Were you ever asked about your name and suddenly went completely blank – as though you forgot your own name? Well, that kind of happened to me once. After publishing my book, I was hosted on a Christian live TV show. Of course I was having the jitters just thinking about being on live TV where nothing could be edited. That morning, I got to the building where the show was about to take place, and there the receptionist requested that I spell my name for her. I am telling you, the moment she spoke, my brain froze!! I stared back at her as she repeated the question. And I was like, “Mehh… Me..hehe “. I was attempting to spell ” M I C H A L. Thankfully, that moment was not broadcasted live!
Seriously now, our name is the one thing we can count on remembering daily, right? Your name is a big deal; it represents who you are. Names are such a big deal that long ago, when a nation invaded another nation, they would exile the people out of their land and give them NEW names. The purpose behind that was to make them forget who they were. Kind of like wiping their identity in hopes of enforcing loyalty toward the new country and its gods.
One of the best examples in the Bible about this would be Daniel. Daniel was exiled from Israel to Babylon with other young Hebrew men to serve in the courts of the king of Babylon. There they were given new names which reflected subjection to the gods of Babylon. Such a sneaky way to brain wash those Hebrew boys. They were targeting their identities.
This is very similar to the days we live in. You see, ever since sin entered the world; our souls ache to know who we truly are. And every thing around us aims to reshape our identity. We live in a world that defies us at every turn, you hear the words “Discover yourself.. Learn who you are..”. We find ourselves in search for our true worth and significance; at every age, in every thing we do. Our search takes a lot of shapes and forms.
At times we seek people’s affirmation and approval , we jump into relationships in hopes of feeling loved and valued. We work hard to earn high positions and careers that give us status among our peers. We post pictures on Facebook or Instagram in hopes of getting a big dose of affirmation… Several roads we take but the purpose is one. Does any of this sound familiar to you? It does to me …
Growing up I wasn’t exactly a popular girl in school. In fact, I felt invisible and less than ordinary. I remember sitting in my bed one winter night, reading my Bible. And I got to Psalm 45:13 that says, “In her chamber, the king’s daughter is glorious; her clothing is embroidered with gold thread”. That moment I looked at the teddy bear Pajamas I was wearing, definitely not embroidered with gold thread. I looked around at my messy, tiny, and humble bedroom located in one of the least favorable areas in the country. Despite my modest surroundings, I felt those words were being spoken of me! It was one of those beautiful “God Moments”. I could almost feel God -the King of all the earth- filling my heart with unspeakable joy. He put such certainty in my heart that I am the daughter of the King. That’s what I’ve always been and what I will always be.
I don’t know what you’re doing right now in search for your identity. But I want to tell you; nothing you do can make you discover yourself, or your true worth. Not money, nor a husband, not even winning the noble prize. Your identity was never lost, you’ve just been looking in the wrong place. Long ago, the Lord has declared “You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you” says God (Isaiah 43:4). If we don’t learn to find ourselves here in these words, in this truth; then we never will.
My challenge for you and me these coming weeks is to stop striving and accept this truth. Live in it. Proclaim it daily on your life. Search your Bible and see what God says about you. Make a list; hang it on the fridge or the dresser. Remind yourself. MY friend, your identity was never lost. Reclaim it, today! The moment you realize your true worth, you can step out and do what you need to do in confidence. Not because you’re trying to find who you are, but because you already know.
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For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad.