What’s in a name?

Someday I would like something similar to this, probably smaller.

Someday I would like something similar to this, probably smaller.

My name and I have not always got along well. My full name Alexandra was never used unless I was in trouble. Even in school my teachers wrote Alex on the name tags not Alexandra. When I was really young it bothered me that I had a ‘boy name’ so my friends and I labeled it. I did not tell anyone how much it bothered me that I could be mistaken for a boy because of my name. I met some people today that got me thinking about what is in a name. They are Chinese yet have Anglo-saxon names so I wondered whether they picked them out as nicknames or their parents chose them. More on them later.

About the time of confirmation I began to realize that God had a plan for me and I was going to do great things. As a gift on my confirmation I received a bookmark stating the meaning of my name.

Alexandra(Greek): helper of mankind.  Psalm 55:22 Cast your fears on the Lord, he will not let the righteous  fall.

I believed that the verse included worries I could take to the Lord and I would be comforted. Throughout high school I stayed busy with activities like volleyball, track and field, weightlifting, marching band, and academics. It was stressful as I pushed to do the best I could. At times overcome with stress or anxiety about a test or performance to the point of feeling sick I would pray my verse. I learned that putting life’s problems in God’s hands was the best thing I could do. As myself here on Earth I could strive for perfection but would never reach it so needed to stop beating myself up over it.

I remember several stand offs with my dad over making wise decisions when I went out with friends. Each time I told him that I was not going to smoke cigarettes, drink, or have sex because those things were stupid and I only did great things. I had always been independent but looking back now I was naive and exaggerating my maturity. Life is tough and I was tested. Although I never changed my mind. To this day a cigarette has never touched my lips, I drink responsibly after age 21 and remain chaste. I believed I was destined for great things through God and so far I have done great things.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

The story I want to share now happened Wednesday morning. I was packing up boxes and loading them into my car. This weekend I will move from my apartment to live with a friend. I have been working half days at the daycare because the schoolage children went back to school and my full-time services is not required (sad!) On one of my trips out the door I saw a young couple standing near the door. They did not look familiar and appeared to be looking for something. I stopped and asked if I could help. They were looking for the leasing office to inquire about an apartment because they had just arrived from China on Monday. Wow! I set down my boxes and introduced myself. Then, unfortunately I explained that there is not a leasing office at this location because it is small. They had walked from UNO south campus to look at the apartments near by. At the moment they were staying at the Ramada Inn. He, Martin, was going to be attending UNO and she, Sophie, came along to be with him and work. When they explained that they only had skype to communicate right now I offered to call the leasing office on my phone. However, my phone was up in my apartment. They offered to help load the boxes I had and I invited them to see the apartment. They were very grateful. We chatted about renting and UNO. I asked Sophie what she was planning on doing while here. She said that she was looking for work at a preschool because she studied early childhood education. What a coincidence! I smiled and told them what I was studying. I gave Sophie the phone number to my daycare. Recently the director of my daycare has been talking about hiring so Sophie has a shot. After we exchanged emails they were on their way. I empathized with them because I felt the same way they do when I arrived in Spain. Exhausted, excited, hot all at the same time I was looking for a place to live and good people.

Just today I did a great deed. I know it was great because I felt happy and full inside. I do not believe my parents meant for me to live up to my name but they did want me to like it at least. Alexandra, helper of mankind, out to make a difference in this world.

-Alexandra Tatro


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