I’ve been thinking a lot about names lately. We’re all given a name when we are born – some cultures hold ceremonies and have great traditions surrounding the naming of a baby, others just put a name on a certificate. Some parents choose their baby’s name as they race to the hospital (someone needs to ask my father in law about that!), and some parents agonize over every nuance of their child’s name.
God had a habit of changing people’s names in the Bible. Abram became Abraham – Sarai was changed to Sarah. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, and later Saul became Paul. All very significant in the life of the name-bearer.
My dear sweet amazing “mother in love” got to meet Jesus face to face last week. Her name was Karen. But she had another name – a name hundreds of beautiful brown skinned young people called her – “Mama Hutch”. She’s carried that name for years – it embodies her so well. A Mama to hundreds who don’t have mothers to go to. I asked my husband, Brad, where she got that name. He can’t remember. It just seems like it’s always been. It’s who she was.
I have a nephew named Sam. He is 4 – and he likes to choose his own name. Sam is cool – the names he chooses always start with “Awesome”. A few months ago he was “Awesome Ninja”. A couple weeks ago it was “Awesome Iron Man”. We never know what his name will be – but we know it will start with “Awesome”.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. What if we introduced ourselves to everyone we met as “Awesome ______”?! “Hello – my name is Awesome Sara!” My name means ‘Princess’ – so I guess I could go with “Awesome Princess”! I giggle a little thinking about it – but I wonder – what would the impact be? Would we begin to feel differently about ourselves? Would others think about us differently – even treat us differently?
What if we really did it? Had the audacity to claim our true names – the ones Jesus gave us? He made us, you know – wouldn’t He have the best names picked out for us?
Try some of these on for size. Some of them take great boldness to believe that it could be true. Some make me feel like a little girl trying on my mama’s high heels and wobbling around the kitchen.
But don’t take it off just because it feels strange – grow into it! This is your name – wear it with all you’ve got!
- Treasured Possession – Dt. 7:6
- God’s chosen one, holy and beloved – Col 3:12
- Friend – John 15:15
- The Apple of His eye – Ps 17:8
- His son! His daughter! – 2 Co 6:18
- Chosen – Eph 1:4
- Masterpiece – Eph 2:10
- Crown of Splendor – Is 62:3
- Repairer – Restorer – Is 58:12
- Beloved – Song of Songs 2:16
- Saint – 1 Co 1:2
- Temple of the Holy Spirit – 1 Co 6:19
- Righteousness – 2 Co 5:21
- Set Free!!! – Gal 5:1
- Forgiven – Eph 1:7
- Citizen of heaven – Phil 3:20
- Overcomer – Rom 8:37
- Accepted – Rom 15:7
So live today bravely – boldly – fervently claiming the name your Creator calls you! And while you’re at it, introduce yourself to a few people as “Awesome Ninja” !