NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: I met Hadassah when she emailed me after reading my name change story, on my blog Ashes to Beauty. I was so happy for her and I felt honored when she told me that I played an important role in her name change journey. Praise God for giving both Hadassah and me the gift of a new name to go along with our new identities in Christ! Here is her story.
Ever since I can remember, I have never felt a real connection to my first name Julia. When I was in primary school as a child, I used to get teased a lot about the name, so much that I eventually decided never to mention it. Many years later, after I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I asked God for a new name. I saw change in my character and I wanted a name fitting for the new person I had become in Christ.
In Biblical times, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and gave Jacob a new name; Israel. Therefore, I strongly believe that there is an existent connection between a person’s name and God’s purpose for their lives.
A few days later He honoured my request and gave me the name: “Hadassah.” I still remember the day when this name dropped in to my Spirit, there was this crisp sense of joy and peace that I couldn’t explain and I knew in my heart that it was Him. I kept speaking the name out loud over and over in excitement but also a little nervous to find out what it meant! I knew Queen Esther’s Jewish name was Hadassah, but I never really knew what it meant – so finally, I did some research.
I then began a journey of prayer in preparation towards informing my family. I was troubled that my father would feel betrayed as my first name belonged to his late aunt. It was also during this 6 months period of prayer that God led me to the website of Ashes to Beauty where I read about Lily’s journey to finally changing her name. I was so surprised that she and I almost had a similar experience, and that this was the same God! I sent Lily an email asking for some advice and prayer and she emailed me back!
Finally after 6 months, I approached my father and explained my intentions and reasons to change my name. My father is a very strict man and I was really fearful he would not understand. After listening to my story, he gave me his blessing, thank Jesus! I was so overwhelmed with joy because I realised that God had already spoken to his heart.
Early in the beginning of the year 2016, I visited my country’s department of home affairs to officially remove the first name and include my new name. I can’t explain how awesome that felt. On the actual day, a lot of God-moments happened, I was shown favour in many ways, by almost every official who had to assist me. Everything flowed so effortlessly like He was there right next to me. The process that could have taken the entire day; took just below few hours because God had prepared everything for me.
It felt like my name had been waiting for me since I got born again and we were finally reuniting. I felt brand new; fresh and really loved by this God, My heavenly Father adopted me into His family by Grace and has given me a new name. He also gave me a scripture to stand on; Isaiah 55:13, which was in response to my previous life that was full of thorns and nettles. God is good. He is a loving Father who yearns to have a meaningful relationship with us.
Every time someone calls me Hadassah, I am reminded that I belong to God, I am reminded of my purpose – which is to sing about His son Jesus Christ and I know that my “petals” smell of fine perfume of the Holy Spirit, my fruits are edible and nourish lost souls and my leaves are evergreen of the Word of God from January to December.
That’s how God sees me.