Wendy Jane Victoria is my fourth beautiful daughter, but the only one with three given names. When I was young, my favorite novel was Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery. I was never terribly fond of the Anne stories, but this book, and especially its heroine, captured my heart. And I promised myself that someday when I had a little girl I would name her “Jane Victoria.” Sadly, when I started having daughters, my husband was adamant that they would not be named “Jane,” a name which he disliked for some reason. Finally, when our fourth daughter was born, he relented, on the condition that our new daughter would have another first name. And so she became “Wendy Jane Victoria.”
“Wendy” is of course the name of the heroine of the Peter Pan story, and it is said that the author, J.M. Barrie, may have derived the name from the phrase “friendy-wendy,” used by a child Barrie knew in the 1890s. If this is true, it turns out that “Wendy” is an excellent name for our Wendy Jane Victoria, who from her youngest days has been a very loyal friend. In the Peter Pan story, Wendy is noted for her mothering of the Lost Boys, and this also been true of my daughter. While in the earliest grades of school, Wendy Jane Victoria took a little boy, who had lost his mother to cancer, under her wing, and amazingly gave him a good deal of the “mother love” he needed so badly. Over the years, she has continued to strike up friendships with others, boys and girls alike, whom she notices are lonely or rejected, and encourages and stands by them. She does not back down either, if others make fun of her for “hanging out with rejects” as they so uncaringly think of those who are different from themselves.
“Jane Victoria,” in the novel mentioned, is a young girl who finds her self living in a situation where she is expected to live up to certain class and cultural expectations. She, however, finds that she cannot accept the snobbish attitudes toward those outside her social class, and horrifies her very proper upper-class grandmother by befriending a servant-girl, and by not easily accepting the expected mannerisms, dress, and education of a proper young lady of her day. She has a very strong sense of justice and equality, and stands up for these causes in practical ways, even when she is punished and rejected for her stand. Like the heroine of the novel, my daughter, Wendy Jane Victoria, is also independently minded, and refuses to back down from what she believes in. Like her namesake in the novel, she too makes independent choices in her dress, her education, and in the friends she makes. She, too, has a strong sense of right and justice, and is not easily influenced by those who would draw her away from her beliefs.
Wendy Jane Victoria also lives up to the traditional meanings of her second and third names. “Jane” is the feminine form of the name “John,” which means “the Lord is gracious.” Certainly the Lord has been gracious to us in giving us Wendy. After my third daughter, I had lost a much-anticipated child by miscarriage, and was in great sorrow. Yet the Lord graciously granted us another baby soon after our loss, and brought me emotional and spiritual healing, as He used the song, “He poured in the oil and the wine, the kind that restoreth my soul; He found me bleeding and dying by the Jericho road, and He poured in the oil and the wine,” to lift my eyes from my despair and turn to the Lord for comfort. Then suddenly, at about 25 weeks of pregnancy, I had ruptured membranes, and had to be medivaced far from home. The doctors took me into the preemie nursery to prepare me by showing me the tiny preemie babies, and they were even concerned that I would lose this baby too. Yet still the Lord was with me, and with my baby, answering the prayers of many friends and family. Miraculously, I carried the baby to full-term pregnancy, and even a bit overdue! And so the Lord graciously granted us a fourth beautiful, healthy baby daughter. Also, the name “Victoria” means victory or conqueror. And when I think of Wendy, I am grateful to God for the victory He provides in our lives, as He conquers the attempts of the enemy to give in to despair and take our eyes off our gracious Lord. Every day, I am so grateful to God for our beautiful fourth daughter, Wendy Jane Victoria!
Date: May 20, 2007