Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's in a name....

In keeping with the theme of Elul I want to share something with you....

A few years ago I went through a very trying time. I even stopped blogging for a bit. I spent a lot of time searching and crying out to Hashem. So much changed in me and yet everything around me stayed the same. During that time I was comforted by stories of those who had to "wrestle" with HaShem or who were called according to His purpose. 

Often times after going through something with HaShem the person became different. Their faith was changed, their lives were changed. But not only that, their names were changed as well. There was a complete dying of the "old man". This is what I experienced. My heart was knit to HaShem's in a whole new way.

During this time I took on a Hebrew name. I only shared it with some, though I toyed with the idea of changing it legally. I still may some day.

It's something deeply personal and yet something that if I want to use it I need to be open about. I've used my Hebrew name in certain settings and have come to the place where I would like to use it more frequently.

My Hebrew name is Chana Elisheva. Chana means compassionate or graceful, which I desperately needed from Hashem at the time. His compassion and grace is all that got me through that time, and still what gets me through every day. Elisheva is two things; Eli means my God and sheva/sheba means oath.

I serve an Elohim that is compassionate and full of grace, He is my oath.

This all comes full circle, sort of, with the birth of our son. We had a first name picked put for him long before he was conceived. Our children's names follow an abc pattern, which started out accidentally, so we knew his name would start with a C. His middle name we had decided would be Zephaniah. We were settled. Then one day I was reading in 1 Samuel and as I read I came to the name Shemuel {heard of God/asked of God}. I knew then that was to be our son's middle name. He was after all an answer to prayer.

A while after we had settled on his middle name being Shemuel, I realized the deeper significance in his name. As the biblical Channah prayed for a son and was given a Shemuel. I knew this when we picked it but it didn't deeply affect me until later on. After all the struggle, after all the searching, this was my gift. This was an answer to my prayers.

It's about more than a child though. So much changed with the birth of our son. Our family is different. Our goals are different. We are even more committed to serving Hashem, to learning His ways, to proclaiming His goodness. It is only because of Him that we are where we are.

Therefore if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-2 Cor 5:17

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Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24

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