What is in a name? Is it merely a sound, a string of characters with which we are identified, or is it something much more?
Growing up, my father taught me the importance of names. He said names are covenants, they live. He gave me many instances of people – around us and in the bible – who’s lives turned around for the better or worse in relation to their names but most of all, he exemplified it. You see, my father changed his wife’s name after they got married. Her birth name was nothing joyful, and mans was like no one affiliated to him would carry such a covenant around. So Papa changed my mother’s name to what it is today. That move of his would forever impact me even though neither of us knew it at the time.
My name is TERDOOFAN, pronounced tae-doe-fan. It means ‘It is good to know God‘. But I wasn’t always known as Terdoofan, I was actually DOOFAN until 4 years ago. While Doofan can be a shortened form of my name, it can also be an independent name that loosely translates to ‘Knowledge is good‘ or ‘It is good to know‘.
My life at 18/19 had taken a wild turn such as I never would have predicted, and it tainted my life for a good long while after. At 22 was when I started trying to reclaim myself from the darkness, 23 had me making a decision to change my name back to the original intent.
Why was a name so important to me? I had gotten to a place where I was no longer comfortable answering to Doofan. The name had become a filthy sacrilege and definitely not what I wanted share a body or presence with. Reclaiming myself meant starting over, fixing up, charting new paths and I couldn’t do any of that as Doofan. Matter of fact, the name made me cringe, still does.
At no time in my life have I had to rely on God like since I became Terdoofan. I have always been a very logical being driven by knowledge and facts. Even my relationship with God was logical. I was constantly using Logic Gates to relate with the Big Guy, heavy on the AND-OR-Invert because anything outside of zeros and ones made me uncomfortable. It still does, but I’m learning. I am learning that sometimes, there is a lot more control to be found in letting go than in holding on. That while it is OK to be secured in knowledge, ignorance can also be blissful! And what better way to be blissfully ignorant than to hand over the reigns of myself to someone who has been there, done that and NEVER fails!
And that was how I pivoted from seeking refuge in my own knowledge and wisdom to resting securely in the knowledge of God.
I believe there is power in a name y’all. This truth is so clear now because I tapped into mine – bless my parents for being so intentional with our names. And this is how God proved to me that he indeed knows the end from the beginning because my being named Terdoofan was no mistake. Dude knew I would be a knowledge junkie, a logic freak. So he was like ‘Child, I gatchu. All that logic that makes you so comfortably secure, I INVENTED IT. To know me is to have access to all that and then some more. The truth lies in your name…‘ Of course it took me 22 years to realize that.
I clocked 27 years today and while I still have a ways to go, I have made great progress in my knowledge of the Father and finding myself in the process. I’m finally reclaiming myself! So if you’re reading this I implore you to use any other variation of my name BUT Doofan. No de kill my vibe. Lemme list them out for you real quick:
Any of them but Doofan, abeg. That name is associated with a time of my life I no longer wish to identify with and I intend to live out the rest of my days as TERDOOFAN. Tainkyu for your cooperation.
Now that we’re cool, answer me this; do you believe in the power of names? And please tell me yours!