Two years ago in December I visited my Dad in the Memory Care facility which he then accepted as home. His decline was rapid, and our family was discussing placing him on hospice care. Even though the ravages of the Alzheimer’s disease process had taken away much of his personality and his memory, he still knew who his family was, even by name. The two weeks before he entered heaven, I asked him the question that had scared me the most. “Do you know who I am?” He paused for a minute or two before he said, “Well…I know you are my daughter.” There was some comfort for me in that statement, but I wanted to know more. So I said, “Do you know my name?” After another excruciating long pause he said, “Eula.” I didn’t flinch. I didn’t question. I didn’t correct. I just nodded in agreement. And quite frankly, I just let it go. That was the best way I knew how to cope.
My Dad met Jesus face to face on January 1st, 2017. His memorial services that month in Missouri where he lived his final year and a half and in Illinois where he spent most of his life were equally moving. He was loved and honored by many. It wasn’t until the end of the month when the services were over and a new norm became reality that my mind ran back to that day when I asked him that fearful question. Why Eula? We didn’t even know anyone by the name of Eula to my knowledge, unless it was someone from his childhood. My curious self searched Google for the origin and meaning of the name. The name Eula is a female name of Greek origin with the meaning: Sweet-spoken. I was the one who needed to take a pause. Sweet-spoken. I have had a heart for ministry for many, many years desiring to write and speak to others-particularly mentoring and discipling women. Many need to hear words that will soothe their souls-especially when words have been spoken that caused turmoil and pain. I had been longing to get to that place of ministry and was still on the journey. Yet in that moment that I felt I was given A NEW NAME.
Isaiah chapter 62:2b NIV’84 says, “You will be called by A NEW NAME that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.” God changed the names of several people in the Bible when they entered into a new pathway for their lives. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter. Saul became Paul. Was this my time too? Was God speaking through my Dad to prophetically launch me into the ministry? Actually the book of Revelation says that we all will be given new names. Chapter 2:17 records, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Chapter 3:12 states, “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.”
I must admit, I never would have chosen the sounds of the name Eula, but the meaning and the story behind it make it completely endearing to me. When I told this story to one of my cousins, she suggested the name for my ministry should be Eula Ministries. I like it. However; there’s this thing-I’ve always been Linda. It has been a source of familiarity and comfort. Another name seems so odd. Everything changes though when we meet the Lord face to face like my Dad did. Our bodies change and as Scripture shows us, we receive A NEW NAME too. Just like Abram, Sarai, Jacob, Simon, and Saul were willing to step into something new, it is time I say Yes Lord, whatever You have for me. Are you ready for A NEW NAME as well?