Thanks for all of your prayers and messages of support for us over the next few weeks and months. Thanks too for reading this blog! I realised today, it’s been nearly nine years. So to celebrate, here’s my very first post…
I’ve finally caved in. I am now ‘a blogger.’
I’ve been holding out against this for a long time. My husband’s been nagging me to blog ever since he started 3 years ago.
I’ve always called myself a Blog Widow. Not Black Widow. That’d be cool. Blog Widow. That’s up there with ‘Tupperware Party’.
Well now it’s my turn to explore the InterWeb, with my own site: A New Name. So what’s that all about?
The phrase comes from Revelation, at the very end of the bible. Jesus has a message for all these different churches. And He keeps mentioning the idea of “a name”. It’s all about how they’re known.
Some of them have “a name” for being alive and impressive, but they’re not. And some of them have real and genuine “names” – there’s a real integrity to who they are.
What are the names you want? What are the names you fear?
Imagine you accidentally overhear a conversation between friends, and they’re talking about you. What’s the worst thing they could say about you?
“Stupid”, “clumsy”, “loud”, “fat”, “ugly”, “ignorant”, “boring.” Worse?
What would you most want them to say?
“Clever”, “funny”, “beautiful”, “kind”, “musical”, “sporty”, “fun”, “godly”? What name would thrill your heart?
I’m someone who’s spent their life petrified of certain names and desperate for others. And I’ve worked my guts out trying to avoid some labels and to earn others. It’s almost killed me. Literally.
But in Revelation there’s a way out of this deadly pursuit. For one thing, Jesus makes an incredible promise to those who trust in Him. He says “I will write on them my new name.” (Rev 3:12)
You see we don’t have to settle for the names others have given us. We are not who other people say we are. But also (and this is also good news ), we’re not even what we call ourselves. When we become Christians, Jesus gives us His name and His reputation. Incredibly, we can be known – by God Himself – and given the same dignity and status as His Son.
When I married Glen, his name covered over mine. I became a Scrivener (which can be a pain as no-one knows how to spell it, especially given my impenetrable Irish pronounciation). But something much better happened when I trusted Jesus. His glorious name covered my shameful one. Before the eyes of heaven I am actually as good, spotless and beautiful as Jesus Himself. And if that’s true, then I no longer need to strive to be someone else, someone who matters.
And then there’s something more. Jesus also gives me this promise:
“I will also give them a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Rev 2:17)
This is not like the new family name that I received when I got married. This is like the pet name that’s only between me and my husband. This is having Jesus know me to the depths and tell me who I most truly am.
Jesus’ new name written on us is about our new status (like a surname). Our new name on the white stone is about the intimacy of being known by Jesus (like a pet name).
We don’t find our true selves by becoming self-made men and women. And we’re not at the mercy of other people’s opinions. We receive our true identities from Jesus. Both the status and the personal name.
And when we live out of Christ’s identity given to us, the striving can end and we can be who we’re meant to be. That’s the theory anyway. And I’m slowly getting the hang of it!
What are the names you’ve been given in life? Do you have a sense of your new name?