what’s in a name?

With Easter coming up I thought I’d share why I decided on the name Simon Ray.

If you’ve known me long enough, you know that I had a “phase” between 20-23 where I was subconsciously grieving the death of my brother and a broken engagement that was a strong form of self destruction. It was a dark, lonely and scary place. Being a mom now makes me feel horrible for mine while I went through this.

I partied, did drugs, had sex (obviously), lied, deceived, manipulated, used, hurt.. so on and so on. If you’re wondering, yes I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. Pain will make you do and think some crazy things.

Having grown up in a non-denominational church who taught us that we were loved and forgiven by someone who we couldn’t even see had me torn between two lives. The life of The Word which taught us that we were loved and accepted and the worldly life that made me feel all but loved and accepted.

The Word made me feel unworthy of an infinite love BECAUSE The world made me feel like I wasn’t enough.

My heart longed to grow closer to God and just trust Him and PROUDLY announce and live that life, but I just couldn’t. How do you trust something like that when you can’t even see Him?! He allowed so much pain already, why would I believe He loved me?! Not only that, had I come out and said what I was really feeling, the people around me would have laughed and called me weird for it. I fought and fought, but never let go of the desire to know God better.

I will say this now that I am older and out of that prison… if I didn’t have God in my heart while I was lost, I would not be alive. I would’ve never felt remorse for what I did, but I did. I didn’t care what the consequences were, but I felt the guilt and shame even while I did it. The world was real to me while God’s world was something sort of make believe so I chose the world over and over and over. Which ultimately cost me more time wasted trying to let go of the shame and accepting that I was worthy of forgiveness.

All this behavior was just one giant constant denial of what I truly wanted to believe in; that I was loved and accepted. I was so ashamed that I had gone so long living in denial of my faith.

It took my dad almost dying for me to wake up and realize that being different and openly talking about my faith wasn’t so bad. He had just saved my dad’s life.

Non-believers will tell you it was doctors and surgeons and, although, they are right, it was a miracle they were able to save him.

Living in denial for all that time was the reason why I chose Simon. From the Bible stories we learned as kids I always remembered the story of Peter. Always. No matter how many times he denied Jesus, He forgave him. No matter how many times I denied Him, He showed up in my life.

I had originally chosen Peter, but then I took into consideration that he might be made fun of.

When Jesus met Peter, his name was originally Simon and he was a fisherman until Jesus renamed him Peter and used him to make Him known.

The night before Jesus was crucified and the same night he shared the Last Supper with Him where Jesus told the disciples who had already betrayed Him (Judas) and who would deny Him (Peter).

Of course, none of whom believed this to be true until the devil arrived and took Judas from the table.

You’re going to have to read the first books of the New Testament to really get the full story of the days leading up to the crucifixtion, but this is why I chose Simon.

Not only is it an uncommon name with a strong Christian story behind it, but it’s the name of the man who once told Jesus he’d never abandon Him and that he loved Him only to turn around and hide his love and deny Him as they were out searching for Him to kill Him.

Did you know it’s also the name of the man that carried the cross for Jesus the day He was crucified?

The origin is Hebrew and means “the listener”.

He may be a toddler, but I can honestly say Simon is a pretty good listener when it’s time to listen 🙂

(My) Simon’s middle name is Ray which didn’t require much research or thought because there  was only one consistent guy in my life during this troubled time and he didn’t (still doesn’t) even drink or do drugs, but he was my safe place, my voice of reason and the one guy I’ve been able to rely on since the day I met him. He taught me about books, life, confidence and adventure and I miss him so very much. He is the kind of friend you want on your team. He knows a little about a lot and puts his friends before anyone… no matter how hot the girl he’s dating is.

He lives in NYC now so I don’t see him much or get to chat with him like before, but his name is Brandon Ray and I think of him every single time I have to say “Simon Ray”; which is a lot. 😂

The moment I saw the names together, I just knew it was all right and I had made the right decision.

Now, if only, I could meet the man God has for me so I can have a daughter and use the name I have picked out!

Simon Ray. Simon Ray. Simon Ray.

I love you.

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