Being called Peter… I mean Peta.

So, speaking from experience…. Names can be really important.

I’ve blogged about my rather confusing name situation before, but today’s blog merits a quick recap.

I feel like I have particularly relevant experience in this area, stemming from the highly-crucial-and-deeprooted fact that… I am a girl. With a boy’s name.

Go figure.

Now, I know on paper, it looks a bit clearer… ‘Peta’ obviously (or not so obviously?) isn’t ‘Peter’… But, truthfully, you pronounce my name almost identically to the boy’s name. And it causes massive confusion wherever I go. It always has. And I think, it perhaps always will. Especially in Japan.

I quite like the confusion to be honest. I think it makes for a really good ice breaker, and it means that the kids and young people you speak to in lessons and school assemblies never-ever-ever forget you, (even if it’s just the.. ‘Oh, you’re that girl with a boy’s name…’).

It also leads to some pretty humorous and illustration worthy conversations.

Here are some of my favourite examples from the last 29 years:
When I was 5 years old at a friend’s birthday party:
‘Oh, you’re a girl… I thought… Oh, never mind… I’m afraid you’ll have to have a party bag for a little boy… Because… Oh dear…’ (My friend’s Mum).

Being taken to the school disco by a male friend aged 12ish:
My friend: Mum, I’m taking my friend Pete to the school disco.
His Mum: WHAT?!?!
My friend: Oh, no, I mean, she’s a girl… called Pete…

Meeting a new friend for the second time aged 20:
‘Oh hi Paul… Oh no, it’s not Paul is it? Sorry, I just remembered you had a boy’s name beginning with ‘P’!’ (My friend… Who did continue to be, even after this :))

In Japan last year, speaking at a church in Tokyo:
‘Pizza? You’re named after the food? Pizza? No? Is it pronounced like Peeka? Like the character from Pokemon?’ (The church pastor)

As a manager, in an audit meeting with a very important inspector:
Me: Hi, I’m Peta, it’s nice to meet you… (hand-shake)…
Inspector: Oh hi Katie, it’s really great to meet you.
Me: No… That’s not my name…
Seriously. These are but a few of my real-life experiences. It probably doesn’t help that my name very quickly gets abbreviated to ‘Pete’ by those closest to me. Which really isn’t an easy one to differentiate. For anyone.

But here’s why my name’s relevant for today’s blog.
I was thinking about how I often relate to my Biblical namesake, Peter.

(The one who was given that particular boy’s name by Jesus, because it meant ‘rock).

I mean, I love the stories of Peter in the Bible so, so, much because I can often place myself directly in them, making exactly the same mistakes, but Jesus loving me anyway.

Like Peter, who makes this beautiful, bold declaration of knowing who Jesus is and believing Him to be Lord… And is then ferociously rebuked a chapter later in another conversation for being completely wrong about something so important.

Like Peter, who is so zealous that he draws a sword to fight for Jesus, but then denies him three times before the night is out.

Like Peter, who has the faith to walk on water… momentarily. But not for long.

Like Peter, who Jesus called the ‘rock’ and didn’t make a mistake in calling the ‘rock’ even when every, single, tiny thing in his behaviour showed him to be completely UN-rock-like.

Because I think, not just those of us named after Peter, but all of us, can really relate to Peter in our behaviour and our choices and our lives.

It brings me super-large-amounts of hope about what the Holy Spirit can do in me. In you. In us.

I was thinking this today because I was listening to Misty Edwards new album, ‘Little Bird’. It’s a stunningly beautiful album, and she writes this song called ‘Killing me with Mercy’ from the perspective of Peter.

It’s so incredibly beautiful.

So in relating to Peter, let’s also make this our prayer of restoration in a God who loves us to the end.

What are You doing Lord, kneeling in front of me?
I feel indignant Lord, that You’d ever wash my feet
I’ll never let You see the dark and dirty
It’s just too much for me
I know who You are, and I know where I have been
It offends me Lord, that Your knees are bent
I’d rather You be strong and make me pay
But this is too much for me

You’re killing me with mercy, I can’t breath
You’re wrecking me with Your kindness, I can’t receive
What am I supposed to do with a God so humble?
It’s breaking me
It’s crushing me

I’d draw a sword for You, I said I’d fight unto the death
I’d lose it all for You, I swore I’m not like the rest
But then the cock crows and I’ve let You down
I can’t face You now… I can’t face You now

I’m a fragile stone,
I’m a vow that’s broken,
I’m a rock that’s crumbled at Your feet
But You still want me
You say my love is real, though my love is weak
You still believe, the vows I make, I break, I make, I break
You still want me

You’re killing me with mercy, I can’t breath
You’re wrecking me with Your kindness, I can’t receive
What am I supposed to do with a God so humble?
It’s breaking me
I’ll just believe
And let You love me

Words and music by Misty Edwards © 2014 Misty Edwards Music [ASCAP] & Forerunner Worship [ASCAP], a division of Friends of the Bridegroom, Inc. (admin. by Music Services). All rights reserved.



2 thoughts on “Being called Peter… I mean Peta.

  1. Aw Peta, we love you! :o) I’ve just spent the last 20mins listening to Misty Edwards on U-Tube, amazing!…& I love your flowery bible on your beautiful pic! Where did you get it, I love the butterfly :o) x

    1. Hey sweet friend! I actually made my Bible cover… So it’s just a message Bible with a scrap paper cover sticky-back-plastic-ed over the top 😉 You would definitely love Misty Edwards! Her lyrics are beautiful! Love you!! ❤

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