Open When You Need a New Name

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Sometimes, I’m thankful for my unique name.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes I love the instant conversation starter and sometimes I I grow weary of the questions about my nationality, the origin of my name, the correct spelling, the insinuation that I’m somehow more interesting than most because my name is different.

Sometimes I feel exactly like Daysha and Chantel:

(funny aside, spell check is going all catywompus with this post: UNIQUE NAMES CAUSE ALL THE RED SWIGGLY LINES!)
I have experienced all the struggle of having a unique name including one not mentioned:  My name has no meaning.  The name “Osheta” is a combination of my father’s past and his future hopes and yet, it doesn’t reflect me at all.  So I’ve carried the burden of creating a new meaning for this very different name.
Since I didn’t have baby books and bible characters to tell me my name’s meaning, I looked to my family to craft the etymology of “Osheta”.
When I was five and noticed my mama didn’t have a ring on her finger,  I paid close attention to my older brother.  Occasionally he’d scowl in my direction, sneer when he said my name, called at me with such a derision, I wondered, “Why doesn’t my own brother love me?” I soon found out when I heard him yelling at our father, “You brought that woman and her child into our lives.  She shouldn’t be here.  She ruined our family dad!  You ruined our family by cheating on Ma.”
My mama was the “other woman” and my brother, my half-brother blamed me for his broken family. To my little five year old mind, this made complete sense.  I was the first child of the affair.  The pregnancy that bore me, ushered in betrayal and grief for an unsuspecting family.  Mistake.  Unplanned.  Sinful.  The very knitting together of my heart and bones in my mother’s womb was wrong.  At least, that’s what I thought.

And when I called myself, “Mistake” my little five, six, seven, eight, nine and all the way to thirteen year old self acted like a mistake— I lived into that name.  I all klutzy and akimbo. Stutters and shyness. Quiet and unsure.

Then an older woman at church noticed me studying the Bible, asking honest questions, praying loudly, trying to get the God who specializes in brokenness restoration  to notice me so  she sat me down and said, “Osheta, I see you. You are anointed by God.  I’ve noticed you really love him and you’re not afraid to seek him.  You are anointed.  You will do great things for him.  I’m sure of it!”

Anointed.  No longer a mistake.  No longer unplanned.  No longer sinful.  Like the prophet coming to unlikely David and anointing him king, I felt like God sent that teacher specifically to call me to live into my new name.  Anointed.

And when I called myself, my thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, all the way to  eighteen year old self, “anointed”—I lived into that name.  I was all brave words and bible studies.  Worship gatherings and leadership workshops.  Prayers at the poles and prayer language at the altar.
So today, my Lovelies!  What names are you calling yourself?  What meanings are you attaching to your name?  Who are you letting craft the etymology of your “Sarah”, “Alison”, “Abby”, “Jessica”, or whatever your name is?
If your name doesn’t reflect the gorgeous, image bearer that you are, can I offer you a few suggestions?:

Stunning Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)

Fearless Friend  ( 2 Timothy 4:17)

Bold Prayer Warrior (Hebrews 4:16)

Beloved (Psalm 58:10, 1 John 3:1)

To name a few.

When I think about Jesus and how he’s our Good Shepard and the sheep comes to him because he calls them by name, I can’t imagine he’s standing across from me calling me a mistake.  I’m confident he’s calling me, “Anointed”, “Beloved”, “His Masterpiece”.  And when I do this…I live in to it.
Dear Friend– Live into the your real name! 

Don’t let anyone but Jesus craft the meaning of your name or attached words to you identity.  Don’t let yourself believe that he’s calling you anything but good, lovely, hopeful, and beautiful.
Because you are.  Because you are his.

Today I found this picture on BlossomandVine’s  Etsy store.  It’s so perfect that I want to mail a copy to you a few of you my readers.

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Comment below with:
“When Jesus calls me by name he say….”
The first five lovelies who comment will get a love bomb from me this week.

Live into Your RIGHT NAME,

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8 thoughts on “Open When You Need a New Name

  1. When Jesus calls me by name He says treasured.

    As a gal who has one of the most popular names of the 80’s and 90’s, I’m especially appreciative of this post. It is a reminder that I should live as if I’m visible, because I am to known to Him.

  2. This is pretty awesome! I too have a pretty unique and different name one that has no meaning “Ineudira” I like like many others have giving myself many names and have lived up to them. Names like unlovable, worthless, stupid, not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, just to name a few. The list could go on and on, To this day I am trying to counter these labels with what I know the Lord says about me, but it is tough. This is really encouraging and I look forward to reading for the next 30 days. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. When Jesus calls me by name He says Emily. Cause that’s my name, and he knows that I struggle to hear all the other things he says to me, and I won’t listen if he calls me redeemed, beloved, beautiful, worthwhile.
    Jesus and I are talking about it. I’m learning to hear him call me that, and even call myself that, but it’s hard, and it’s been a hard process.
    Thanks for this post. Sincerely.

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