So my daughter has changed her name.
Saffron Faith, to be exact.
Pumpkin complains about her name SO MUCH and always has. Well, since she realized her name was long and took more time to write than say, her friend Eva. Clearly, Eva wins the name game. We named her after two influential people in our lives and, honestly, we wanted to honor them, of course, but we also wanted to honor the work God had done in us through our infertility journey to becoming her parents.
And not to be too Southern or anything, but we absolutely call her by both names.
We did discuss whether or not she would appreciate the name and being called both but decided, if she didn’t, she could pick one and go with it.
What we did not discuss was the possibility she would select a completely separate name altogether.
And if you’d given me 100 names to pick one from, Saffron would not even be ON THAT LIST.
Understandably, we opted to tease her mercilessly since she made the announcement.
And I will forever henceforth forever refer to her as Saffron on social media.
Pumpkin can change her name all she wants. A name change does not change her identity. She is sweet and sassy and smart and silly regardless of what name she chooses.
From Infertile to Momma…
Several years ago, during a run, Josh Wilson’s, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” was playing and I heard this lyric…
“We’ve been remade by grace
We’ve all got new names
And nothing we do could ever change
What He did that day.”
I had been listening to that song for weeks and that line had always stuck with me. I knew what my new name was…Daughter…because I was now an adopted child of the Father through the redemptive blood of Christ shed as He hung on the cross that day.
I genuinely wanted more. In my humanness, I thought, but what about the change You did through infertility? Lord, You called me. You reached out and touched me in the back of that closet, in the darkness, holding on to the end of the rope of myself. What about that moment?
Lord, did you give me a new name then?
And right there, on that darn treadmill in the middle of a sweaty gym, the Comforter said so clearly,
“Momma. I gave you the name of Momma.”
I immediately stopped and cried. Tears of joy and gratitude and repentance for not receiving the miracle of that name, my name, Momma, before that moment.
Only He can change our identity…
Once I accepted the truth of my need for a Savior and then proclaimed Jesus as my Savior at the age of eight, He changed my name from Orphan to Daughter. Scripture teaches us that fact over and over. But our names can change again when God meets us through the greatest miracles of our lives. When His work changes our identity in Him.
In our spiritual legacy, we have several examples of God changing our ancestors’ names.
Abram to Abraham.
Sarai to Sarah.
Jacob to Israel.
Saul to Paul.
Even brothers James and John, who went from being called sons of thunder (and how much of an anger management issue do you have to have for Jesus to refer to you as thunder??) to a martyr and the disciple whom Jesus loved.
What happened in all these instances? Each person encountered God.
It’s a marker stone in their lives. Before God, she was this person but after she encountered God, after He changed her identity, she became this new person with a new name.
My daughter can change her name to anything her seven-year-old mind wants but it doesn’t change who she is, it doesn’t change her identity. Right now, she’s playing what seems like a silly game but she’s stumbled on to a truth.
What we call ourselves cannot change what God has named us…
Failure. Unlovable. Dumb. Poor. Ugly. Unwanted. Addict. Infertile. Adulterer. Broken. Spoiled. Unable. Depressed. Lost.
If you think you don’t know enough scripture. If you believe you’re a bad mom. If you fear never getting married. If you’re scared you won’t be a mother. If you can not sleep for the worrying. If your child has an unexpected diagnosis. If your husband is deployed. If your mother no longer remembers who you are. If you just burned dinner and have to get fast food. If you lost everything in a disaster.
Whatever name you chose to call yourself, whatever thing you think disqualifies you from embracing your identity in Christ, you are wrong.
Friend, as we seek to build our grateful nests, we have to first tear down the wallpaper of the lies this broken world has put up around us. You are not disqualified. You are not unseen. You are not the worst label anyone has ever slapped on you.
You are who God says you are.
And you are His own.
Called, chosen, loved, co-heir to His Kingdom.
Let’s put those names, those identity defining truths on the walls of our nests. Ask God to remind us of them every minute we want to change our names back to the old labels, return to the ugly, peeling wallpaper of names.
Gratefully embrace our true identity in Christ and hang those on the walls of our nests.
They are so much prettier.
And if you want to name yourself something fun as a reminder, do it.
Just not Saffron. That’s taken.