Single Woman's Blogging Challenge: Day Four {The Meaning of a Name}

Monday, October 21, 2013

Today's Prompt: Google the meaning of your name and talk about how it fits or doesn’t fit you

 (Image courtesy of [Tina Phillips] /

It's interesting to me to see just how much the Bible references the meaning of names. Back in biblical times the Jewish people took great pride in naming their children. Naming your child was of utmost importance. It's not hard to find a man or woman in the Bible where even God had a hand in naming or renaming His people! I even remember reading somewhere that the Jewish people believed that the naming of their children would determine the outcome of their lives. How incredible!

Today's prompt has to do with my name, Gretchen. It's not a common name. Growing up I didn't like it either. Some people completely butchered it too. I wanted a normal name like Stacey, Kelly, or Lauren. But Gretchen? Yeah not so much. For the longest time I didn't like my name. It wasn't until I got older that I came to not only appreciate but love the name my mother and father chose for me.

Gretchen, a German name, is a form of Margaret and means a pearl. It's only been within the last few years or so that I began to realize just how fitting my name is!

Pearls begin as a grain of sand inside a oyster shell. Because it irritates the oyster after being lodged within it's inner body the oyster secretes a smooth, crystalline substance called nacre to protect itself. What started out as a grain of sand is then formed into a lovely pearl!

After suffering from horrible anxiety for many, many years the trials, tribulations and pain began to take a toll. The anxious thoughts and what seemed like endless suffering was not easy. It hurt. I felt different and I didn't understand why I felt that way. I too felt like that oyster with an irritant in my heart.

Unbeknownst to me though, God was working in my heart as well. Though the anxiety was definitely not something from Him, nor did He ever want me to live with it, He used it for my good. That grain of sand in my heart was forming a pearl through God's very own whispers. I began to see my need for Him in a subtle but powerful way. The suffering made me not only aware of my need for Him but eventually led me to run to Him with my whole heart. It was through my suffering that I became a born again Christian and a new creation in Christ.

God took that grain of sand and made it a pearl. 

I love my name now. It's unique and it's meaning has great significance. It's amazing to me how God works in our lives, even when we're completely unaware.

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