Yesterday, I was online and I saw a link about name meanings. I’ve always known that I was names after the scottish highland plant “heather” because of my Dad’s scottish heritage. I never had really though about my name much or what it meant or the significance that it has. I’ve always quite like my first name as it was quite girly and seemed to suit my nature and just kind of accepted by last name.
So anyway, I decided to google what my name means, I typed it in – “Heather Joanna Bryan” – and it came up as this:
First Name: “Flower”
Middle Name: “God is Gracious”
Surname: “Strong and noble”
I thought about it for a while and God prompted me to remember something that a lady said to me which I had forgotten about. Last year, a lady at church in Exeter prophesied over me and said that God was calling me His “Iron Buttercup.” At the time, I thought it was a bit of an oxymoron. How can you be both strong and resilient like iron, yet as fragile and delicate as buttercups?
God prompted me again about a time when it was prophesied over me that I would be ferocious in the Spirit. Again, I struggled to work out what being a girl who is ferocious in the Spirit looks like. Men are the warriors and ferocious, not girls. If I became ferocious and strong, I figuired that I would have to sacrifice my femininity and become a feminist fighter girl, something that is completely alien to me…
God has been leading me on a journey where I’ve been discovering what it is to be a strong and feminine woman of God, what it is to be an iron buttercup. I can be both strong and feminine, they’re not conflicting terms. Looking at the highland shrub “heather”, it is a very hardy plant and has a strong, woody stem. Yet, it has beautiful, delicate and fragile flowers as well. I felt that this was what God was calling me to be like – to have Him as my strong core, unwavering and resilient. Yet He also wanted me to embrace my feminity, to keep the sensitive and pleasant nature that I already possess.
I also looked up what the term noble meant. It said: “possessing very high, outstanding or excellent qualities or properties”. Now, by no means would I say that I currently possess “high, outstanding or excellent qualities”. I’m not there yet, but God is refining me, changing me and completing his good work so that some day I will be like Jesus. I fail often and show qualities far from excellent, yet as my middle name says “God is gracious” and He is patient with me.
When I saw that my name meant “strong flower”, I smiled and knew that God was reminding me who He has called me to be. It’s OK that I’m a girl and love feminine things: flowers, chandeliers, perfume, high heels. But it’s also OK for me to be strong and zealous, that being feminine doesn’t mean I have to be weak and feeble. I’m not just named after a scottish shrub, I’m called to be a strong and noble flower for the advancing of God’s kingdom. And I’m so excited and that is just who I intend to be!