I’ve always felt a sort of disconnect from my name. My last name is ugly. That’s about as plain as I can put it. It’s hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and hard for other people to read. Sometime that’s funny, like when telemarketers try to call. But it can wear on you after having to explain it to say, all the employees of your new workplace.
I’ve never felt that my name was indicative of who I am.
Do most people feel that way? Maybe I’m the only one, but to me my name, the one I was born with, is nothing more than an odd-sounding identification number, that I’ve trained myself to answer to when needed.
I’d heard about Native American tribes where people got to basically choose a name that fit them when they became an adult. I thought that kind of thing would really help me when I was younger. And there’s plenty of people who “go by” something other than their legal name — a nickname, initials, or a middle name.
But recently, I changed my name. I finally rid myself of the last name that’s been bothering me for so long, and picked one that I really loved, that had special meaning behind it. And you know what? It still doesn’t mesh with my idea of me, of who I am.
Because that’s what this is really all about. We change our names or nicknames because we want something that we identify with, that says who we really are, or at least who we want other people to think we are. When people think of my name, they think of me, so I want it to represent me as well as it can. Which leads me to what I think the problem is:
I don’t really know who I am.
Well, I have a pretty good idea, I think. But I’m not sure it’s possible to truly, totally know yourself, at least not on Earth. And that’s why I can’t find my true name.
But guess what? (And this is why I’m rambling about all this.) God already named me. I was looking at some of the rewards mentioned in the beginning of Revelation (where Jesus is talking to the churches), and one is a white rock with your name on it — your real, true name that God gave you when you were first created. People have thought of all kinds of reasons why this might matter — magicians have talked about the power of someone’s true name, etc — but to me, the point is simple and clear.
God knows you. And what’s great is, He’ll help you know yourself, as you really are. How cool is that?