My gender, along with that of my brothers, were unknown to my parents during the pregnancies, meaning that my parents found out what we were upon birth. Due to this, one of my aunts formed a deal with my dad while my mom was pregnant with me. If I was a boy, my dad would name me, but if I ended being a girl [which I obviously was], she’d get to name me.
She chose the name Ahastery from the Bible. Then proceeded to forget where she found it. It wasn’t until July 2018, as I was driving to work that I found out exactly where it was. I was listening to 1 Chronicles chapter 4 on the Bible App – a book that I honestly always skipped because I didn’t want to go through all those names. As I got onto interstate 85, I heard the narrator say my name and I was taken back. I couldn’t believe it and because I thought I misheard, I paused the audio, I needed to be certain that it was indeed my name I had heard. It was the longest drive to work of my life.
Naarah gave birth to Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari.
1 Chronicles 4:6, NLT
The spelling was off, but I was sure that it was it, still, I had to verify. Immediately, I got on the family Whatsapp group chat and asked my aunt if this is where she found my name. It was my cousin who answered with the spanish translation of it:
Y Naara dio a luz a Ahuzam, Hefer, Temeni y Ahastari. Estos fueron los hijos de Naara.
1 Cronicas 4:6, RVR1960
This spelling is much closer than the English translation and the discovery of my name redirected the direction I was heading in.
I knew all my life that my name came from the Bible, but not knowing where it was I suppose didn’t really make it real. Finding it gave me a whole new perspective. Because of where my name comes from. My namesake was from the tribe of Judah.
For those that don’t know the Bible here are a few facts about Judah:
- The tribes of Israel come from the names of the children of Israel [Jacob] and Judah was his fourth son.
- It is within the territory of Judah that Jerusalem is located and Jerusalem is where the Temple of God was located.
- In Judges 1, God selects the tribe of Judah as the first to occupy the promised land.
- King David was from the tribe of Judah.
- Jesus is from the tribe of Judah.
It was a discovery that pulled me closer to God at a time when I was also discovering my identity as His daughter.
I was no longer seeing Him as a distant God, but as my Father who loved me so much that He calls me His daughter. More importantly, He knew what I was going to go through in life and selected a name for me that would draw me close to Him at the right time, giving me a stable identity.
It is why I don’t want anyone to give me a nickname, people ask but I say no. Instead I give them the english pronunciation [As-tuh-ree] instead of the spanish [Ass-te-ri]. Why? It’s a defining point: if you’re interested in a friendship with me, eventually you will start pronouncing my name in Spanish. It’s a boundary line, if you’re close to me, you pronounce it right, if you’re not then you don’t, it’s all good.
A name is a name, is a name, is a name.
It is up to us to own it, embrace it and walk in it.
I am Ahastery.
Who are you?