What’s in a name?


I used to really hate my name. As a young girl, I never resonated with it. There were too many nursery rhymes and children’s songs for one to feel special. I felt disconnected with a lack of my own identity. I grew up Catholic and the Virgin Mary is a very beautiful symbol in this denomination of religion. I remember staring at the statues and paintings that were on display in the church wondering what it must have felt like to be her.
Can you imagine an angel appearing from heaven and declaring you have been favored by God and that you will carry His one and only Son? Oh, and that Son is going to be the Messiah? How the heck did that conversation go when she told her soon to be husband Joseph? What I have grown to admire most about Mary is her obedience. God called her to live radically and step forward in a very unknown situation and she agreed. Having to flee her hometown, be considered the outcast and having so much gossip said about her is enough to break any individual. But the day that Jesus was born, all of God’s promises and truth came to life and Mary’s love for Him grew stronger and more faithful.
I want to live a life of obedience like Mary and Joseph. I want to listen to God’s insane plans for me and JP trusting that He will guide us exactly where we need to go. I want people to look at our lives and see God, just like they did/do with Mary and Joseph. I’m sure more times than not people will think we are crazy and that is okay. God’s love for us is absolutely crazy and if we continue saying yes, He will invite us to live out the most amazing story.
In the past week, my birth mother has come up in conversation a lot. A couple of friends have asked if I would ever want to meet her and I have never been able to give a confident yes or no answer. It is a sensitive subject as I have never had any communication with her, besides the time we spent together while I was in her womb. To be honest, I really do believe those 9 months were enough. She is the person I admire most in this world as she gave me life. Did she have to? No. But she obediently made the choice of carrying me to full term. Deep down in my heart, I feel this intense love from her. I feel like she spoke to me, prayed for me, cared for me enough to last my lifetime. She did what she knew she had to do, no matter the chaos it caused around her, to fulfill God’s purpose of her life and ultimately mine.
That is selfless, obedient and sacrificial. Just like the Virgin Mary. Just like everything I strive to be.
It’s easy to look at the Virgin Mary and my birth mother and call them crazy. These are two incredibly hard situations to be put through but I believe through taking those courageous and humble steps forward, the love they have felt in their hearts is like nothing else.
Now, at 28 years old,  I LOVE being Mary! For the life I desire to live, I honestly could not think of a better name for myself. I am reminded whenever I write it on paper that my birth mother gave me the most selfless gift which then led me to my parents who gave me this name. When my husband whispers it after “I love you” I am reminded that I have an incredible man by my side who supports me no matter what situation God calls us to. And of course, my Savior is the result of such an incredible young woman obeying God, which makes her a saint in my book. Because of them, I am loved fully and strive to share that love as vulnerably as I can on a daily basis.
  • July 15, 2015 - 10:43 pm

    Gabrielle - Mary’s Song of Praise 46 Mary said ” My heart praises the Lord; my soul is glad because God my Saviour, for he has remembered me, his lowly servant ! From now on all people will call me happy, because of the great things The Mighty God has done for me. His name is Holy; from one generation to another he shows mercy to those who honour Him.”

    Hello Mary what a beautiful statement you wrote again. Scripture says in Isaiah 49 : 1 Before I was born, The Lord chose me and appointed me to be his servant. Which recalls Mary’s Song of Praise. When you go through the whole scripture you understand how the name we have been given is a sign of our Mission here and our calling. Verses 15 so the Lord answers ” Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you. 16 Jerusalem, I can never forget you ! I have written your name on the palms of my hands. ” Everytime God calls us he calls our name. Oh Lord! God is Good. He knows why your name is Mary and he will use you through it.
    Mine is Gabrielle and my story is different. I always loved my name because of what it means in Hebrew : ” God gives strength “. I have always been thankful to my mum for picking that name. I always thought it was a blessing. But it just in the recent years that I really embraced the mission behind it : being a Woman of God as God called me to be through my name. Indeed in American/ French the meaning of Gabrielle is Woman of God.
    God bless,ReplyCancel

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