We were sitting at the playground, N and I, discussing names. N's belly, beautiful, tight, and round, grows her third baby girl. She suddenly asks me,"What was it like growing up with your name?" My initial reaction was negative. My mind flashed back to all the misspellings and mispronunciations, convincing me that I was either totally weird or most people were stupid. I also remember searching name books to find out what my name meant, in vain. Other people would have cups with their name on it, not me, because my name was never printed on anything.
When I was ten or so I joined a softball team. I decided with my coaches that I would not be called my own name, but Marnie. My parents were disgusted.
I reflect on my childhood frustration with my name, and I realize now that it's gone. I remember when my mom brought home a paper, all about my name, telling me that it meant "of the sea." I thought it was so exotic. And then, at church, one of my Young Women leaders found an alternate meaning, "expression of worship."
Today I share my name with a brilliant 7 year old that I get to teach in primary. As I say the name, I realize that indeed it is beautiful--smooth, bold, yet soft, and indeed exotic. It's a name that connects me to people I never had a chance to meet on this Earth, but will meet later because of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a derivative of Mary, the name of the mother of the Saviour. Could my parents have chosen a more beautiful name? I think not.