Friday, October 21, 2011

Journey Towards Healing: Shedding the Old Labels

" will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow." Isaiah 62:2

Penny welcomed me into the neighborhood that first day.  Although complete opposites, we remained best friends until the day I moved. Her size and personality overshadowed me but I didn't notice until some boys pointed it out.

Pedaling around the new housing development we rounded a corner where these boys played football on their side lawn--Penny leading, of course. "Fat bannana, skinny bannana! Fat bannana, skinny bannana!" they taunted until we disappeared out of sight. My eyes dampened, my face flushed embarassment and my heart wounded. They labeled us without permission.

Isn't it like that when we fall victim to unwarranted heart wounds of any type? Wounds usually occur without permisson and instantly label us--fatty, skinny, stupid, clumsy, ugly, abandoned, unwanted--fill in the blank_________.

Thankfully, God offers us a new name when we surrender our wounds to Him through His Son, Jesus. He fully restores our hearts, removes those labels we never asked for, and gives us a new name. He did that all the time throughout history and continues to do that today. Abraham (high father) to Abraham (father of many nations), Sarai (contentious) to Sarah (princess), Simon (he has heard) to Peter (solid rock), and Saul (asked for) to Paul (humble).

Are you ready to shed your old label, your old identity and put on your new name in Christ? Why not spend some quiet time today asking God for your new name. What is it He calls you? Is it blessed, beloved, beautiful, creative, strong, graceful? 

"I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." Revelation 2:7

Oh God, as we spend time in solitude today, peel away our old identity wrought in pain and woundedness. Breathe on us Holy Spirit, wash and cleanse us by the blood of the Son, Jesus. Whisper our new name over us, oh God, and open our ears to hear and our hearts to believe. May we continue to walk upright in this new identity--one given by You, our Creator. Amen.

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