On January 11th many years ago I made my entrance into the world.
Back in that day when parents had no idea about the gender of a child until the birth, I was told that my parents were hopeful that I was going to be a boy. I don’t know what name they had picked out for a boy but when I was born, the story goes that my dad wanted to name me after my grandfather’s sister.
My mother was not in favor of that idea. My dad saw a magazine with Dinah Shore’s picture and said, “What about Dinah?”
One of the nurses attending the Dr. who delivered me was also nicknamed Dinah so I was named Dinah Grace; Grace having been my paternal grandmother’s middle name.
It’s a different name that is hard to pronounce for many. My mom would correct people who mispronounced it. I can just hear her say, ” It’s Di-nuh.”
I pretty much answered to anything that was recognizable. But when giving my name to someone I pronounce it, then immediately spell it ! (Moms, think about that. You AND your child may well be repeatedly pronouncing and spelling your child’s name for the rest of their life.)
I was happy with my name until I saw those racks on stores with personalized novelties on them. Do you remember them? There would be cute little license plates for bikes and other little trinkets that kids begged for because it had their name on them ! I never found my name and it disappointed me a little. At one time I wished my name was one that was a little more trendy and popular.
Those familiar with Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” will probably recognize Dinah as the name of Alice’s cat while those who are students of the Old Testament may recognize it as the only named daughter of Jacob and Leah.
In Hebrew the name means “God will judge” or “vindicated.”
When I was older and read Dinah’s story I felt a little ambivalent about the name.
That story proved to be interesting when a visiting pastor preached on her tragic story and proceeded to blame her for the happenings in Genesis 30-34. After the service, I introduced myself. (Preachers, take note.)
I did kind of enjoy hearing my name in the old song, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” though.
As for Grace, I never felt very graceful so I didn’t really think it fit me but I was happy to be named after my grandmother, who passed away before I was born. She was really pretty and I heard lots of good stories about her.
A few years ago I saw a picture of her when she was in college and it was so eerie to see how much we looked alike at that particular age. It was like looking at a picture of myself at that stage of life.
When I was a little girl I inserted my dad’s name into mine. When people would ask my name, I’d say, ” Dinah Grace John Pearson.” It seemed to me a quick way to identify yourself as well as your father. Pretty smart, huh? You could just answer the person’s next question- “Who is your father?”
I have come to appreciate my name, especially Grace… God’s Amazing Grace. I’ve also come to accept, if not embrace, my unique features and personality. I tend to self-evaluate and judge myself harshly at times.
I know that although I get frustrated with those things about myself that I’m not particularly fond of, God, my Father had a plan for my life when He knit me together in my mother’s womb, gave me a purpose and ordained all of my days.
I pray that I will learn to embrace all that I am in Him and all the plans He has for me.
Psalm 139 is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible and I claim verses 13 -17.
“For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast the sum of them!”
Happy birthday to Me !