God spends a lot of time in the Bible telling us who we are
It's almost as if He knew that we
would doubt who that was from time to time
It's as if He saw it coming that we'd spend our whole
lives searching for what our identity, what our real name was,
And that there'd be many moments in our lives
where we'd let different kinds of names define us
When we've looked in the mirror,
compared ourselves to pictures and heard the name "Ugly"
When we've been left by loved ones,
people we trusted once and heard the name "Unworthy"
When we've been drowning in discouragement,
living in a seemingly never-ending
crisis and heard the name "Forgotten"
When we've had our hopes up and our hearts open only to
be brought down by closed doors, and we've heard "Rejected"
When we look for infinite affirming love
through lesser physical fleshly versions,
When we give it away or when it was stolen and we hear "impure"
We hear "garbage"
When we go to other vices to ease our pain and we hear "addict"
We hear "forever broken"
When we feel like we're living in the shadow of
someone else's calling, and we hear "second place"
When our pain cripples us to a point where we don't
even know how to let others in, and we hear "lonely"
When our past seems too gross for
others to forgive, and we hear "disgusting"
These voices we're constantly hearing
It's suffocating, this air of constant critique and comparing
And it's sort of amazing the people
whose voices I've allowed to name me
The power I've given to my past, to my mirror,
and to my surroundings, and enabled them to identify me
The amount of years I've spent
living up to whatever others say over me
But God says something else about me
It's like He knew there would be other voices,
so He wrote His voice down in a timeless Book of truths that would
remind us over and over again in the moments when
lies would block His truths and somehow make us forget
I'm going back to the source,
not the people I've allowed to represent God to me
But the actual, literal,
tangible words that He has written down for me
And there's some other names He's given to me:
John 15:15 He calls me "friend"
1 Thessalonians 1:4 He calls me "chosen"
Ephesians 2:10 He calls me His "workmanship"
He calls me His "art"
He calls me "hand-made"
He calls me "purposed" and "fashioned for good things"
Corinthians 6:19 He calls my body "a temple"
He calls it "the residence of the Holy Spirit"
Acts 1:8 He calls me His "messenger to the world"
Galatians 3:26 He calls me His "child"
Romans 5:8 He calls me "greatly loved"
John 8:36 He calls me "free", "free indeed"
2 Corinthians 5:17 He calls me "brand new"
And it's amazing how different these names
are from the names I'm used to listening to
And in my journey to discover who I really am,
in my battle to uncover the truths of
myself, I've learned something new about my name
And now, this is what I am certain of:
my name is not the name the world calls me
My name is not the name my past calls me
My name is not even the name my own mirror calls me
But my name, my name is the name I answer to
And I can choose today from this
moment forward to answer to a new name
When I hear "lonely", that's not me
When I hear "disgusting", that's not me
When I hear "unworthy", I don't even look over my shoulder
When I hear "broken", they must have confused me
Please, look elsewhere
When I hear "ugly", "abandoned", "useless", "forgotten",
I figure someone just has to remind them maybe those were my
old names, but they're no longer the names that I respond to
My name is the name I've chosen to spend my days living up to
And if these other voices are not saying the same thing that the
truth is, I look in my mirror and I repeat
this: they have no right to be speaking to you
When you stop answering to your old
names, they stop having power over you
The names that my Father, eternity's Author,
the world's Creator has called me are the only names that I answer to
When I hear "friend of God", that's my name
"God's workmanship", that's my name
"Chosen", that's my name
"Loved, wanted, created with a purpose", that's my name
"God's temple", that's my name
"God's messenger", that's my name
"Free", that's my name
"Child of God", you must be looking for me
"Greatly loved", you must be calling for me
"Brand new", that is my name
That is the name that I respond to
The enemy has no power here
Perfect love casts out fear
And perfect love has named me and you
What is your new name?
What is stirring up inside of you when you hear
these words, that His word, that the Word has proclaimed?
What do you know is the name God is calling you?
Maybe it's not the name you grew up with
Maybe it's not the name your old friends associate you with
Maybe it's not the name that your
whole life you were used to identifying with
But it's the name you now answer to
So when the enemy tries to get to you,
it's the name you introduce yourself with
As for me, my name is "forgiven"
My name is "free"
My name is "brand new, loved, wanted, child of God,
created with a purpose", and it's been a pleasure to meet you