My sister shared this song with me years ago that I will not forget. When she first sang it to me, I knew the Lord was speaking the words to my heart, but I had no idea how long the valley would be through which He would guide me. The song brings to mind the Sunday School lessons of Abram, Sarai, Jacob, and Saul as I contemplate my own name change, which Isaiah prophesied would be “My delight is in her”.
I will change your name. You shall no longer be called “Wounded”, “Outcast”, “Lonely”, or “Afraid”.
I will change your name, your new name shall be “Confidence”, “Joyfulness”, “Overcoming one”; “Faithfulness”, “Friend of God”, one who seeks My face.
I wanted so badly at that point to have my name changed. I wanted to see myself as God saw me; confident, full of joy, faithful, instead of how I felt others saw me, and how I was beginning to view myself; easily intimidated, afraid of confrontation or correction, and alone. Life continued on, and I remembered this song, but didn’t know what to do with it anymore, it seemed like my name was just my name, and that this song wasn’t for me.
That was all years ago. Then, this week, in an effort to reconnect with my long forgotten blog, I found a post I had started titled “A New Name” with the following excerpt from Scripture:
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
2 The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”;
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”
And your land, “Married”;
For the LORD delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
12 And they will call them, “The holy people,
The redeemed of the LORD”;
And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”
Of course it brought to mind the song, and all the old thoughts I had about who I am, how I see myself, and how God sees me. I felt that God was going to teach me about this, so I went on a bunny trail of looking up my first and middle names, to see what they mean. I already knew that my first name meant “beautiful” in Spanish…I had a Spanish kindergarten teacher who told me so. I looked up my middle name, and there are two meanings; The first is “Lively One”, but the second is from a variant of the Hebrew name “Abigail”, which means “Father’s joy”, or “gives joy”…and when I saw it, I literally was brought to tears…because, look…see for yourself verses 3 and 4.
It says that I will be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord…and I will be called “my delight is in her” (Father’s joy?)
…that’s already my name! I have been called “beautiful joy of the Father” even before I was born and named so by my earthly parents. I have not always responded positively or rightly to those names given me. I have believed that who I am is connected to how others see me, or as I see myself, instead of how God sees me. Believing the enemy’s lie, I have worn his counterfeit name tags “Unattractive”, “Wounded”, “Afraid”, and “Loser”, instead of the truth.
Maybe God is not changing my name in the way that He did for Abram and Sarai, Jacob or Saul…maybe for me, God is changing the lies I have believed about who I am, and what I aim to accomplish. Maybe it’s not about changing my given name at all. Maybe He is removing the name tags that I have chosen to wear, and giving me His…the name He already gave me, so that I can also be called “Redeemed”.