How We Named Them :: Eowyn & Elias


About four or so years ago, Ben and I were on a road trip. We were talking about the current soundtrack, sung by a band named after the lead singer "Eowyn," I commented how much I loved her (middle) name. He commented how much he loved the character in Lord of the Rings she was named after. We both concluded it was a beautiful.

When we found out we were pregnant with a girl, it was our first pick. It's kind of nice when there isn't much contest. To be honest, there were no other options. This was her name. As we looked up meanings and in a lot of ways, found more reasons to like our name choice, we discovered that Eowyn was actually a completely made up name from Tolkein. But, if you take the origins that he used, it is in some variation, 'joyful charger.'

Joyful charger.

It wasn't actually until after our daughter was born that I got to know the character that Eowyn was named after. Ben had read the books and watched all the movies, but I had yet to see the The Return of the King, the movie which Eowyn is most prominent in. The first weeks of her life saw a lot of LOTR Re-runs.

 and when I saw the epic scene that Eowyn kills the witch-king (Nazgul) ?

Well, I became all the more certain we made the right choice. I actually did a few fist pumps celebrating our awesome decision. 

Her middle name is Christine, which is a feminine name of Greek or Latin origin. Derived from the word Christ, and that is the Greek translation in the Hebrew word "Messiah". It means a follower of Christ or a female Christian. It's also my mothers middle name.

Her name embodies so much of what I hope for her. I hope that she does choose to follow Christ, and that she joyfully charges into this fallen world with that message of hope and redemption.

I don't think I really began to understand the deep significance of a name until recently. When God gives Adam responsibility over the garden, he also gives him the authority to name things. So much of what we become is tied up into the names we've been given-whether official or not. Now that we've gone and named two of them, it's been profound to me how much the names we've chosen seem to pave the way their little lives are going.

To see how much Eowyn has filled her joyful charger name already is testament to this. I never would have guessed how her name would play out, but if you ask just about anyone, they'll attest to the reality that she is a charger, and a joyful one. 

Our son John Elias was also named well before he was made. With our second baby, we loved the name and have held on to until Elias came. John is English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious".

His Middle name Elias, which he goes by, is actually the greek form of Elijah. Elijah means "my God is YAHWEH". 'Elijah was a Hebrew prophet of the 9th century BC, during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. The two Books of Kings in the Old Testament tell of his exploits, which culminate with him being carried to heaven in a chariot of fire.'

Basically we named both our kids after characters with pretty awesome exit scenes. 

We had personal reasons for loving both of these names. John is Ben's first name, and so John Elias is the fifth boy named 'John'  on Ben's mom side of the family. Elias has always been a name we favored, as I said. The sweet bit of it is that here in Finland the name Elias was on the top ten the year Elias was born. We named  him something that several of his Finnish friends have been named as well. We love that he was named a common name here in Finland, especially since he was born here. The reality that we didn't get to use the name until we moved here speaks to the reality of God's plan. He's been planning for John Elias well before we knew it.

The thing I love most, however, is how yet again their names have guided who they are. While Elias' personality is still forming, through his entire life so far we have gotten to see time and time again how gracious our God is. We've had to cling to the reality that "Yahweh is our God."

My hope and prayer is that he will make that choice and carry that steadfast declaration that Yahweh is his God. While his sister is a joyful charger, he'll, just like Elijah, declare the Lord, but in a way that demonstrates the deep graciousness of our God.

Joy & Grace. If there's anything that these two children have taught me, it's these two things.

We're honored for the gift of naming these two, and we're humbled to get to watch them grow. I'm excited to get to raise them into the names they've been given. They're already doing a great job of filling them.

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