I was about 11 or 12 years old and my mom had left a Baby Names book on the kitchen table. She was expecting one of my youngest sisters at the time, and for some reason I felt compelled to look up all our names…
Dad – Aristotelis – the Best
Mom – Brenda – Fire Brand/ Sword
Sisters – Jennette – God is Gracious
Stephanie – A Crown
All such nice, meaningful names…inspiring…beautiful.
With excitement I looked up my name… Tammara… there it was in black and white…
What?! I checked and re-checked. Nope. That was it. Hebrew…or Russian depending on spelling.
No matter how I looked at it, it did nothing for me. I could think of nothing good about it except that they grew in far away places…I closed the book, disappointed.
Fast forward about 5 years, the teen years. I was a “deep” kid, spent a lot of time reading, studying history and language, symbolism and metaphors… a thinker.
When the big questions started coming, I had a hard time finding myself.
What am I going to do with my life? Do I go to college/ university? Where? Missions? Where? With what organization? Who am I? What do I do with my life? What does God want? The answers eluded me…and I felt like I was swimming in a sea of confusion and darkness.
Then one weekend I was checking out a college with my mom and I was sitting in our hotel room flicking stations on the TV… this television evangelist who I’d only heard of but never met was speaking, normally I would have flicked past, but something he said caught my attention. He then proceeded to talk about the Palm Tree believer…goosebumps.
Basically in ten minutes I had all the answers I needed…it was one of those crazy all consuming moments when your world stops, you wonder if you are even breathing. It was a definite AHA moment. God used that guy to show me who I was in Christ, and that if I am planted in Christ, it doesn’t matter what storms may come (and they will…and they have) – I will survive and thrive. That my peace and future and fruitfulness was in Him.
More than that, God used something as simple as the meaning of my name – Palm Tree – to turn it around for my good, and to reach me in a dark place, and show me a better way.
Done – that was five minutes…
PART TWO – if you are interested, come back tomorrow… I’ll post the Palm Tree Christian and why it’s so meaningful to me, and why it’s lead me to study all trees and their significance to us.
Thanks for reading. What’s your name mean? Any other “trees” out there?