Our Name Meanings - A Dose of Encouragement

Well in a way it all started with my sister and a minister.

Of course it was all before I was born many years ago.

Fred's parents were trying to choose a name for this their third child, their second boy.
In the end they decided to call him after an uncle & a minister so he got Frederick S.... but has always been known as Fred (except on some occasions when I'm a bit annoyed at him or really want him to know that I need his attention and then he gets a very long drawn out Frederick!)

So what has my sister got to do with the minister then?

Nothing personally, but just as the minister was responsible for one of Fred's names my sister was somewhat responsible for my name.

My sister was 10 years old when I was born and there had been no other brothers or sisters and later were no other children born to my mum and dad.
When my parents were choosing a name for me they thought they should let her have some say in the matter.
Each name they suggested she didn't like for one reason or another, some because she didn't like people she knew at school who had the same name.

Then when they suggested Sandra apparently she said that would be ok because there was a girl at school called Sandra and she was ok.

So I was named Sandra.

And I am thankful that they named me Sandra.

Lots of people have said at times that they don't particularly like their name but I have always liked mine although I do remember as a child trying to imagine that I had a different middle name from the one my parents had chosen for me.

Many years later Fred and I met and fell in love and got married.
The only other person that I had known with the name Fred was my mum's cousin who I always called uncle Freddie but my Fred was always Fred.

When our children were born we thought it was important how we chose their names and we wanted to make sure we gave them the names God wanted them to have so we got a book of name meanings and read it through.

Of course I checked out Fred's name to see what it meant and found it was of Germanic origin and meant

Very appropriate for my husband.

But I could not find the meaning of my name.

I could find Alexandra and some suggested my name was short for that but I had been named Sandra not named Alexandra and then had it shortened.

I tried other ways but could not find anywhere that would simply give the meaning of Sandra.
However I was convinced that one day I would find the meaning of my name.

A few years afterwards when the 2 boys were small and I was basically a wife, a mum and a teacher, I got to thinking about what role I should have - what did God intend for me.
I clearly remember praying and asking Him what is my role and I also clearly remember the answer that came me.

Perhaps I had better explain.

Fred became an elder in our church before our first child was born and about 6 months later he became the leading elder.  It was a small church so we were both involved in a lot of things and he was also the worship leader.

So I sort of accepted what I felt I had heard as my answer for that time and was ok with that.

Some years later after we had had our third child our girl, I came to thinking about that same topic again and so again I prayed to know from God what I was supposed to be.

Again I heard

and again I accepted that.

Shortly after this we moved to live in America for 3 years and then back to Northern Ireland and back into the church we had previously been in.  
Then raising three children with a husband who was now travelling often with his work and still so busy with church was not always easy but I suppose you could say we settled into a routine and coped with it all.  

However there came another time when other ladies in church were talking about what roles God had for us all in life so again I went to God with the same question as before and this time

I got the same answer

Well I reckoned that this had happened three times now so maybe I should just truly accept this and I have never asked this question of God again.

Now I did not ever consider that God was telling me that I was not of as much worth as Fred and Fred has never made me feel like that.

I also did not think that I was in a second rate role.

Nor did I think that it meant that I was to sit back and not do anything while Fred did everything, and I certainly did not believe that I could only do things to support Fred.

As well as actively supporting Fred wherever I could I also supported him by being the wife he could rely on to make the right decisions while he was travelling with work and giving a good stable home situation for our children.

This did not mean that I did not use the other talents God had given me so I was active in the women's prayer group in church, the craft club and also led the children's work.

Later when our children were teenagers I was still interested in crafts and joined a group of ladies in a "Country Market" organisation.  One of the things I made was a selection of Name meanings and so again I was back in the position of looking for the meaning of my name.

This time I finally found it,

                  Sandra is of Greek origin and means

Well I was right and I am thankful that I had heard properly from God.

I was also thankful that I had listened and accepted and acted on it.

Just because I did not play an up-front, titled, leadership role or preached to everyone in the church (I did lead women's meetings and speak occasionally at them) I never felt that I was not of value or not using the talents I had.
Our children were as important to us as the people within the church and our responsibility was first to them and then to the church so between us we had plenty to do to bring them up in the nurture and knowledge of Jesus.

God's purpose for each of us is unique but it is always within the boundaries of scripture because His Word does not change as He does not change.


  1. My sister's name is Sandra also (she goes by Sandy). She definitely is and has been a helper of mankind too. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Sandra is an awesome name...Helper of Mankind

    I would love to change my given middle name. I have not looked it up, but it's a guy's name.
    The reason I received such a name is it is a family name.
    But then again, at my age I'll just leave it be.

