Can you imagine what it would be like if you received a name change in your nineties? That is what God gave Abram and Sarai. Abram was ninety-nine when he got his new name, Abraham, to remind him that he would be the father of many nations. The covenant was to be an everlasting one between God, Abraham and the descendants who were yet to come. God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” Never give up on a promise God gives. He is faithful and can change more than just our names.
I’ve been called by a variety of names through the years. Back in the summer of 1965 my parents named me Karla Kay. Because I love the song Ave Maria I chose Maria as my confirmation name. After graduating high school I lived with a family in Germany as a summer exchange student and my host dad changed my name to Speedy because I liked to run. Marine Corps friends shortened my name to K.K., which I liked so much better than being called by my last name, which is commonly done in the military. Many women take their husband’s last name when they marry, and my name changed from Spindler to Minick in 1989. In our early married years, when Russ and I served among Spanish-speakers in Dallas, I was called Karlacita, a term of endearment. As each of our babies were born, their names were lovingly changed too by the wonderful people in our first church for Hispanics. We moved to China in 1996 and one of my Chinese friends took it upon herself to rename me Ming Yang Yan. In China, people are called by their last name first, so Ming was chosen because it is close to Minick. Ming means bright and Yang Yan translates to sunshine. It is hard not to be cheerful when you are called Bright Sunshine! Our ministry to the minorities in China moved us to Thailand and my name changed yet again. To the ears of most Thai people the letters “r” and “l” sound the same, so I answer to Kaalaa or Kaaraa when I’m in Thailand, that wonderful land of smiles. With the birth of our first grandchild I’m adding “Grammie”to my long list of names.
I have lived in many interesting places but I always thank God that my citizenship is in Heaven. We read in the second chapter in the book of Revelation that those who overcome will be given a white stone with a new name on it. I can’t wait to receive the name that God will bless me with on that day when I see Him face-to-Face!