Be an Andrea!

Have you ever thought about your name and what it means?  Have you ever wondered what it was that your mom and dad saw (or imagined for you) that made them choose the name you were given?  Have you ever been angry about your name and wanted to change it?  Is it important?


I surely do not have the answers, but I do have a different perspective if you will patiently allow me to explain.  I was born many years ago and given the name Jennifer.  I liked the name – the sound of the name and decided to keep it.  Nowadays it seems more and more people like to change their name and try a new one on for size.  I never had such a desire…until now.  However, I will get to that in a bit.


When I researched my name I found the following information:  it stems from Guinevere and it can mean the “white enchantress” (it is half-right I am white, but enchanting let’s not go there) or “the fair one”.  All of these years of looking into a mirror for one reason or another I can honestly say that I am not considered to be fair-looking.  Meh, yes.  Fair, no.  No illusion is being shattered in this blog.  All I had was a popular name, but no inclination to becoming popular which is okay.  It was my birth name and I lived with it regardless of what advantages or drawbacks resulted from this.  As I previously mentioned:  I had no reason to change it now.  Until it happened…


Quite a few weeks back my Sunday school class was going over a lesson and it centered on one of the disciples:  Andrew.  A quick back story on Andrew tells us that he is the brother of Simon Peter (yes, the same Peter who denied Christ three times).  Andrew was a fisherman who was called to become a disciple, as was his brother, by Jesus.  Andrew first was a disciple of John the Baptist and upon hearing the reveal that Jesus was the Messiah, he left John and went to follow Jesus.  He joyfully took this to heart and followed, but he also made the time to tell others (first he told his brother Peter) about Jesus.  His outreach was evident, faithfully administered, and respected today by all who also would like to share the good news of our Savior Jesus.


The class that day impacted me very strongly.  In fact so much so, that I wanted to become an Andrew.  I wanted to, without any hesitation, share the good news and plant abundant seeds that if nurtured and properly maintained, would lead someone – anyone to desire to search for Jesus.  We are commanded to do this as I will point out.


In Mark 16:15 we are given a powerful directive by Jesus himself.  “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”  I definitely would say Andrew did just that.  But there is more!  In Psalms 96:3 we are given a purpose as to why we are to share the gospel, and that is for God’s glory to shine through.  “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the people.”


We have a directive and now a purpose, but how are we to share the good news?  In Romans 12:11 we see the main ingredient needed to share the gospel.  “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”  Don’t dread talking about it, but enthusiastically announce it to others.  The impact of sharing the Word hinges on the presentation of the Word.


I have boldly written about sharing the gospel in my blog.  I love to write and I love to serve my Lord.  I was never so good at speaking the Word outside of my memorization of some vital verses that impacted me.  I would start to lay the foundation for my presentation by getting the person to open up and then I would hone in on what was said and talk about Jesus.  Well eventually I would do it this way.  It seems that I sometimes had the misfortune of taking too long to get to the task at hand.  I believe I wanted to do this right, but I was afraid of the reaction I would receive.  It is easier to deal with acceptance than rejection.  It is easier to hide behind my written words than to be confronted face to face with rejection.  Was I strong enough?  Was I dedicated enough?  Why was there a “disconnect” and how was I going to fix it?


After much thought I decided to go full in – no holds barred, and change my name.  I wanted to be an Andrew, but I am a female, so I chose the next best alternative.  I became an Andrea – the female derivative of Andrew.  I was on a mission to share the word and my course had no boundaries.  I had a past bad habit of pointing my fingers the wrong way.  Well, not wrong, just not the direct way.  Allow me to explain.


I gladly discussed the Lord with others when I was comfortable, a little more knowledgeable, and better prepared.  I also led new Christians to women I felt were stronger role models who could guide and teach better than me.  I felt they had strong life experiences, more wisdom and a strong guiding hand to answer questions or address concerns.


They were better prepared, but I learned I could be as well.  When we start off as a new Christian we are like babies who need to learn to do more than eat, cry and poop.  We need to learn from trial and error, poor decisions and life experiences on how to grow.  There is no quick route to get there and you will inevitably be bruised from time to time.  You either are walking towards Him or walking away.  No in-betweens.  I was petrified of being hurt or burned or afraid to misinform someone.  The weight of giving wrong or misleading advice, or jumping to conclusions, is what weighs us down.  It stifled me.  I did not want to disappoint the Lord.


“Whoa – take a breath first,” was my natural instinct.  When I examined this further, it was here that I saw my human limitations and the chance of making errors was high and sure to happen.  Did that mean I should cower and give up?  No, Paul stresses many times to “press on” – persevere.  We need to listen to His advice and “Not Worry” or “Do not be Afraid” and just let it play out.  He equips us with what is needed; we boldly take the leap of faith and spread the word.  Shout it out, whisper it, write it, live it and whatever else falls in-between.  Just keep in mind that we as faithful followers like Andrew, need to enthusiastically share it.  Carry your bible with you and take a pocket bible along with you to offer them.  Be a risk-taker and invite someone to your church. In short, just live in the moment and see where He will lead you.  Our job is to plant the seed, only He will bring it to fruition.  We introduce His Word to others, He alone, saves them.  Let His power and glory shine.  Trust Him for He has this.  He already knows who is faithful, who will come to Him and who will put everything on the line to spread His Word.


I am an Andrea.  I am a follower of His.  I will share His Word and I will not look back.  Is it time for you to make a name change?  It can change your whole outlook on life.  He has changed this ordinary Jennifer and turned her into an enthusiastic Andrea who has never been happier.  God Bless!

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