I really like the name Clara. If I had been given a choice, I would have picked Clara as my name. (Hence the blog name, just in case you were curious). It means bright or clear.

我的名字是珏慧。[My name is Jue Hui]

珏 [precious stone; similar to jade] The first character in my name is to commemorate my mother.

Freshmen year high school, I pointed out a girl I found extremely pretty in the yearbook to my mother. “Isn’t she beautiful?” I would marvel to her. My mother scoffed at me. “She is nothing. I was ten times more beautiful than her.” At that, my jaw dropped; I couldn’t believe the audacity my mother had to say that about herself. When I showed my dad the same picture, he had the same reaction. He told me that my mother was the most beautiful girl in the whole school, with such conviction in his voice that it stumped me. “It’s a subjective opinion; you can’t say it like it’s a truth” I argued with him. He gave me a look and shook his head.

“You don’t know what beauty is.”

Later, I would rummage through our closest for old pictures of my ma. Upon seeing her 19 year old face for myself, I would silently agree with my father that no other girl could compare.

慧 [wise; intelligent; discerning] The second character in my name is to commemorate my father.

I always wonder how my parents ended up together. Why? It just doesn’t make any sense. My mother was beautiful. Every guy in college wanted to date her.

My dad? He rocked the afro. He struggled with acne. He had glasses half the size of his face, thicker than his eyebrows. He was a bean pole with hardly any meat on his bones. I laughed when I saw an old picture of my dad and with no mercy in my words, I asked him how in the world he managed to snag my ma.

“Smart was the sexy back then,” he told me with a huge smile on his face, pride dripping off every word.

My parents (like many other Chinese parents) named my brother and I according to what they hoped for us in the future. The two characters they gave each of us were their blessings to us; their hopes and dreams for us to grow into.

I don’t quite live up to my name. I am not beautiful like my mother; (sadly, I take after my father in appearance) I could probably only pass as average at best. Neither am I intelligent like my father; (unfortunately, I take after my mother in that aspect) I can barely satisfy asian standards.

But, despite the discrepancy between my name and person, I treasure the name my parents have given me. It is their hope and blessing for me; I will wear it well.

Furthermore, while I may not be able to enjoy the blessings of my parents, I know for certain that I will receive the blessings of my Father in heaven. I trust what He tells me; I will not covet anymore than I already have. After all;

[1 Samuel 16:7] Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

[1 Corinthians 1:25] For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.

I asked my dad one day why he picked Rebecca as my English name. I wondered if he particularly liked the story of Rebecca in the bible, if something about her character struck him, etc. He gave me the most unsatisfactory answer.

“I just liked the sound of it.”

My name is Rebecca.

Rebecca [tied up; knotted cord; wife of Isaac; mother of Jacob]