April 26, 2021

Hello, My Name Is... Marnie Pohlmann

The song by Matthew West begins with the words of this blog title. The lyrics begin by claiming the names of regret and defeat, but the chorus reminds us that our name is truly, “Child of the King.” I have been finding this month’s blog interesting in the variety of love, hate, rejection, acceptance of the names we are called in this world, and how exciting it is to wonder what our Heavenly name will be.

When I started school, I became confused when the teacher called me Marjorie. I had only ever been called Marnie. Who was this, Marjorie? I accepted being Marjorie at school, though, excited to learn to print that name. It had a lot of letters to learn but I was glad I did not have a shorter, more popular, common name. When I arrived home to show Mom my printing, she stated I had spelled my name wrong. Not only did I not know I was Marjorie, but I was Margery!

I am told I gained the nickname Marnie when I arrived home after my birth-day to a houseful of brothers who could not pronounce my name so shortened it to something they could handle. (I wasn’t the only one in the family that happened to. I’m sure one of my older brothers wouldn’t appreciate me sharing how I pronounced his name, which thankfully didn’t become his nickname!) 

I don’t really know why I was called Margery - the name or with that particular spelling. Marjorie is English, meaning “pearl.” Margery is English or Scottish, also meaning “pearl” or my preference, “a precious pearl.” The name was popular in Medieval times but was definitely out of fashion by the time I was born.

Oddly, my nickname Marnie was not found in baby books until recently. I was a teen when I first met another Marnie, with that being her actual legal name. Now I know of many others. Different sources explain Marnie is either Scottish, meaning “from the sea” or Hebrew, meaning “out of the sea.” I consider that information a God-wink, letting me know that whether I am called Margery or Marnie, I was meant to be a precious pearl gathered out of the sea.

The name Marnie is probably most known for not being a nice character, as in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie or in the book by our Inscribe President, Tracy Krauss. (Do you know which book my namesake is in?) However, in art, the meaning of my name(s), pearl out of the sea, has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable, and valuable. I like that.

Pearls are formed to protect a mollusk from aggravation. A microscopic speck settles inside the mantle of a mollusk, which is irritated by the speck and so begins to cover it with a pearl sac. Layer upon layer grows the speck into a pearl. Pearls sold throughout the world today may be man-made, cultured, or farmed. However, the rarest and most precious pearls are naturally created in the wild. The pearlescence (white shimmers) or iridescence (coloured shimmers) are more spectacular on wild, natural pearls than those created by mankind.

I am understanding more each day how these names suit me. I am the woman I am today developed through the aggravations of life. Enduring pain is not how most of us would choose to live out our life. However, without the pain, I would not find it easy to recognize the need for God’s protective covering as he heals me to be who He created. The irritation has been covered with His iridescence. 

God has plucked me from the sea of sin, regret, and defeat to polish me as a child of the King; to be someone valuable in His kingdom. My second name, Ellen, means “light.” I am God's iridescent pearl out of the sea.

Marnie Pohlmann writes from northern British Columbia. She shares on her blog, Phosphorescent, how God continues to form her to be someone who absorbs and reflects His Light.

Photo of the girl from Pixabay.com
Photo of pearl in a shell from Pixabay.com
Photo of the pearl from Pexels.com


  1. I love the line ‘the irritation has been covered with His iridescence”. You, and your writings, are indeed shining pearls of light to us all. Thank you, Marnie.

  2. I love this post, Marnie! (And honestly, I chose that name for a villain BEFORE I knew you! I actually knew twins named marni and Mirna, as in my book... I thought it was a cool 'one letter switch'...) Anyway, the meaning of you name is wonderful. One of my granddaughters has the middle name 'Mayme' (after her great grandmother) and it must be a similar derivative since it also means pearl. I like to call her my beautiful pearl. :)
    Anyway, great post!

  3. I love both names. Thanks too for the illustration of a pearl. God knew we needed something like that to remind us that beautiful things can come out of even irritations. On a missions trip to Mexico, a friend showed me a parked car with a badly cracked windshield on the passenger side. The owner had made a spider's web with thread and covered where a rock must have hit the windshield. Then the owner placed a stuffed toy spider on the dash board. That person turned a mishap into a masterpiece. Too bad my friend forgot to make me a copy of that photo.

  4. When my husband and I visited the South Pacific we saw a lot of black pearls, which are apparently quite rare, and are formed when a speck of sand gets stuck in the body of a certain kind of oyster (Tahitian black-lipped oyster - I had to look it up). I love that your two names go together so well, iridescent pearl out of the sea.

  5. I too have enjoyed the stories of names this month. What a lovely sharing of your story and the progression of names, the similarity from pearls of Margery/Marjorie/Marnie and your final declaration of being God's iridescent pearl out of the sea.


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