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“He knows my name. He knows my every thought” This song by Tommy Walker resonates in my being. The God of all creation knows my name.

 I love my name, and the story behind it.

Once upon a time, a beautiful young couple fell madly in love, was married, and gave birth to a charming son. (Bear with me, the story comes back to me) They gave him the noble name of Baron…after the dog (well, my mother always denied that part of the story but my grandmother’s accusation remains forever a part of our family lore!) Unable to reclaim the honor of Baron’s name, they decided to express their abiding love for one another by sharing their own names with their newly born daughter. They longed to create a name as beautiful as the precious infant they held in their arms. (OK, so they actually chose the name before I was born.)  Pondering the puzzle of a suitable combination for “Helen” and “Al”, they considered Shallen. But with great clarity, they quickly realized that the nickname would be ‘Shally’. (You know I can see your nose scrunch up in disgust…that’s OK, theirs did too). So Al and Helen wisely changed the ‘a’ to an ‘e’ added ‘nne’ and saw that what they created was good. “Shellynne” (pro-nounced SHEL-in) came into existence both as a name and as a life! The End. (Well…not exactly…)

Shellynne. I am thankful my parents got creative.

It has helped me learn patience, grace and humor.

Do any of you remember the forms we filled out in school in the 60’s and 70’s that had those little boxes for each letter of your name? I never had enough boxes. My middle name also has 9 letters and my last name had 8! So my name was always truncated. I am not sure what psychological damage that may have caused all those years. Could it explain my short term memory loss? And does the fact that spell checker always underlines my name in that helpful swiggly red line (hey there it is again…I thought swiggly was a word…well I am using it anyway… sigh) does it somehow make me feel unwelcomed? No. Actually, it makes me feel unique! “He knows my name.”

With a name like mine you learn to extend grace. Like the time a well-meaning woman working the election polls insisted I had signed my name wrong. She repeatedly mispronounced my name and wanted me to add letters to my signature to match her pronunciation. I presented my voter registration card, my driver’s license, my work ID, and my library card but she still insisted they were all wrong and she was clearly right. Only after appealing to the ‘judge’ of the day did I get to vote. She is probably went home telling the story of the young woman who did not know her own name! “He knows my name.”

I learned to take in stride all the missed attempts to say my name. My mother never really saw the humor in it. But then, this is the woman who named her son after a dog (only kidding Baron).  Just when I think that I have heard every possible mispronunciation, someone invents a new one. My favorite was when I was working as an Archivist, and one of the international researchers approached my desk. He stared thoughtfully at my name plate and then confidently addressed me as Shel-LEE-nee. I had a hard time keeping a straight face long enough to answer his question. It is a hard name. That is why I especially appreciate those who want to get it right. Thank you – Liz Curtis Higgs!  http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/

“He knows my name.” Me, Shellynne, God knows me. And He knows you…by name. When you think that nobody cares or knows, He does. “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1) He knows you, really knows you. “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30) If He knows your hair, you can be assured He knows your name!

“He knows my every thought.” What beautiful words. “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”(Psalm 139:2) Listen as David shares more soul-stirring thoughts, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Ps. 139:13,16) Imagine, the God of all creation, created you, unique and special.

He knows your name, He knows your every thought, He knows you.

It does not get any better than that!