Updated: Feb 28, 2021
Are the names we give to people that important? Can a child grow to become what his or her name means without knowing its meaning? I have always wondered about this because, as a young bride who wanted 10 children (yeah…I know), I struggled with this thought every time we considered naming one of our five babies.
Jessica - God Beholds
Eliotte - Believes in God
James III - Supplanter (one who takes the place of another)
Victoria - Victorious
Robert - Famed, bright, shining
I could go down this list and give you specific examples of how our children’s names describe exactly who they are. Seriously, I find it almost unbelievable now that I look at their adult lives. I wonder if you can do the same with your family.
Robert. Famed, bright, shining. What a name we gave him! What does it mean to be famed? I can think of my dad, Robert C. Gaskill, Sr., who is very “famed” as a retired Army Major General. He has received countless accolades, awards and is mentioned in many books. He is loved and honored by his family and friends because he cares deeply for people. My dad is “famed” at different levels and in different circles. He is both saluted to as an excellent general officer and cherished as a granddad famous for his on-the-carpet playtime that birthed the name, “Boom-Boom.” (A story for another day!) His military peers would never call him Boom-Boom, and his grandchildren would never call him General. Different famed circles.
And how about bright and shining? I could separate these words and speak to Robert’s ability to work three iPads simultaneously while watching a movie, but I quickly succumb to the knowledge that his 18-year-old body held a three-year-old’s brain capacity. So, let’s consider bright and shining together as the way a person appears to the natural eye. Robert was shining most of the time with his contagious smile and boisterous rocking of his wheelchair. If you put on a video of any of his siblings singing, he would immediately shine as the star in the house…no matter how famous the sibling had become. We gathered around him as he celebrated his own greatness as if we were drawn into his light by gravity.
He was our son and our sun. He was our light, and we revolved around him. Robert’s legacy and gift left to us is the knowledge that we have a duty to shine a light on children, adults and families like ours. People who may have a name but no one has made it famed. We can bring light into the dark places, and love to the unknown. We can make new circles of people famed, bright and shining.
What’s in a name? Are you kidding me? Everything.
Listening Library: You Say (Lauren Daigle)
“…I saw the tears of the oppressed-and they have no comforter...” (Ecclesiastes 4:1 NIV)
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low? Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing You say I am strong when I think I am weak And You say I am held when I am falling short And when I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours And I believe, oh I believe What You say of me I believe The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, o-ooh You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing You say I am strong when I think I am weak And You say I am held when I am falling short And when I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours And I believe, oh I believe What You say of me Oh, I believe Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet You have every failure God, and You'll have every victory, o-ooh You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing You say I am strong when I think I am weak You say I am held when I am falling short When I don't belong, oh You say I am Yours And I believe, oh I believe What You say of me I believe Oh I believe Yes I believe What You say of me Oh I believe
Jason Ingram / Lauren Daigle / Paul Brendon Mabury
You Say lyrics © Essential Music Publishing