Nicknames also have spiritual meaning

By Mya Hudgins, Assistant News Editor

My grandpa tells this same story over and over again. It’s one of those stories that they use to introduce you to someone you don’t even know. Sometimes he even tells this story at family gatherings even though we’ve all heard it a hundred times.

I used to get so red with embarrassment when the story was told, but since all of Texas knows it already, thanks to my grandpa, I thought why not publish it in my college school paper. Right?

When I was younger, I was always so jealous of kids with long names. I know it’s a funny thing to say, but it’s true.

Every kid who had a name that was at least five letters long had a nickname. From Abigail to Abby, Olivia to Liv, Melanie to Mel or even Jacob to Jake. However, if you’re me, then your name is only three letters long. You only have a couple of options. It’s either “my” or “a.”

If I didn’t like those choices, the computer always suggest I change my name to “May.” Needless to say, I never had a nickname. Well… that was until my Grandpa started calling me his “pumpkin’.”

I know what you’re thinking, “aww how sweet.” Yes, I know, I loved it too. I didn’t get to see my grandparents a whole lot since we lived in a different state than them at the time.

When I would get to see them, I made sure I spent as much time as possible with them. One day my grandpa had to go to the store to get some groceries.

Of course, I was attached to him like glue. I wanted to go too. He agreed and let me climb into his truck. After getting all the groceries, we got in the check-out line.

As our turn came, I would stand on my tippy toes trying to see how the women was scanning all the food. With an amazement look on my face, the lady looked at my grandpa and said, “well isn’t she a cutie pie.”

He smiled and said, “Thank you,” as she continued to scan our items. On the other hand, I was not happy. I looked at her and was trying to get her attention, by saying, “ma’am, ma’am.”

She didn’t hear me. I had to tell her something very important. Like any five-year old girl, I screamed, “Ma’am!” Finally, she looked down at me and asked what was wrong.

I stared into her eyes and told her, “My name is NOT cutie pie…it’s pumpkin’.”

As both my grandpa and the cashier laughed, I didn’t understand what was so funny. I knew what my nickname was, and I wanted her to know that she got it wrong.

As I look back at this story he always tells, it brings a smile to my face. I used to get embarrassed when he told this story, but now I enjoy reminding myself of it.

I think there is a deeper meaning. My grandpa’s stories always having a spiritual meaning behind them, it’s just a matter of how long it takes me to find the real story. When we become a Christian, we become one of God’s children.

Our name is “child of God.” Though this world and society might use other names to describe or define us, it doesn’t change the new name the Lord has given us. As a child, having a nickname given to me by my grandpa was the something that I worshiped.

It was beyond important to me. When someone used my wrong name, I wanted to correct them because I wanted them to know my correct name.

This reflects over to our spiritual walk. We should never forget who we are in Christ. It’s a blessing to be considered one of His. On several occasions, God changed the names of people. It wasn’t just to do it but instead there was a reason, and a lesson behind it.

God wants to see us claim the name that He has given us. With a new name comes a new identity. This new name and identity in Christ should change your life completely. We should no longer chase our own desires but seek out what the Lord is calling us to do.

We don’t have to fear the future, as he will protect and guide us. We don’t have to compare ourselves to others, because we know we were made in his image with our own gifts and talents. And finally, we have a God whose love is never failing, even when we fail him over and over again.

Nicknames can have very special meanings, definitely if the person who gave it to you plays an important role in your life. But the greatest nickname you can receive is being called a child of God.

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