The name my parents gave me is “Lauren”. The name my nephews call me is “Aunt Lo”. My husband usually calls me “babe”. All these names for one little me signify relationship, love, and a deep connection. I treasure the sound of hearing my name called out in love from my family and friends. How much more beautiful is the name my heavenly father calls me: Daughter.
When I think of all the names the Lord called his children: chosen, anointed, uniquely created, strong, forgiven, the one that most deeply touches my heart is that I am His. God adopted me into his family, allows me to experience unending grace, and now calls me daughter. I can never lose Him. His love is without end.
Even with the knowledge of my permanent bond to the God of the universe, I name myself in relation to temporary circumstances or worldly perspectives. In much the same way Naomi, (meaning pleasant) renamed herself Mara (meaning bitter) as a reaction to her circumstances (Ruth 1:20), I change my name tied to love into one of self-shame. When I fail, I call myself stupid. When I am the object of teasing, I call myself “too fat,” “too skinny,” “too fill in the blank.” When I run out of money I become poor, broke, or unsuccessful. Whether the origin of circumstance is due to my own lack of effort, the intentions of another, or the position The Lord has put me in, I change the way I refer to myself. I don’t believe this reflects a faithful spirit because I don’t believe my name ever changes with the one who matters most. According to the Gospel, I can (and will) sin and even receive punishment without losing the title Child of God. The Lord loved us so much that he sent his son to die a tragic death for our salvation. Who am I to call a divine creation (me & you, because that’s what we humans are) a mistake or unworthy or ugly?
The choices of man can turn into sin and sin deserves to be named, but the name of a Christian never changes from one who belongs to The Lord.
God is sovereign over my sin, my good works, my position in life, my career, my health, and everything in between. It is time for me to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over my name. I am His. I am covered in grace. I am beautiful. My heart feels buoyant just penning these words. How much more fearless and sacrificial would I be if I believed them everyday? Only God knows, and I hope to find out too.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear son.” Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT)