Last night we had a “get to know you” session for one of my spring doctoral classes . The professor said, “Tell us something others may not know about you.” The professor was an Abraham Lincoln fan so I shared that my father was born on Lincoln’s birthday and because of that was named “William Lincoln Burkhardt,” Then I told him and the class that I was named “Lisa William” after my father.
As a child I was embarrassed about having a boy’s middle name but when I matured, I was proud of being named after my father, who died two months before I was born. Some friends in college called me “Willie” or “Bill.” To this day when my husband wants to get my attention he’ll exclaim, “Lisa William!”
While I was telling this story last night I felt like God shared something new about my name with me. He knew that He would one day call me into a male-dominated field as a sportscaster so he gave me a man’s name, Bill. While sportscasting is not necessarily a ministry profession, what I learned in that profession trained me for what I am doing now to serve the LORD, reaching the world through our television show POP Talk. It was all part of God’s plan—at birth. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (NIV). There was a calling from the beginning. All the hardship. Any career training. The highs and lows. It was all molded together to glorify God.
Have you ever thought about your name and the significance it has in your life? My middle name “William” actually means “strong-willed warrior” and I know that has meaning as well as I war for the faith in these troubled times.
Your name matters.
Names are just as important now as they were in the Bible. Your parents may have named you but it is God who planted that name in their minds, because He designed a calling for your life as He formed you. It’s not too late to walk in that calling.