My mother’s face pressed up against the chain link fence. “Bye, Honey! Are you sure you’ll be okay?”
I stood on the other side waving her on. “Mommy, I’m fine. Go! I’ll see you later.”
The excitement of the first day had me jumping up and down in anticipation. I couldn’t wait to meet all the new kids and make friends.
I skipped into the classroom and the teacher directed me to sit down at a big, round wooden table with a half dozen other children. My eyes scanned the table, and I spoke up. “Why don’t we all say our names?”
Even at the tender age of six, I could tell some of the boys and girls seemed scared. One by one, they spoke up and recited their names. When one of the girls said, “My name is Donna,” my eyes lit up and I exclaimed, “Mine is, too!”
As the eldest of four children, I had plenty of experience bossing children around. I assessed this situation and asked Donna, “What’s your middle name?”
“It’s Faye,” she said.
“All right, then,” I announced. “From now on, I’ll be Donna, and you’ll be Faye.”
Poor ‘Faye’ looked confused and finally said okay. All of first grade, she went by the name of Faye.
Although Donna Faye didn’t really like the idea of getting a new name, I look forward to the day when God will give one to me.
In the book of Revelation we read where John wrote, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” – Revelation 2:17
This new name signifies our adoption. An adopted person takes the name of the family into which he or she is adopted. God has adopted me into His family and one day, I, too, will receive a new name.
Eight years after I gave Donna her new name, I sat in a classroom on my first day of high school. I was ‘the new kid’ having just moved into the district. When the teacher introduced me, a girl sitting in the desk to my left looked startled. After class, she came running up and said, “Donna, it’s me! Faye!”
After we hugged and caught up on our lives, she told me she had to endure being called by her middle name for another year even after my family moved. When her family moved to the district we both ended up in, she could start over.
“Then I could be ‘Donna’ again.”
I laughed and said, “I was a bossy little thing, wasn’t I?”
I’m still amazed I had the audacity to christen her with a new name in first grade, but I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I receive my new name – one God has picked out just for me.
Donna J. Shepherd 2004
Devotionals by Donna