The Story Behind My Name

Every name has a story behind it. No matter how trivial, the story makes the name special. I’ve got a story too, for each of the names I have. But today, I wanted to share the story behind the name I rarely use. Not many people know that I was named “Mercy” when I was born. As with most Indian children, my name took different forms before I was named finally named “J. Sukirtha Thanga Mercy”. As I grew up, I shed my two middle names and ended up being called “Sukirtha Joseph”. I still chuckle when I say my long winded name out loud. My first middle name “Thanga” was in memory of my late grandfather, Mr. A Thangadurai who passed away a few years before I was born. My second middle name “Mercy” was chosen by my father for a very different reason. My father still becomes emotional when he narrates the story behind that name, which is part of the reason why I still like that name.

Here’s the story:
When it was time for my mother to deliver me, I decided to stay inside her. She waited 11 days past due date and I still did not come out. So they eventually went to the hospital only to be met with angry doctors, who were extremely upset that my mum and dad had waited 11 days past due date! They admitted my mum immediately. My mum and dad were both young and scared but my dad had the biggest fear of his life when he came to know that I may not make it out alive. He was asked to fill out many forms and asked to sign that the hospital was not responsible if there should be a loss of life. Now imagine this happening in the 1980s in India, when emergency c-section were considered a huge risk and surgeries were abnormal. No one had ever had c-section in our family back then, so my dad signed the papers with a heavy heart and he stood there in the hospital corridors and cried out to God for His “Mercy”. He pleaded with God to save both lives, and he got what he asked for. I was born healthy despite the risky birth. And so my dad decided to name me “Mercy”, to remind us of God’s merciful gift of life.

Last night, I was asking God to show me what He wanted me to focus on and He led me to this scripture:

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast. I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.
Psalms 22:9‭-‬10 NLT

That is word-to-word, my story in the Bible! He brought me out safely and I was thrust into God’s arms when I was born. I’ve grown up trusting in Him but I too have had my doubts and fears. I’ve been as confused as anyone else but God in His mercy has walked with me step by step. He was faithful to bring me into this world and has since been faithful no matter what life throws at me (trust me here ;)). I cannot imagine a life without Jesus and His love and mercy. If not for Him, I would have gone long back!My name “Mercy” holds a special place in my heart. It reminds me of my father’s tears and prayers, it reminds me of the pain my mother endured, but more than everything else, it reminds me of God’s mercy, from even before I was born. As a cherry on top, to add more meaning to my name, both my children were born at “Mercy Hospitals”, to remind me that His mercy will continue onto future generations. What a blessing!

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