I’ve never liked my name. Maybe it’s because it was so different from everyone else in my totally segregated, South Carolina elementary school. Or maybe because it was spelled weird . . . Regi. Anyone else would have spelled it phonetically R-e-g-g-i-e. But not my parents. I got half of Reginald. R-e-g-i.
Maybe it was the origin story . . . how my mom lifted the name off the cornerstone of a building named after some other Reginald (whom she didn’t know) and stuck in on me, an unexpected child coming seven years after she thought she was done. Or maybe it was the shame . . . older kids making fun of me . . . mispronouncing my name just for fun.
For some reason, I woke up with this name thing on my mind a few days ago. In prayer, I asked the Father, for the first time in my life, “Lord, what would you have me know about my name?”
The response was somewhere between interesting and amazing. First, He said, “I gave you that name.” Wow! My name wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t just the best of the worst options. God gave me the name Reginald. It was on purpose.
Digging deeper, I found that the first part of Reginald comes from the Germanic ragin, which means “advice,” “counsel,” or “decision.” The second part comes from wald, meaning “rule” or “ruler.” When I put those together, my name connotes a leader who might be a decent source of advice and counsel. That’s who I am and what I do! Maybe God knew where He’d take me even back then.
At nearly 70 years old, God changed my perspective on a name I never liked. In Biblical times, He would change people’s names to mark significant changes in their lives. Abram became Abraham, Simon became Peter, etc. I seriously doubt He wants to change your name, but He might want to give you a new perspective on the name you already have.
God is so good.
Scripture: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)