I was reading a book the other day, Follow the Cloud (a very interesting book, in case you were wondering), and I came across a story that really struck me. The author of the book was sitting in his car with his young daughter. This little girl had her favorite doll with her in the car, a doll that she covetously called “Isabelle”. Now the author, deciding to tease his daughter, turned and asked his daughter how “Samantha” was doing. Of course, the daughter quickly corrected him. “Isabelle” was not going to be called the wrong name on her watch. Again though, the author called the doll “Samantha”. The same correction was given him. The author probably should have learned his lesson by that point, but he hadn’t. The “Samantha” word was spoken once more and the little daughter’s pot boiled over. “Daddy, her name is not Samantha, its Isabelle. She is my doll. She belongs to me, and only I get to say who she is. Her name is Isabelle!”
The author drew a parallel between his daughter’s refusing to let anyone but herself name her doll and God naming or defining us. That story and parallel struck me in a profound way.
See, so often we see something we don’t like about our lives and adjectives fly into our minds that degrade us. We find ourselves on paths we don’t like and we define ourselves by our struggles. I know it because I do it…all the time. This story helped me realize though that when I think about myself like that I’m not just offending and hurting myself, I’m offending and hurting God, because I belong to him.
I don’t belong to myself; I belong to God, and I want to give what belongs to God back to God. I want to throw away all the names and adjectives I’ve wrongly used to define myself and I’d like to invite you to do the same. Write it down and then destroy the list, kneel down and speak it out loud or think it silently, in whatever way you want to, just do it. Find somewhere quiet and secluded so you can concentrate and pray. Then think of any adjectives you’ve used to define yourself. As you remember them, say them, or write them, reject them. one. by. one. Hand them to God so he can discard of them as he pleases. Then pray to him to help you let HIM define you, to let HIM describe you.
You are not your own to name. You are his. You belong to him. Only HE can define and name you. And in case you were wondering, he doesn’t call you “disobedient”, “failure”, “ugly”, “not good enough”, or any other adjective you’ve ever used in a hard moment, he calls you “BELOVED”.