You Will Never Guess What My Name Means {and how it has shaped my life}

Did you know that today is “Fun Facts about Names Day”? This is a holiday that is new to me, but it sounded like fun so I thought I would jump in…. and you will never guess what my name means!

Fun Facts About Names Day encourages you to learn about the historical meanings and influences behind your name and the names of your friends and families. Uncover historical and religious influences, who you were named after, and see how name trends have changed over generations!

There are so many beautiful, inspiring name meanings that I was confident mine would be fun to discover. So, several years ago, I researched my name, hoping that my given life-long label would inspire me to live out its calling! Imagine my surprise (and laughter!) as I discovered that the meaning of “Melanie” is ……….

DARKNESS.

Wow, that was not what I was expecting at all!

darkness

Now, I don’t think my parents intentionally named me “darkness” — in fact, they were very surprised when I told them the meaning. However, even though the name was not what I expected, I still think it has been quite inspirational to me.

Behind my smile, I do often feel very threatened to fall into the pit of depression. I am not claiming to be clinically depressed, and I know how very blessed I am, so please do not think that I am ungrateful for all God has give me. However, I do think that inside, I sometimes give in to fears, worries, (self) criticism, and negativity.

I have tasted hopelessness, and quite honestly, it has really scared me. In the darkness, I have felt alone. I have felt helpless, hopeless, meaningless, tired, discouraged, and I have just wanted to crawl in bed and hide. I have understood how people turn to addictions to cope with despair.

… sometimes my name’s meaning wraps its arms around my neck, making it hard to breathe.

There are some things that I know that makes this worse — dealing with difficult/critical people, stress, tiredness, hormones!, blood sugar problems, etc. I know these things and try to avoid them.

… but I also know what makes the darkness go away.

Light.

candles

“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” ~ 2 Samuel 22:29

When I am discouraged, I find my hope in Christ. As a result, I want to share this light with others. I don’t know if my spiritual gift is encouragement, but it is what makes my heart happiest. Sometimes I wish I had a more serious/substantial gift, but then I remember my times of darkness and realize that sometimes it just takes one person to hold out their hand and say, “I care”.

So, that’s my goal in writing, in relationships, in life — sharing the hope of Christ to turn darkness into light.

What about you? What does your name mean? (Find out here!) I would love to learn if it describes you of if the meaning is way off in left field! Please let us know in the comments below!

Comments

  1. says

    So, I’m Sandy, but really Sandra. My name comes from the masculine Alexander, which means “defender of man” or “defend, help”. I’ve always been amused by this because I’m a Social Worker. Could I have been named anything better? I think not. I’ve also seen meaning that say “God’s gracious helper”. Again, right on the mark for who I am.

  2. says

    My name means “moon, shining, illustrious, eminent.” It comes from the Sanskrit where the Hindu god Chandra was the moon god or goddess.

    I’ve known almost all my life what my name meant, and I can certainly say it has shaped what I believed about myself in my early years. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve put it in the back of my mind and have not really “shined”.

    I thought about this when I named my oldest son, Luke, which means “light, or bringer of light”. Then I named my second son, Jacob. LOL. I won’t go into his name meaning.

  3. says

    The last I checked my name means ‘light’ from the Greek ‘goddess of light’. Maybe if we hung out together we could bounce off each other and my light would wipe away your darkness :) Name meanings can be fun!!

  4. says

    My birth name, “Barbara”, means “stranger in a foreign land”. Before Christ, I disliked that very much. Now, I love it. I am just passing through here on this earth! Blessings!

  5. says

    Melanie, I feel the same way about the meaning of our first name. I had a Greek man tell me when I was little that it means little beauty spot. I’m sure it does! It’s a very sweet way of describing a mole. :-) I like to think that God called me out of darkness. That’s not who I am in Christ. I happen to love the name.

  6. says

    Melanie, I feel the same way about the meaning of our first name. I had a Greek man tell me when I was little that it means little beauty spot. I’m sure it does! It’s a very sweet way of describing a mole. :-) I like to think that God called me out of darkness. That’s not who I am in Christ. I happen to love the name.