My sweet husband and I just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.
Of the many things I remember being excited about during that special time was the knowledge that he would be giving me his name. More than just a legal formality, the change of names held a lot of meaning for me. It meant he loved me enough to take me into his family and proclaim to the world that I belonged to him. It meant he was pledging to protect me and to provide for me. It meant he would defend me, comfort me, and stand beside me in times of trouble, lending me his strength. It meant I would become part of a large, loving family. Giving me his name meant I had a new identity.
A lot of us carry around names that have been given to us or that we have given to ourselves, names like Mistake, Forgotten, Regret, Failure, Loser, Unworthy, Unlovable, Invisible, Unwanted, Broken, Depressed, Defeated, Lonely, Failure, Stupid or…well, I’m sure you can fill in the blank.
Those names, those misnomers, often poison our souls. They impact how we think of ourselves, how we behave, and how we allow others to treat us. They limit us, stealing the joy from our lives and blunting the effectiveness of our every effort.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Scripture says that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are not only given a new name, but also a whole new identity. We are made new. We are loved. We are recognized as children of the King of Heaven, the One who spoke the stars into existence.
We have a Father in heaven who loves us enough to adopt us into his own family, at great cost, the very life of his own Son. When we accept that great gift, He gives us another, His Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts, helping us to become who He created us to be. We are given God’s protection, provision, comfort, constant presence, strength, and so much more.
Whatever name we might have allowed to define us in the past – mistake, forgotten, regret, failure, loser, unworthy, unlovable, invisible, unwanted, broken, depressed, defeated, lonely, failure, stupid – that name has been exchanged for the glorious name of Christ, and we can rightly say, “Hello, my name is Child of the One True King.”