The Name Game

Names are a weird thing. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this, basically they are a word that your parents have assigned to you that you will forever be tied to.

So the name given to me when I was born was Isabel Grace, and to be perfectly honest I don’t really have a problem with it. If I was given the opportunity I don’t think I’d opt for something cooler. However, on a day-to-day basis I go by “Izzy” or “Izzy G” as my friends like to call me. When I was younger I used to hate being called Izzy, but gradually it became my name. In fact, I can remember the first time I ever introduced myself as Izzy instead of Isabel. I was 14 and up until that point I’d always say “Hey, I’m Isabel” and over time that would change into my nickname. For me introducing myself as something other than my “real” name was a huge moment. In that second I’d decided to define myself by my own accord. So now, to most people apart from my family I’m known as Izzy. If I was in a school situation, sometimes I’d be caught off-guard if someone called me by my full name.

The more I become known as Izzy, the more I focus on the Isabel. That may sound weird but let me explain. My mum would never call me anything other than “Is” or “Isabel” and that is because that is the name she chose for me. Out of the thousands of names anyone could fathom she chose that one in particular.  I would never say a name defined you as a person, however, when I look at what my name means in Hebrew and ancient languages I fall in love with the deeper meaning behind the history of my name.



Isabel

Version of Elizabeth

-Devoted to God-

-My God is Bountiful-

-God’s Promise-



I’ve got 2 thoughts to finish with as I discuss names, the first is this. Just as my mum named me something special, she chose carefully and picked out a name just for me, God poured so much into you when creating you. My mum doesn’t like it when I change my name, I can imagine that God feels the same way. He made us in his image and ensured we were fearfully and wonderfully made, so when we try to change his creation surely his heart breaks. But, as the ultimate father figure he stays nearby and eagerly awaits the moment when we realise we have become less of him, and more of the world.

Secondly and finally, I’ve never gone through the process of changing my name, but I imagine even going through that process, you are still connected to your old name in some way. But in the Bible, there are multiple occasions where God takes an individual and re-names them. For example, he takes Abram (high father) and Sarai (my princess) and makes them Abraham (father or multitudes) and Sarah (mother of nations.) In the New Testament, Saul becomes Paul and there are loads of other times God does this. These moments mark a time where God recognised their old self and redefined them for a new purpose for him. So, if God were to rename you for his purpose, what would it be?

So yeah, I’ve gone on again – but I think there are some interesting things to think about. I’ll still continue to introduce myself as Izzy, knowing full well that my name is actually Isabel and that my identity is in Christ.

 

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