I remember being pregnant with Ava so vividly- I just LOVED being pregnant! (that is if we skip over the first 16 weeks of nausea!) Even before we found out we were pregnant, we had always thought of names we’d like to call our children. The funny thing is, that we could only ever think of boys names convinced we were going to have a boy. Everyone was convinced, even me, the Mum- and they always say Mums have this intuition- well mine was way off! There were two people who got it right! One of those, a dear friend who has since gone to be with God, placed his hands on my small pregnant belly- closed his eyes and paused for a few moments, then smiled, ‘you’re going to have a girl.’ Well dear friend, you were right!
And so even at that point, and leading up to the 20-week scan where we planned to find out the sex, we talked on many occasion about names we would choose for either a boy or girl. We put a great deal of thought into it and knew we wanted their name to mean something.
I remember sat at my parent’s house with Carl as we rattled off many a name; some on their own, some with middle names attached and some hyphenated. I also recall using names in different scenarios and pitches to see if it sounded right, questioning did we like it? did it have another meaning or name sounding the same? We even went as far as sounding out both girl and boys names to see how they would sound together as brother and sister and then finally with their last name ‘Fairhurst.’ Oh we did it all!
Then finally, we found a name we liked and the meaning behind it was a true depiction and symbol of what this baby meant to us.
Ava derives from the Hebrew form of Eve which can mean ‘life, living one’ and also from the latin word ‘Avis’ which meaning ‘bird’. Joy, according to Baker evangelical dictionary of biblical theology means ‘Happiness over an unanticipated or present good.’ We also chose her middle name to be ‘joy’ simply because she’s brought us so much joy already and will continue to do so.
Pretty soon after, we went for our 20-week scan and received the surprising news that we were in fact expecting a baby girl! I just remember looking at Carl in amazement with tears flooding from my eyes- ‘babe, it’s a girl!’ We were so convinced it was going to be a boy. Immediately my thoughts of Hope flooded to the forefront of my mind. We looked at each other once again with the biggest smiles ever ‘Ava Joy’ we nodded. ‘Ava Joy is her name.’
We were completely overwhelmed and emotional- isn’t there so much power behind a name. We spoke this name over her throughout my pregnancy- no longer; baby, bump, pea, little one- her name was Ava Joy. We talked to her as if she was here in person, speaking her name and the meaning behind it over her life. She will be full of life, she will fly, she will bring people so much joy, she will be joyful. Even in my darkest day when I called her name, all my circumstances washed away in that moment. I placed my focus on her, speaking life, love and protection over her life.
However, in today’s society, it seems a name is no longer for a person or animal- but we seem to name and place significant meaning over our situations and circumstances. I’m a mess, I’m a worrier, I’m a failure, I’m worthless, I’m broken, I’m unchangeable, I’m an addict.
Seemingly we put ourselves down, choosing names that place such a negative connotation over our life; personality and circumstances. Instead of speaking names depicting power, authority and positivity, we seem to know anything but names which describe our past or current situations.
I love saying our daughters name because the meaning behind it is so significant and powerful to us. Her name brings life and light to every situation because she exudes both those attributes. Now she’s actually here, her name is even more powerful. We continue to speak life, love and protection over her- declaring that she IS good, IS kind, caring, a blessing, she’s beautiful, strong, courageous, a woman of virtue, a daughter of the most high king- an answer to prayer! We passionately want her to grow up not arrogant or over confident but instead, confident in knowing who she is in Christ. We want to teach her to speak positivity and power over her situations- Jesus, instead of negativity and being chained to a name that depicts your mistakes or current trials.
Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name
I believe God chose Jesus’ name wisely so that all would be reminded that ‘God is with us, He is the Son of God, Immanuel, Saviour…
Jesus was given His name with significant meaning. It wasn’t a name that was just plucked out of thin air. Many prophesied what he would be called, how he would be referred to, what his name would mean, what he would symbolise.
Matthew 1:21, 23
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'”
I believe there is such power in the name of Jesus. He is the name above all names. His name is higher and greater than what we face. He is light, life and love over every situation, every past, every circumstance. Whatever you’ve named your circumstance or even changed your own name to a word which no longer describes you but your circumstances or past- Jesus’ name is above the name you’ve placed on your life! He is with you, He is almighty, He is eternal, He is the Savior, He is faithful and just, He is healer, miracle worker, friend… the list goes on.
He overrides the name you’ve chosen and replaces it with trust me, believe in me, I will give you rest, peace, I will lighten the burden you carry.
I encourage you to shift your focus, start speaking power and authority over your circumstance- speak the name of Jesus into your situation! Not negativity and conviction but light and love- which Jesus gives! I am saved, I am redeemed, I am a conqueror, I am loved, I am healed, I am restored, I am a daughter/son, I am courageous, strong, able…
He’s the reminder and hope of the promises set out in Gods word. When you speak His name over your situation, I believe it will remind you that He is greater, He is able to do immeasurably more than you can imagine. He gives new meaning to your circumstance where there seemed no point, bringing; hope, light, joy, peace and a future filled with purpose and goodness!
Why not try it? Next time you’re over faced and hopeless, maybe you’re just having a bad day or your consistently being negative abut yourself and the season you’re in right now, speak out and declare that Jesus loves you! Jesus is the name above all names! He is above, beyond and greater than what you’ve named your situation or yourself! He is hope, He is light, He is love; He is able!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
I’m making a conscious effort to do this myself- how about you?