hard time, telling her that her name didn’t really match her personality.  Of course, that got me thinking a little about my own name.  I’ve thought about it every once in a while, but I’ve never taken the time to find out what my name means.  I know that I am named after my uncle, my dad’s brother, who died when he was about 17.  That’s all I know.  To the best of my knowledge, my middle name is not really significant – just something my parents liked.  So I decided to find out what my name means.

According to a few different websites, my name – Geri – means bearer or ruler of the spear.  For those that know me, that probably isn’t the first thing that would come to mind when asked to describe me.  My friend at work had looked up both her first and middle name and got an interesting combination, so I decided to check out the meaning of my middle name as well.  The name Ann means ‘grace’.  Now that creates an interesting combination. 

In the opinion of some, being a bearer or ruler of the sword indicates that I have violent tendencies.  In my opinion…I guess that depends on who you ask.  🙂  I do, however, think that it may have more to do with leadership than violence.  I’ve never considered myself a leader.  I like to work behind the scenes, and I don’t really like the spotlight being on me – unless, of course, I’m dancing.  Over the years, I feel like God has asked me to step into more leadership roles.  I haven’t always listened, but I am definitely seeing a trend.  Even in my job, I am taking on more of a leadership role.  It’s not something I ever would have thought I would do.  But here I am.

Now add in the idea of grace.  Grace is a huge topic in the Bible.  I’m pretty sure that means it’s important.  Does it contradict the idea of being the ruler of the spear?  I don’t think so.  God calls us all to extend grace to others – in the same way that He extends grace to us.  In leadership roles, I think grace is an important quality.  I can definitely look back and see a huge difference in the authority figures throughout my life who exhibited grace versus the ones who did not.  When grace was extended, I was able to grow.  Isn’t one of the goals of leadership growth in those who are being led? 

One of your first big decisions as parents is to name your child.  I’ve heard many different reasons for why a child was given a certain name.  I’m not married, but I’ve already thought about names for my future children.  An interesting and cool thought is that God already knows their names.  In fact, God knew mine before I did, and before my parents did.  It makes me wonder if my name was given to me for a specific reason.  God knew He was going to call me to leadership roles.  I’ve followed sometimes, and I hope to follow more.  I also hope that I can lead with grace – that I can represent my name…


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