Your hands made me and formed me. –Ps. 119:73a
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to answer that question. The answer is, “No, just Connie.”
And there it is—just Connie. Nothing unique about my name, right?
In order to make sure that was true, I recently asked my mother again about where she and my dad got my name. She said they found it in a baby book of names that Dad had bought when they were hunting for a name for my older sister, Lovella. They saw the name “Connie” and liked it. Again, nothing unusual.
BUT, there was more.
Both my parents grew up in strong Mennonite communities, my mother especially so. Communities where people had either Bible names or hand-me-down names from past relatives. Names like Michael or Maria, Gerhard or Justina, Reuben (my dad’s name) or Elizabeth (my mom’s name).
Even when I was born, my grandma misunderstood and tweaked my name from Connie to Corny (short for Cornelius). She thought I was a boy, named after a relative. Throughout my childhood, we laughed about that as a family. I was an easy-going kid. I knew the gentle, but very Low-German, ways of my grandma. I just laughed along. Not Corny. Just Connie.
But not just Connie.
You see, when my parents got married and started having children, they both knew they wanted to choose names for their children that were outside of the heritage norm. Names that weren’t like any they’d heard growing up. That didn’t mean they were turning their back on their Christian faith or their heritage. Far from it. I grew up in a strong Christian home and we faithfully attended the Mennonite Brethren Church, a country church outside the town of Borden.
But my parents wanted something different for us. They had seven children and none of us have Mennonite-sounding or Bible names: Lovella, Connie, Tammy, Holly, Roxanne, Kimberly and Scott.
Even my middle name is unusual in its spelling: Mae.
Connie Mae. I like that. I like knowing that my name was thought about—that it was outside the norm. No offense to the all the people out there who have a Mennonite name because of their heritage, but I like knowing that there’s a unique story behind my name.
I started this blog post with half of a verse. But there is more:
Your hands made me and formed me. Give me understanding so that I might learn your commands. Your loyal followers will be glad when they see me, for I find hope in your word. –Ps. 119:73,74
In God, I too am unique. Not just in my name. I have a unique calling to be ALL God wants me to be because nobody else can fill my shoes. Nobody else can offer the world hope in the same way that God leads me to. That is both a challenge and a joy.
To God be the glory!