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AUGUST 09 2020 | LETTER NO. 11 | WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Dania's Letters

One night in May 2012, I dreamt that I was in a semi-circle with a group of people. My dad stood in front of me and asked what I wanted to be. I paused and then very reluctantly, said “a writer”. He moved on to others in the group, asking them the same thing. While that was happening, someone whom I couldn’t quite see but seemed superior and otherworldly appeared in front of me and said to me: “You will be a judge. You will judge and people will listen.” In the dream, I wondered how that was possible since I hadn’t read law, and if it meant I had to go back to school.

When I woke up, I wrote down the dream in my dream book. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but I sensed it was significant.

The name, Adannia, is a bit like a title. As firstborn daughter to Igbo parents I’m an Ada by default, whether or not the name is on my birth certificate. “Ada” means first daughter. “Adannia” means first daughter of her father. Of all the possible suffix options for Ada, I suspect my parents chose “nnia” for the sake of uniformity – my siblings and I all have names with that suffix. They must’ve thought the rhyming was cute. I think it is, anyway.

I was first called “Dania” in 2007 by an ex. It was not a deliberate attempt to give me a nickname. He just spoke really fast and with an intonation that made his saying “Adannia” sound like‚ /ədania/ (silent ‘a’, single ‘n’), and from there, the name ‘Dania was birthed. This person was many things, but the only good thing to come out of that relationship was this name. So, when I started my blog in 2011, the title, Chronicles of Dania seemed like a no-brainer because of its semblance to Chronicles of Narnia.

Last year when I was considering changing my last name to Ugo’s, I decided to take a wholistic view of all my names. By then, most people called me ‘Dania and a lot of my creative work carried the name. It had always been a short form of Adannia to me, so I’d never thought to check for its meaning, howevere, since I was considering taking it as a standalone name, I decided to do so. Here’s what I found:

Immediately, I remembered my dream from 2012. It was all the confirmation I needed to drop the apostrophe in front and make the name official.

I don’t have the full picture yet, but as things unfold, I’m increasingly awed by the deliberate nature of God in orchestrating life’s events. No matter how hard scientists try – and they have tried – they are unable to fully explain the existence of earth and life through science. Earth is said to be a 1-in-700 quintillion kind of place. Our existence depends on an unlikely sequence of cosmic moments, and for the “Big Bang” to have occurred, a great many "random" events needed to unfold in the exact way they did.

My parents could’ve gone with a different suffix; I could have stayed in that evening and never met the fast-talker who inadvertently called me ‘Dania; he may not have spoken the exact way he did for the name to form the way it did…there are so many variables that had to occur in a very specific way for things to unfold in the exact way they did.

Nothing is an accident. Nothing that happens to you is.


On Repeat
Good and Loved, Travis Greene


So no matter what comes or goes
One thing that you must know
Is that I am good, you are loved


This is such a reassuring statement. Many things happen, and sometimes we wonder if there's a point to some, or even all of it. No matter what happens, we can hold these two things constant: 

1) God is good; always. 

2) God loves you; always. 

 

Through your story is my fingerprint
In the valley there is confidence
In the shadow, I will be your strength
One thing's for sure, I am your Lord


Everything that happens to you works out deliberately for your good, whether or not it feels like it at the time. 

It’s a pretty heavy assertion to make, but I’ve come to accept and trust it as true. The more I look back over the events of my life, the more I see the good that’s come out of all of them – even the dark places; especially the dark places. And even with the things I don’t yet understand, I trust that I will someday, in this life or the next.

I hope your week is filled with expressions of God's deliberate love for you.

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As always, my email's in the footer if you'd like to write me back (or just hit 'reply').

Live free,
Live free,
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Chronicles of Dania

Lagos, Nigeria

dania@chroniclesofdania.com

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