“You will be called by a new name that the Lord himself will give you.”
WE are all born with a name. A given name. Something that our parents gave us.
There is a meaning in that name, an identity. We are known by that our entire lives. Sometimes it is a blessing and other times a curse. That name that we sometimes try and distance ourselves from, runaway from, leave behind.
Many of us, in fact all of us at one time or another have tried to reinvent ourselves, but for our name. Our names stick like a thick gelatenous honey, unable to separate from our souls. We try over and over again to be or do something new, all the while “stuck” with a name that no longer serves us, or chains and binds us to the person that we were before- a different person, one we may no longer recognize.
We can try and change our appearance, our style of dress, our living situation, even our friends. Many of us may go even further than that in a desparate attempt to shake ourselves from our names.
Names are indentities. They are stamps, marks on our soul. They define us, remain with us and cannot be shaken off, no matter how hard we try.
So how is it that we reinvent ourselves?
I for one am someone who has tried to do this. Reaching externally to try and distance myself from an identity that no longer served me. But this proved impossible and binding, and the further I went to reach for the external world, the further I sank in the mire.
The desire to change the external is a good indication that we are reaching for God without even knowing it. Trying to change something that we simply cannot change on our own- our souls, the essence of who we are.
And in trying so hard to change ourselves and our identities, we find that we become even more lost, wading in a world of uncertainity, more desperate for change, groping, wanting for something more…
But the need for a new identity is wholly internal. We remain the same as God created us, but changed. Instead asking God to change those parts of us that we created to please other people, to please the world.
That absolute restlessness is a desperate cry to be loved and accepted for who we are . But we are writhing and screaming in the wrong arena. While the world’s arena will swallow us and force us to be something that we are not, God’s arena will not. When we allow our maker to reshape us, to bestow on us a new identity, we win, we find truth. Because outside of God’s economy, we live in a world of chaos and disorder. We are unaware of truth. We are unaware of ourselves.
For those of you suffering and writhing to change, to find your true identity, to garner a new name, stop running. Stop trying to change on your own. Sit still and listen to that inner voice, the voice which is other worldly, the one that is not coming from yourself…
Or reach out for help- from a therapist, pastor, spiritual counselor or advisor or someone else that you feel comfortable speaking with and trust.
Do not let your pain festor to the point of danger.
Know that you are not alone. So many of us are here, have walked this journey or are walking it.
And that makes us an army.