As some of you may know, this year I moved into a house known as “Big Blue” with four of the most incredible women. They have all lived there for a year, some even longer before I came along. This means a lot of the house was already settled; the furniture was arranged, the selves in the pantry were assigned, and pictures were hung. Moving into a house that was already set up was a big blessing for the most part. My roomates had gone before me and put all the pieces together so I really just had to move my things into my room. However, there was one part that I wish I could rearrange and be a part of…
In the hallway of the living room is a large wooden wall that has four black picture frames hung straight across. Each frame contains a white print barring bold, black cursive lettering of new names.
The four beautiful new names are for each of the girls in Big Blue: “Beloved”, “Light”, “Worthy” and “Chosen”.
If you don’t know what a “new name” is get ready to learn the most beautiful concept ever. In the bible, God tell us on multiple occasions that as His children, He has a name for us.
“The nations shall seen your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.” Isaiah 62:2
There are also several occasions in The Bible in which God actually gives His people new names.
Simon >>> Peter
Sarai >>> Sarah
Abram >>> Abraham
Just like how our parents named us when we were born into this earthly world. When we said “yes” to God for the first time and were born into His Kingdom, God gave us a name.
Your new name can be anything at all that you feel like God whispers to you in the depths of your soul. Your new name is a word that you long to hear, the name that makes you feel loved, important, deserving, free and beautiful.
Your old name is what you think of yourself on your worst days. Your old name is your deepest insecurity. Your old name is what a bully would say to you. Your old name is a word that cuts deep when you hear it, wrapped up in shame, fear, dirtiness, guilt, falsity, ugliness, and darkness.
For me, the old name I live out is lonely. Somewhere in my life between events, relationships and voices, I have convinced myself that I am not good enough, that I am everyone’s last option, that I am forgotten and overall useless. It’s the word that the enemy uses to make me feel undeserving and unloved by God and His people. It’s the word that makes me think things that are not true about myself and out of disbelief makes me feel completely depressed and isolated.
Have you ever heard the saying that you are your own worst enemy? That’s what your old name is all about. We live out the name we most believe to be true about ourselves. The Good News is, Jesus died so we don’t have to be who we used to be anymore.
When Jesus was on the cross, your old name was written on his body whether it is ugly, unworthy, forgotten, dirty, broken, lonely, or unfixable. He bared it all so that we could say goodbye to our old life and put on new skin.
Our sin and old names left a crimson stain and He washed it white as snow so that we too can be made new and given a whole new life and new name.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s like God is handing you a ‘Hello, my names is___’ sticker, then looks you in the eye and says ‘You are no longer_____, your new name is ______ and this is how you will be known/called.’
Everyday that I walked up and down the hallway I would glance up at the prints and smile. Being able to see my roommates how God sees them is such an incredible gift.
However, part of me would ache for my new name to be written up on the wall. A bold declaration of who I am for all to see. But, after a few months I became used to just the four prints on the wall and didn’t think much about it until one day… I was walking past the hallway and there was something different about the wall that caught my eye. I looked up to find five prints on the wall. The new addition read “Bride”.
I collapsed into tears. Big, uncontrollable, sloppy tears poured down my face. My roommates made me a print of my new name and hung it on the wall.
Looking back, I think there were a lot of reasons why I had such an emotional reaction. Mostly, I think it was for the first time someone recognized me by my new name. Affirmation, especially by the people who know you most is the best feeling. It sets a foundation that supports and encourages you by acknowledging who you are really are at the end of the day.
Its as if they looked at me and instead of seeing “lonely,” all they saw was “bride.” Then, they took the time to buy the materials for the print, painted it and hung it up as the best surprise. Its as if they all collaborated as a group and said ‘this is who lives here and this is who she is.’
I have never felt so loved, accepted and seen not as who I used to be, but how God sees me. He calls me his Bride because as a woman it is the upmost, desired title. It’s as if God sought me out as the most beautiful and lovely woman and then choose me to be worthy of His love and affection for the rest of eternity.
Writings on the wall.