When I was a kid, I hated my name. I thought it was ridiculous. It seemed like an ok name for a child, but I could not imagine an old person with it. The name was absurd. Plus, it wasn’t unique – there were five Heathers in my grade alone. We all knew each other. I’m not sure if any of them disliked their name, but it was just foolishness to me.
It took years to come to terms with the tragedy of my naming. In fact, I was in my teen years when my mother told me about it. It wasn’t some deep secret or anything. Still, up until this particular conversation, I knew only that I was named for a flower that grew wild on Irish mountainsides. There was a song with my name in it, and I loved hearing her sing it to me.
On this day she told me that heather wasn’t just any old flower. What made it special was that it was a flower that thrived in hostile terrain. From that moment on, I loved my name. For the first time in my life, I felt it fit me. I wasn’t delicate, flowery, or a vase-worthy trophy. I was rough, rugged, tender, beautiful in my own quiet, unassuming way, and very easy to overlook or take for granted. I had also lived in hostile terrain most of my life but never let those struggles prevent me from blooming.
For the first time, I felt my name was a gift. I felt like The Rose That Grew From Concrete.
This blog is a reflection of the meaning behind my name. I do not profess to be an expert on anything, a theologian, a psychiatrist, or anything. It is simply the blossoms that grow from the struggles I’ve faced in life’s hostile terrain.
I hope they are inspiring, I hope they are heart-warming, I hope they make you feel. I hope they make you hope.
[…] in the process of writing a book about Thriving in Hostile Terrain, and someone asked me about it today: “Not to put you on the spot, but there’s exactly […]
God bless you, Heather, for your efforts! —Jonathan
Thank you, Jonathan!