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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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Let’s Talk About Middle Names

May 28, 2020

Something I sometimes forget and then remember with a smile is that my middle name is Michelle. It’s not that I completely forget it, it is just that I have used my maiden name as my middle name on my license and other documents for 20 years now and so it just rarely shows up written out as “Amy Michelle”.

My siblings in Christ recently had a daughter and they gave her the middle name Michelle. She has been named after family and certainly not after me, but hearing it got me to thinking of my journey to owning Michelle as part of my name. And so, I dedicate this post to sweet little <baby girl> Michelle- let me introduce you to our middle name.

When I was in a middle school Bible class at church, the teacher talked about some story or another from the Bible and made a point about the person’s name and the meaning of the name. He made a side note about his own name, its meaning, and how he felt God named us all on purpose.

Naturally, I made it my goal to find out my name meaning like I had just gotten a lead on God approved horoscope reading.

Now, this was 1991, or so. This meant that my search had to wait until I could create a family trip to the mall, where I could get a family trip to B.Dalton’s book store, and then find a baby name book, and then, AND THEN, my destiny. It was just a waiting game.

The day finally rolled around. I made it to the B. Dalton’s, just as I had hoped. The book was remarkably easy to find. I turned easily through the A’s, got to Amy.

Ahem. “Amy: Dearly loved. Beloved.” Huh. Well, that’s nice. It’s good to be loved. What about Michelle?

A-B-C-D-E…H-I-J-K…da da da, M. Let’s see, Mary, Margaret, Melissa, ah. Here it is. “Michelle: Who is like God.” Woah. My name means “Beloved who is like God.” Clearly, what this means for my future is that people will love me because I am like God. I should try to be nicer.

This is what happens when mildly heretical 7th graders are let loose in a B. Dalton’s bookstore with a sloppy grasp on theology, languages, and God’s place in all of it.

In the years after that day I would learn that the actual interpretation is “Who is like God?”. That made no sense to me. Why would you name someone a question instead of a name that could somehow define them, like Sunny or Fancy? I guessed people just like the name Michelle and the meaning was irrelevant.

I have an invading army of white hairs on my head now. I have worn this name for a very long time. I see now that my journey with this name well mirrors my journey of faith.

In my youth, my goal was to be as much like Jesus as possible. I wanted to care like him, love like him, serve like him. I remember days of feeling like I had done a pretty decent job, and other days when I felt like I failed. Without meaning to, I kept a scale in mind, where my good and bad were weighed against each other and I hoped that I weighed more heavily towards Christlike than not.

After decades of trying, here is what I know: I can try all day long, but I will never, and I mean never, sacrifice like Jesus did. Because of his grace and mercy, I’ll never have to.

Who is like God? Nobody.

I hope my life answers the question of my middle name. There is no person or thing like our God. No joy, no sacrifice, no heartache, no win, no loss- nothing , nobody like our God.

Beloved, who is like God?

Tell me what you think! Let's talk about it.