Flipping through the pages of my journal, I search for the one blank page that will house today’s thoughts and, hopefully, my new name. Pen in hand, I stare at it for a moment and then scribble one word in black ink.
You’ve been calling me brave for a long time, haven’t You, God?
I remember the first time You told me I was brave. I had stowed away in my room to watch a video from a writers’ conference. I expected to gain some insight on the art of writing. I didn’t expect the speaker’s words to grab me like they did. It was as if her words were meant for me, and me alone.
You are brave.
Oh God, You knew what I needed to hear long before I knew it myself. Do you really believe I am brave? Not that I might someday be brave, but that I am already brave?”
He has whispered this truth to me in other ways, too. Sometimes through the encouraging word of a friend. Sometimes directly through the reading of His word. Each time helping me inch my way out of my comfortable places and into the places He is calling me. All sweet reminders of what He thinks of me.
I am in awe.
I recently attended a local retreat, hoping to have a fresh encounter with God. Despite the blessings I received, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that God had not spoken to me. I returned home with unanswered questions and unsettled feelings.
The retreat’s theme was finding our identity in Christ and, by doing so, opening our eyes to our own beauty. It seems we are our worst critic, saying things to ourselves we wouldn’t dare say to another. To illustrate this, we were asked to write down every lie spoken over us, either by others or by our own doing.
When my pen paused, fourteen lies disguised as truth littered my paper. I held that sheet in my hands, reading the words over and over again. Tears filled my eyes until they could hold no more. I cried. First for myself, and then for every woman deceived into believing such lies about herself.
What truths had I missed by focusing on untruth? Renouncing the lies of the enemy, I began to wonder what it was God had been saying about me. My heart longed to know – who does He say that I am?
Bowing my head, I sought a new name from God. A name to reflect who it is He sees when He looks at me. A special name chosen for me. One that would help me view myself differently. That’s when I heard the word He’d spoken over me time and again. The word that goes completely against all I’ve ever thought I am; all I ever thought I could be.
He called me brave. And I questioned it.
Brave? That’s not really a name, Lord. That’s more of a “what-you-are” kind of word. I’m looking for a who-you-are word.
Yet, that’s the word He had me scribble on the blank page of my journal. I pondered it more.
What has God said about me?
He says I am brave.
Who does God say I am?
He says –
I. Am. Brave.
Even though feeling brave is one of my biggest struggles, He calls me brave. He sees me not only as I am, but also as I will be. In this moment and in all the moments to come, He calls me Brave.
Friend, what new name does God desire to give you? If you’re not sure, spend time in His word and ask Him to reveal it to you.