Out of all the blogs I have written, this series has been by far the most inspiring and received the most overwhelming response to any I’ve previously written. Names are used in the natural to identify us as unique from other human beings, yet they are bestowed upon us, in my opinion, by the wisdom and graciousness of the Lord.
I’ve written many of you about my belief in the descriptive and redemptive qualities of your names. But I hold a deep conviction that names carry responsibility. For example, many of you have names referencing royalty or nobility and that’s not just a beautiful reminder of your identity, there’s a charge wrapped up in your namesake.
I wanted to spotlight three of your names that I’ve found rich in meaning and personally inspiring. Abby, Kayla and Mac are three anointed individuals who have made incredible contributions to our world. Woven in their namesake is a unique charge that I believe has prophetically impacted each of their lives.
Abigail is a beautiful name of identity. I’ve seen variations on the actual meaning but it always comes out something like this: “the Father’s joy.” I find the broken homes, the fatherless households, the absent parental roles and even the distorted view of our heavenly Father greatly handicapping the progression of our generation toward our destinies. There’s no mistake, however, the Father feels joy when He considers each and every one of His children. “Abigail” is an inspiring reminder of our Father’s perspective and of our true identities.
Mishael is both rich in meaning and rich in heritage. In the book of Daniel, Mishael was the Hebrew name of Meshach (remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?). It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible as these three men stand up to Nebuchadnezzar and say “the LORD will deliver us from the fiery furnace, but even if He doesn’t we still will not bow and worship your gods.” It’s one of the most brazen statements made by any character in Scripture. Talk about faith! Mishael means “one who is asked for or requested.” There isn’t space here to do justice to this concept, but deep within each of us is a longing to be accepted and wanted. “Mishael” reminds us that we are.
Barnett refers to “land cleared by burning.” I find this picture beautifully redemptive. Land that is cleared by burning is basically a sacrifice made for a greater good. You’d clear a plot of land so you could plant crops, build a house, or even to tame the overgrowth and pave the way for new growth and rebirth. It’s a harsh, barbaric process to the environment, but the outcome can produce life a hundred fold that specifically meets the needs of those who tend it after.
Macgregor is a derivative of “Gregory” which means “son of the watchman.” Many European names in particular find their best heritage in medieval times. The watchman was a military role. He would stand at the wall of the castle and look off into the distance. He’s always the first to spot things because he’s looking. The watchman is a noble role and is the one to inform us of things to come.
Dean means “from the valley.” Valleys are places you build cities. They’re lush and have life. They’re a stark contrast to your first name because you’d never build a city that needed defending in a valley. It’s home. It’s the life you protect.
Mitchell comes from “Michael” which is the only name I’ve ever come across that means a question: “who is like God?” I hope when you hear your name you hear a question: “who is like God, Mac?” I hope you scream from the inside “ME! I AM!” because that’s your namesake and your identity.
Kayla is a fascinating name to me. It means “keeper of the keys.” In everyday terms, this was probably a job title and the name was meant to describe the person whose responsibility it was to lock up each night. However, Scripture talks about the keys to the kingdom. When I think of this name prophetically, there’s something so special to having the keys to the kingdom of heaven. There’s a stewardship of the portals and paths, there’s an understanding (a deep one) of each unique environment that connects people with the Spirit of God (so how people connect to the kingdom) and there’s a responsibility to get people ushered toward the doors There’s an incredible ministry calling wrapped up in this name.
Dawnn means “awakening” (which is one of my favorite concepts). Both in a personal sense, being “awakened” is critical to each of our personal development. But the responsibility to wake up a generation is a noble, admirable charge! We scream from the rooftops to shake people out of apathy and into movement! It’s time to wake up!
House is a family name meaning “owner of the manor.” With so many surnames referring to roles within the house (Butler or Cook for example) the owner is a special role, and it’s a role of leadership. Stewardship is woven deeply within the roots of this whole name and it inspires me!
I write this post because I want to charge each of you to consider names you may pass on to children you may raise. Choose well for it might change the course of history to do so!
In my next post, which will be my last for now on this series, I have some recommendations for you. There are some names I’ve come across that I’ve not received requests for that you all should consider.