Have you ever thought about your given name? For some of you, you were given a family name. For others a name that was popular for your generation. You were named after someone your parents admired. For others, just because it had a nice ring with your surname. I assume your parents gave you your name. They must have had a reason. Have you ever looked up the meaning behind your name(s)? It’s rather fascinating. My first and middle name mean almost the same thing: Joyce – joyful spirit and Carol – song of joy. Really. Overkill. A friend of mine noted that my full name made me sound like an old white woman from Florida. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing in agreement. I used to dislike my name because I always thought it made me feel old. According to a website that tells you what year your name was most popular among named babies, Joyce was most popular the year my mother was born–1944. I was born in 1978–the year of Jennifers, Jessicas and Stephanies. Oh, how I longed to have one of these names. To not be told that I have the same name as friend’s grandma or great aunt. In fact, as an 8 year old, I oddly enough longed for the name Bianca. I can’t tell you why. It just sounded exotic and classy to me. Now, I embrace it. It was my parents’ hope that I would be happy and my life filled with joy. Learning that it was a wish has made all the difference to me. And now as I am an adult, who has walked with the Lord for over 25 years, I have experienced joy like no other. I’m thankful that I can live out my namesake. Even if your name’s meaning holds no bearing on your life (for example, daughter #2’s name means “one with a crooked nose”), what hope did your parents or whoever had the honor of naming you have for you and your life?