My little mother (she is only five feet tall to my five foot eight) reminds me frequently of how she picked my name. My given name is Kimberly. Apparently my father was not too convinced, but mom hung in there. Being a bit of a trend setter in her day, she always did things a bit out of the ordinary. I would call her creative. I am not so sure that I understand being named after a diamond mine in South Africa but…far be it from me to argue with the one who fought hard to give me that name. (After all, it is better than Kimberly Clark, the Kleenex manufacturer.)
At fifteen years of age, I ran away from home for the second and final time. I needed an alias to go by, so I gave myself the name of Dawn. I liked it because of the beautiful morning sky. Since then I have used Dawn as my first name. When finally reunited with my mom after three years, my mother was not very happy to find out that I had changed my name but had to resign herself to the fact I was now Dawn. I have a couple of those Biblical name cards and the one for Dawn says “The Break of Day” and has the Scripture from Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” (which I love.) Mom, on the other hand, loved to tell people (when I would introduce her), “Her real name is Kimberly!” That really used to bug me something fierce.
I have watched my mother climb into her 80’s and struggle with her health since her late 70’s, and I began to asked the Lord to show me what part I could play in her coming to Christ and have peace in her heart (after all, I pray diligently for her salvation.) The Lord spoke to my heart a couple of years back and said to just love, serve and bless her. Okay, Lord, show me how because You know how strong willed and independent this little woman is. Unfortunately, as she is aging she is also losing her vision from macular degeneration and because of that she has been forced to give up much of her independence. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, that can be very trying for the one going through it and some other issues that are a bit humiliating for her to contend with. Hey, life can get difficult as we age!
One summer (mom tries to stays with us in the summer months when she is feeling well enough) on the first day she was here she injured her leg exercising her “I don’t need any help” attitude. She fell off a counter and gouged her leg up terribly and we ended up in the ER. This became a very unique opportunity for me to do ‘hands on’ care for ‘Miss Independent’. I had to change her dressing twice a day throughout most of the summer. It took four months for this wound to heal! But, in the process, I was able to care for her tenderly with that thing we all love and that is human touch. At one point I even asked her if I could anoint her with oil and pray for her healing and amazingly she said yes! When I was done, she had tears in her eyes and could not explain why. God is indeed up to something, don’t you think?
It was fall and my program was beginning it’s fifth year and I like to do something new each new year to keep things fresh. So I asked the guys what they would think if I changed my on air name to Kimberly Dawn. (It was such a God thing that I would even go there.) They liked the newness of it and said go for it. This was a real blessing to my mom and she periodically asks if I am still going by that name and I am always so pleased to tell her “Of course!” The funny thing is that I am actually enjoying being called by that name, as well, although I do not expect those that only know me as Dawn to change how they address me unless they want to. A little side note – my boss and former boss always teased me by calling me Kimberly Dawn now and again. Here is what Kimberly means – “From the Royal Meadow.” Nice, huh? And the Scripture is also delightful from Psalm 119:73 (NASB) “Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.” I just know this is softening my mom’s heart and I am believing that God is making a way into her heart where there seems to be no way!
Please pray with me that God will continue to show me ways that I can be Jesus to her and that she will come to know the One Who will never leave her or forsake her and Who will love her with His everlasting love. I am believing the Holy Spirit is wooing her and that it will not be long now for her to take her rightful place in God’s Kingdom. And I thank God for bringing me to a place where I would want to be obedient even to the point of going back to a name I did not care for!