I come from a long genealogical line of the name “John”. My dad’s wife, Pat, has done some Ancestry.com stuff, and it appears that the Hixon lineage traces back to the 1600s in England. And while old documents are a rabbit trail of unknowns, it appears that John has been used in at least 5 generations in the Hixon lineage. For example, my dad’s name is Bob. But, quite literally, his legal name is John Robert Hixon. Same with my Grandpa Hixon: John Harold Hixon who went by Harold. Then, along came me. And, not wanting to break the lineage, my dad proclaimed my name a few minutes after I was born… “May I present to you…Anthony John Hixon!” Well, probably not that dramatic. But nonetheless, you get the point. John tracks the legacy.
In 2006, Keri and I welcomed our first baby into the world. Your first baby is always a fun time…parties, decorating the baby room, finding out the gender or not, etc. For our first, we went for the surprise. And, on May 5th that year (Cinco de Mayo for those keeping score at home), our daughter, Eliana Faith was born.
Two years later in 2008, we’d have our 2nd child. (February 2 to be exact…Groundhogs Day for those still keeping score at home. God’s way of helping me remember my kids’ birthdays perhaps). This time around, the element of surprise was less attractive, so we found out the gender…another girl! Couldn’t have been more excited! Yet, “John” just didn’t fit our newborn daughter. So, we went with Kya Joy. We were overjoyed!
Keri and I always talked about having 3 kids as we got more serious about marriage. Which, to me, after having 2 girls made sense…one more chance to have a boy to continue the “John” trend. Our excitement couldn’t be contained as we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child who was due in May 2011. About mid-way through the pregnancy, you can get your ultrasound to find out the gender. Needless to say, I was excited either way and would’ve been completely overjoyed no matter what…but, well, I am human. Having a boy to continue the family name would be pretty cool. The scales tilted 50.01% to really wanting a boy. In the balance, I would’ve been just as happy with another girl as well.
As the Ultrasound Tech scooted the camera around on my wife’s pregnant belly, I gazed in anticipation at the screen. I saw a glob here and another glob there and listened carefully to the Tech who was trained to identify said glob. I think my heart skipped a beat when she revealed…it’s a boy! And on May 28th (sorry, no cool date alignments here) Everett John Hixon entered the world.
Keri and I didn’t take this naming thing lightly. We talked and searched for a long time for each of our kids’ names. When we were trying to get pregnant the first time, we had some infertility issues, and it took longer than expected. We prayed for a long time until we finally were able to conceive. Eliana means “My God has answered”. Her name was intentional.
With fertility issues the first time around, we weren’t sure how successful we’d be trying to get pregnant again, but we knew that if it was in God’s plans, it would happen. A Bible verse became important during that season. Found in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 147, Verse 4: “He determines the number of the stars; and gives to all of them their names.” Kya means “Diamond in the sky”. She’s our bright and shining star. It fit her beautifully.
By then, we assumed that getting pregnant with our 3rd wouldn’t prove as difficult, and we were right. When we found out it was a boy, we knew we wanted to name him something that would encompass his purpose in this world. Everett means “Strong and courageous”. Needed attributes to carry on the Hixon name. He’s living up to it, and we’re proud of him.
How about you? What’s your name mean? Most parents take joy in naming their kid. They take their time finding a name they like, and a meaning that defines their child well. Perhaps you don’t like your name, or you didn’t know your mom or a dad as you grew up. But you have a name. And someone took the time to give it to you.
You were made on purpose for a purpose. You matter. Your name has a meaning, and so does your life. Live your name’s definition well today. Know that your mom or dad named you because they love you. There are times in life we may not feel loved, but you’re here. You’re here now. You’re here for such a time as this. With you, humanity thrives. Without you, a piece of the puzzle is missing. Claim your name, your birthright, your place in this world. Make it count. Love well, serve others, give to those in need, laugh ‘til it hurts, color outside the lines, make some noise, celebrate. Life’s too short to do otherwise.
…Oh, you might be wondering…John…what’s it mean?
“God is gracious”
May we seek to be gracious to others today.