    Sandra, have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Michelle, my dad had a family name as his middle name too. Don't worry too much about your middle name it is probably not as bad as my husband's, the one that starts with an S and is the one he got from the minister.

  3. Wow, what a fascinating way you discovered the meaning of your name!!! God is good!

    Thanks for linking up with the Faith and Fellowship blog hop!

    1. nice to see you back in full swing again Susannah and blessing to the baby.

  4. Anonymous12:51

    I love the meanings of names. I didn't think too much about it when I named my kids but my daughter agonized over it when they were naming my grands. So interesting what God can convey to us in those names. Thanks for sharing at Testimony Tuesday, Sandra!

    1. yes sometimes they come easy to use and sometimes not so easy.

  5. I think names are really interesting, Caroline means 'housewife' and though I always assumed I would work and be a working mum, now I am a SAHM and I guess a housewife! #allaboutyou

    1. Us housewives are a great bunch Caroline

  6. Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Your story and name really blessed me. thank you for sharing with us here at 'Tell me a Story'

  7. This is so great, Helper of Mankind. I love your name and I love this beautifully written and encouraging story. Thanks for sharing your gift here.

  8. Anonymous00:25

    That is such a cool story! I love how God actually speaks to us sometimes. :)
    By the way, mine means princess, but that is apparently wrong....

  9. I like that you were able to pray and ask a question of God. I like that you were able to hear an answer. This story resonated with me. As a mother and a wife, it can be difficult to find your role and be accepting of it. I am glad that you shared this story with us. ANd, thank you for linking it up to #thankfulthursday

  10. MOST of the time it's fun to find out what our names mean. I used to know what mine is, but can't remember now. BUT, when I get to heaven, I'll have the name GOD gives me, so I'll be a different person. Like my names, but can hardly wait to see what He has chosen. Makes me smile, forever and ever.

  11. What a great story about finding out the meaning of your name - thank you so much for sharing it with us. We need a few more Sandra's in the world - helping man kind - to make it a better place to live !!
    Have a wonderful weekend !
    Me xox

  12. What a neat story, Sandra! I love to look up the meanings of names. The Bible makes a point of telling us the meaning of many of the peoples names.How wonderful that God showed you the true meaning of your name when you were unable to find it yourself. Something so simple really, and yet God cared enough to make it matter in your life. Praise Him! Have a blessed weekend!

  13. Oh, I love that when you finally discovered the meaning of your name, you also discovered you had it right all along! Just beautiful, Sandra. So glad to visit this morning from Mom's the Word. Blessings!

  14. We love meanings of names and are currently deciding on a name for our third child. I've also heard the same "you are his helper" message and it's comforting and reassuring. Thank you for sharing your words today.

  15. I get chills when I see how clearly God speaks to us - even about names. I am fascinated by names in the Bible, too - because many times they seem to define the character of the person. I wonder if it's because that person grew up 'under' his/her name, or what? What do you think?

    1. Hi Janet, nice to meet you.
      I believe in the Bible God inspired the names of people and He knew what they would be like.
      I believe today that people grow up under the talk and influence of others so if we are believers and follow God's guidance for names then our children will grow up under the influence of that name and our attitudes to them.
      I also believe that many many people will grow up under the influence of the attitudes of their parents and family and what is spoken to them or about them and that if that is not Spirit Filled then they may well be brought up under the wrong attitude and this will severely effect their lives.

  16. My mother named me "Barbara" which is also her name. At first I didn't care for that idea. But Barbara means "stranger in a foreign land", so my name reminds me that I'm just passing through this side of heaven.

    1. A good reminder Barbie

    2. I've always had trouble finding my name in books because I was named Betty. They always have Elizabeth, but I am not Elizabeth.

  17. Fun and creative post Sandra ~ great that you like your name ~ I like the name creations you made ~ Great post for N ~

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  18. Such an interesting post! I never really thought about what my name means. My big brother wanted a sister named Cristina, so that I how I got my name. :)

  19. I was named for a witch in a poem about the Revolutionary War, by Pauline Phelps. My grandmother took elocution when she was in school and had to memorize many epic poems. I always loved to hear her recite one.

  20. Now I'm off to see what "Rocky"

  21. What a sweet story! Just goes to show you, it's all in the name.

  22. I'm not a Sandra, but I find this post very interesting and enjoyable!

  23. This post totally makes me smile! Love how God's whispers about your name were right on target to your heart. Thanks for sharing this with #EverydayJesus community.

  24. Great story! I like to think that we find out about some things when it's time to know.

    The View from the Top of the Ladder
    Take 25 to Hollister

  25. Hi Sandra, very interesting I always knew I was special. I listened to a Pastor he said your identity is in your first name.and you needed to find out the meaning and why they name u that. love your post Happy New Year 😊