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.