What Is Your Name?

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A short word. Only four letters and one syllable. My name. A name that means “daybreak” and “awakening”. I’ve always liked my name, although depending on where I’ve lived, the pronunciation changes. In my Mid-Atlantic home state of Maryland, I grew up with the “aw” strongly pronounced. When I lived in east Tennessee I became Dawn pronounced “Dooowwwn”, the southern drawl giving the word an extra syllable…or two. Now, I live in the Midwest and my name often sounds like it’s male counterpart “Don”. Over the years I have just learned to go with the flow.

Names are interesting, aren’t they? Our parents choose the word or words that will define us, the letters which we will respond to, grow into, love or hate. We own it. It is ours.

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Maybe the reason I love sunrises and the quiet of early morning is because it is my namesake. As I’ve grown older I think about the other definition of my name, “awakening”. Much like “the dawn of a new civilization” I feel like I am at a turning point in my life. I am looking at situations differently, trying new things.

God thinks names are important. Names and their meanings are mentioned often in Scripture. God chose to call Himself “I AM”, when speaking to Moses. Not “I was” in the past, or “I will” in the future, but “I AM” in the present. A powerful representation of who He is.

13Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” 15God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.…

Exodus 3:13-15

God gave people new names, maybe because there was a change in their lives, something new had happened to them. Abram became Abraham, “father of multitudes”. Jacob, stealer of the blessing, became Israel, “having power with God”, Simon became Peter, “the Rock”, and Saul the persecutor became Paul the ardent evangelist.

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Although there are probably thousands of people in this world that claim the name Dawn, there is no one else in this entire world that is just like me. I am unique….and no matter what your name is, you are too. God knows each of us. We are never forgotten by Him. He calls each of us by name.

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