Have you ever asked God what your name is? Yes, I know you know your name, but not that one, not the name your mom gave you, but the name your Heavenly Father calls you by. I had a Bible study leader years ago who taught on this one time. She told us that we should take the time to ask God what His name is for us...For me. Well, I asked, and asked… and asked. Months went by before I heard the name. This word just popped into my head, and I knew in an instant that this was my name. See how that works? I already knew my name because I recognized it. I KNEW this was my name.
What happened after I realized what my name was surprised me. I was angry that I had to be the one who had this name! Why me? Really? You are REALLY calling ME by that name? UGH! I was angry and resistant to this name for years. YEARS!
Yes, that’s my name (don’t wear it out – no really, PLEASE don’t wear it out!) Do you see now why I pitched such a fit? I knew what this meant. It meant that I was going to have to be strong at some point in my life. That I was going to have to endure something difficult, something that I didn’t want to face, and sure enough, IT happened! Sparing you all of the ugly details, let’s just say that my world came crashing down, and it crashed, and crashed, and crashed for over 7 years! There were days that I just laughed every time I remembered my name. There were days that I cried, knowing that I would have to be strong for yet another day. There were days where I was so angry that it was me who had to be strong that I shook my hands at God asking, “Why me?”
But now that my season is changing, I am looking back and realizing that had I not had the name that I have, been who God made me to be, I seriously might not have made it through that season.
I was still not thrilled about my name until recently. It was Super Bowl Sunday, and our pastor was preaching on values. He said that in God’s economy strength is found in surrender. Wait, what? It was all I could do to stay in my seat that day! (No offense Pastor Phil.) I wanted to run out of there so that I could be alone and just think about this… strength found in surrender. I felt the anger and the pressure of me feeling like I had to carry all of this alone peel away. I literally started to feel lighter as I realized that it was not my strength that got me through the hard times. It was my surrender, my surrender to Him. Okay, so I’m a slow learner, and it took 7 years to begin to surrender, but hey, what can I say? I’m a stupid human!
My name hasn’t changed, but my perspective has. My name may be Strong, but it really isn’t MY strength. It takes strength to surrender to the one who will carry me, the one whom I lean into when hard times come. It’s His strength that will carry me to the other side – if I use my strength to surrender to Him.
Melane Sibley is a self-employed bookkeeper. She is a board member and the CFO of Church 4 Chicks. She is a mother of 7 (okay two are actually kids, and the rest are 4 cats and 1 dog). She has been married to her best friend Scott for 21 years, attends Tapestry Community Church, and is a huge UGA fan. Go Dawgs! A native Georgian, “Hey Y’all”, she loves fabric and quilting. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.