For some time, I have had a keen curiosity about the meanings of names. My professor in seminary once told me whenever I read a story in the Hebrew Scriptures, to always take the time to understand the names of persons and things. Names within that culture were carefully selected and often provided insight into who the person was..and also who the person was to become.
We all have a name. It is the first piece of information that we share with new acquaintances. It is our own individual self-definition before we explain our occupation, our background, or even our history. And yet, how often do we take the time to define even what our names mean..and what it has come to mean to us? It is our first gift...planted in the minds of our parents by our Ultimate Creator...to almost give us insight into who and what we are destined to become..
That being said, let me introduce myself more properly to the world. My name is Nichole. My mother was bilingual in French and I heard that she liked this name. The "h" was added to distinguish me from being common or ordinary. (Setting me apart even then seemed to be important and my uniqueness continues to be both my blessing and burden at times). "Nichole" is derived from the Greek term meaning "Victory".."Victorious Heart"..or "Victory of the People." Throughout my journey, I have looked up my name many times. However, as I reflect retroactively, it seems prophetic that my NAME would be VICTORY. I often wonder if my mother knew the adversity I would face in my childhood and even as an adult. Of all of the attributes to define me by...I was defined not by my journey, or my pain, but by my outcome. Not only my outcome for myself, but also for my destiny to also live to bring victory to others. There is no need for victory without conflict...inherent in even the name is the suggestion that adversity, like with most in life will be present. But my heart rejoices to know that my mother, whether consciously or through her unconscious that was connected to God, defined me in this way. Sometimes when I feel discouraged or the odds are against me, I remind myself of this very fact. "Girl..your name means VICTORY"..and I reach inside to those things placed in me before I was born to find the strength and the wisdom each time to fulfill my name... It was then that I realized that the pressure to be what I was created to be was really not pressure at all. My only responsibility isto be exactly who I am to the best of my ability and to be faithful to this task, and victory will in fact come..
My middle name is Aura..hence the name for the blog. Defined as "a distinctive and pervasive quality or character; air; atmosphere"..this term is actually a noun moreso than a description. It speaks to a mysterious or inescapable, noticeable presence or quality. For many years, I did not share this middle name with many, but as I have come to know myself and become myself, I have come to appreciate the significance of even this name. My ability to be calm in chaos or (at least other's chaos..LOL) or encouraging and able to journey with people in dark moments is not because of my own diligence...it is simply part of who I was always created to be. And so now, I am no longer ashamed of this part of my name..and I am grateful even for my father who gave it to me.
And so friends, let me introduce myself as we journey together. My name is Nichole Aura. Outside of just sharing this with the world, I wanted to encourage each of you. There is a destiny and a purpose for us all..It is the fulfillment of this that keeps us pushing...and praying...and sacrificing...and does not allow us to settle for anything less than who we are. There is greatness in each of us because we each were designed to carry the very Spirit and presence of God. In those times when your life circumstances, your past, or even your present failures may try to distort this identity, sometimes all you have to do is REMEMBER YOUR NAME...
Each day, I am learning to practice gratitude. And so let me start on this first day by being grateful to God for both of my parents who, even with their mistakes, loved me enough to listen to the God in them and define the God in me. I dedicate this blog to my mother, Jewell Yvette Phillips, who's strength in the face of her own adversity and illness encourages me daily. Her passion for writing continues to live through me and I am grateful even for this gift and pray that it will bless all who read it.
Peace and Blessings