What's in a name?

Names. We've all got one. We see them everywhere... they all represent something: a brand, a flavor, an event, a memory.

You know how you've always loved the name____, because you've met a person with the same name who has in some way made a pleasant impression on you, and how you strongly dislike the name ____ because, well, you knew someone by that name and they weren't the highlight of your life.

What's your real name? I mean, really. I go by a name, but I've got dozens of handles that could be associated with it. You know: wife, lover, mom, booboo kisser, interior decorater, cook, friend... the list could be endless. Others name us. Others know us by name. But only God knows our real name.

Our name is our identity. We love to hear someone say our name. To win a friend or influence a person, they tell us to say someone's name a minimum of 3 times in a conversation. You want to go where everybody knows your name...we want to be noticed, known and enjoyed. We desire a powerful name, one of influence.

I am between names. As a child of my parents I have been named, but as a child of God I also have a name. Because I seek God I will one day be given a new name in a moment of tender intimacy. He will call me by a name that only He and I will know. No one will whisper that name to me but my Divine Lover. But for now I am between names... I know my name; but I don't know what my new name will be.

Because I do not know what my name will be, I am on a journey of discovery of something I don't yet know but have already received. I want to live out the story God has written for me and discover in doing so, what His name for me may contain. Even when I am confident about the path that I walk and the mission I am to live, an ache compels me to keep my eyes open for more clues, for signs that whisper a name I have not yet heard.

We often lose the voice that speaks of clues to our name due to the stories and names we aquire from our earthly surroundings. A child is highly intelligent and doesn't do well in a quiet classroom, he's got the brain of Einstein but the seating capacity of an army ant. He's labeled ADD or ADHD. 20 years later on the job, he can't handle a situation, so he pulls out his "name". It's been attached to him for so long, he's absorbed that name into himself; working his world around him to suit his name. But this name is not true to the name he is given by His God.

A woman is used and abused. She believes her name is "not beautiful", " a voice that should be seen, but never heard". She used to believe her name was worth fighting for, worth value to at least one. But she has been called by a label, and whenever her name is mentioned it is in hushed tones... you must never speak of these names in public. They reveal too many secrets, past hurts, circumstances swept under the rug in exchange for a good reputation. But this is not her name. She has a name worth more than man's approval.

Some of us hide our names/labels. Oh sure, people in our past have glimpsed them, but we must never reveal them in our future. The ultimatum: if I reveal my name, you must relate to me as my name implies. Or that's what we believe.

How about if we put on a different set of glasses. How about if we reveal our names, allow God to speak parts of our true names over us, and use our past names to walk into healing with someone else who has been called by that name as well. Clear the air. Go from denial to denying that name's power over us. Then use those past names as building blocks to healing in someone's life who has shared the same name.

I have called you by name. You are mine. (Is.43:1)