As far as expressions go, I think I am safe to say I have seen it all when it comes to my name being mentioned to someone for the first time.
I sometimes do have a chuckle when I am about to be introduced. The expressions I see range from shock to confusion, admiration, surprise and ( dare I say) disgust, to mention a few.
I have, in my biased opinion, one of the ‘coolest‘ names there is and like a cherished perfume, I wear it with pride and Joy but you know, this has not always been the case.
I remember growing up wondering what possessed my parents to name me KINGDOM. I don’t remember having troubles in primary school but as soon as I got into secondary, it felt like all of hell broke loose. I went to an all girls’ Catholic school and like every school setting, you had the good, the bad and the ugly. Back in the day , we had a hierarchical system in operation so as a junior you could have gotten in trouble over a lot of things.
While some got in trouble with the senior girls for things like littering or not adhering to the dress code, I got in trouble for my name. Someone would hear my name mentioned, whispers and murmurs would ensue and not long after, I would be summoned to a senior class and made to stand in front of the class to introduce myself. This usually led to strings of laughter and ridicule.
On one occasion, I remember been in front of a class and seeing a teacher approaching. In order not to get in trouble, one of the senior girls asked me to go behind her desk. I was stuck there until the teacher left for a brief break.
It was safe to say I did not like my name growing up. I would always cringe in fear when my name had to be mentioned or I was required to introduce myself. The fear of judgement was always there and with that came an inferiority complex. Just in case you were wondering, my siblings all have absolutely perfectly ‘normal‘ names and thisonly served as a contributor to my insecurities.
When you pay attention to something for too long, you start to believe that thing and you eventually become what you believe.
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV.
I started seeing myself through the eyes of people’s general reaction to my name and this amongst other things, began to shape and define my younger years.
How long are you willing to hide in the shadows, to let yourself be defined by every and anything?
These were some of the questions that started nagging at me and with this constant came the courage to ask, WHAT DOES MY NAME EVEN MEAN?
I remember searching the dictionary and it said Kingdom – The domain of the King. This was a good start for me. Where the King resides is his kingdom. I remember waking up in the mornings and saying, “I am the domain of the King”, going to bed at night saying, “I am the domain of the King”. I said it so much that when I heard my name been mentioned, it began to take on a new meaning.
Your name is your identity. This could be your literal name, or it could be something you are identified with. Names are so important that in the beginning, God brought the animals to Adam to be named. Not forgetting that when God made Adam, God named him, Adam.
There is character and form in a name. Now, you may not need to go and change your name but your identity is important. Who you are. What you are known for.
We live in a generation where taking a stand or standing for something is almost considered a taboo, especially if what you stand for is unpopular. Some people would rather be in the shadows and by shadows, without an opinion, unsure of who they are or what they believe than stand for something.
A quote I heard once comes to mind: “In a world where you can be anything. Be YOURSELF”.
“A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume.”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 TLB
When you are being mentioned, what comes to mind? How valuable is your reputation? lf a bet is placed on your reputation, how high are the stakes.
These questions are not to bring any form of guilt or condemnation, rather to provoke thinking.
The beauty of TODAY is that it can afford a fresh start if you let it. You can choose to have a good name