Thursday, January 12, 2012

Names, Part II.

My father always delighted to tell his children how they got their names.  Probably because he picked them out himself.  My brother, Ryan, was born when mothers stayed in the hospital longer after giving birth (I'm not cracking on his age, either I am just statin' the facts) and my parents had some trouble choosing a name that they both liked.  My dad had gone back to his teaching job after a day or so off and received a frantic, high-octane, hormone-driven phone call from my mom that went something like, "If they bring me this child one more time and I have no name to call him, I am going to scream and cry!"  Thankfully, she knew her limits after the birth of her firstborn and let my dad do the business of the picking.  

The story of how my name came to be is a little different.  First of all, I was born just a couple of months shy of my brother's 12th birthday and to say I was a surprise pregnancy would be the understatement of my parents' lives.  They were led to believe that I was a boy all throughout my experience in-utero - and worse, they referred to me by the boy name of Nicholas!  So you can imagine their shock - and my Aunt Karleen's high-decibel woops from the waiting room - when I indeed turned out to be a girl.  Nice to know I've been catching people off-guard since around 1985.

My mom tried to make it easy and suggested that my name should be Nicole - the female version of the boy name they had picked out.  My dad was apparently not having that and came back with Lauren - a name he fancied, and Elyse - his ode to the famous piano piece Fur Elise. 

(c) 2002 Steve Baskauf
 My mom had cards with names and meanings on them for 79 cents apiece at her little store, and one day curiosity got the best side of me.  Excited and ready for some greatness to tell all my friends, I stepped up to the big book of names and found mine.


At the risk of sounding unspiritual, I have to admit that I felt like Ralphie in that scene from A Christmas Story when he gets his Little Orphan Annie Decoder pen, minus the cussing part. 

"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine?"  

Anyway, you could say it was a letdown.  I remember thinking that it seemed ill-fitted for me to be crowned with any type of flowers.  It's fair to point out that I've never been on the good side of delicate.  Considering I was like My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Toula Portokolos as a youngster, minus the Greek part.

"I was a swarthy six-year old with sideburns."

It was tucked there in a back file of my mind and the memory didn't resurface until the conversation with my friend described yesterday in Part I.   After the eye-opening realizations God had given me regarding the names of my children, I dug a little deeper into the meaning of my name.  From what I have researched, these tiny blooms have caught my intrigue.  

Turns out, they can be extremely toxic.  

Man, this name thing can be a total drag :)

 Stick with me, though...

There you have it: two polar extremes.  These little buds can be tremendously fatal in their toxicity, but if given the chance, they also possess a healing quality that can soothe all manner of ailments.  
They can work some wonders nothing short of amazing if they are used in a medicinal way.

Laurels can offer pain relief.
Laurels are designed to clean a wound and keep it from infecting.
Laurels have been created to calm tired joints and provide rest for those bodies worn out from the journey of life.
Laurels are able to aid in ridding the body of parasites. 
Laurels have the ability to silence the incessant ringing and bring the sound of peace.

What if I told you that these flowers - my namesakes, if you will - have reminded me of the choice that has been set before me?

I, much like the Laurel, have been guilty of being toxic from time to time - speaking death over people and situations, poisoning the air with negativity, filling the silence with a critical tone or a look that could bring demise, giving way to temptation and afflicting my sweet Jesus with the lethal wages of my sin.  

However, I was not created to be toxic or poisonous.  God did not design me to hurt or wound or poison.  I was made for more than that.  Although I have this flesh, this body of death, that can trip me up so easily, that is not all I am!  The Spirit of Life and Truth and Mercy and Justice and Healing and Love flows through these veins.  Christ in me - the Hope that His Glory is in me and on me and above me and below me and permeating every part of me.

Walking in that truth, I find a little piece of what my Abba Father had in mind when He called me by name... long before my dad chose it for me.

While I grieve for all the times I have chosen to be toxic, I also remember....He is in me. He is in me. He is in me.  The sheer glory of hope that He could take someone like me, who when left to my own stubborn devices, is toxic, and use her to heal.

He is in me, so
Lauren can offer pain relief to those afflicted, be it physically or spiritually.
Lauren is designed to bring purity in places that are infected with evil.
Lauren has been created to offer rest to tired spirits and provide an oasis for those bodies worn out from the journey of life.
Lauren is able to bring justice and deliverance to those who have been used by others for selfish gain.
Laurels have the ability to silence the lies of the enemy in the ears of others and bring the sound of peace.

All this, by Christ's power alone.
 I pray that every single time someone calls my name, I am reminded of the choice that I have: to be poisonous or to encourage purpose.  To speak death or offer life.  To tear down or to build up.  

Help me make the right choice, Jesus -- because the sweetest moment, when it's all worth it, is the moment I hear your voice call me by my name.


Chelsa said...

glad to see you blogging again! :)

believingod said...

Amazingly touching....that GOD chose just the right name for you and for all of us. I'm totally researching mine now. Except what else could brooke angel be but "a babbling stream of water" and of course a "heavenly being" which i'm not feeling the part of that hardly ever!

Lauren please lift up our family to the LORD, Dusty's sister,at the young age of 40, went home to Jesus, day after Christmas. It was a total shock..(sleep apnea) anyone you know with this, please urge them to wear there cpap mask.It is a deadly disease that not to many take seriously. Tina didn't. Thanks and LOVE THE BLOG...please keep them coming, they are daily doses of fun, love and reminders that HE is in me!

Judy Walton said...

"Lauren".....the name is even more beautiful now.