I had been going through a difficult season of healing. God had decided to take me through a place of spiritual and emotional growth.  This meant I was going through the exhausting and painful process of digging through all my hurts of the past, recognizing my own flaws and ugliness, and then giving them all to Him in order to heal and gain freedom in my life.  I was in a whirlwind of guilt, embarrassment and vulnerability as He exposed each issue to the light of day so He could clean me up and make me whole.

Through this time of “character building” I didn’t like myself at all.  I was self-focused and not much fun to be around.  I would usually wake up grouchy and have to warn my husband to steer clear of me for the day, and then would blow up at him before dinner.

I also couldn’t quit eating.  I was eating so much chocolate, my tongue developed painful sores and my mood swings were out of control.  I had no willpower.  I knew I needed to give up all my pain to God and let Him control my life instead of my bungled attempt at control, but I just couldn’t let go.  I felt like a horrible person and completely unworthy of God’s love.

Increasingly, I felt out of place around others, like I didn’t fit in.  Surely I was the only one in the world who was going through this constant turmoil of digging up and then releasing the past and I blamed myself.  I felt there must be something wrong with me because I wasn’t able to quickly shake off all the past offenses and just get on with my life.

I began focusing on my name.  Our name is part of our essence and identifies who we are and our place in the world, and I knew my name lacked virtue.  I decided it was ugly, just like I was, even though no one realized this about me.  “KIM”.  What kind of name was that?  It could be a boy’s name or a girl’s name.  My name was weak, powerless, and harsh sounding.  Why couldn’t I have a cute, popular name like Cindy, or Kelli, or Ashley?  I decided this was the source of all my troubles.

I lamented about my name for weeks and seriously considered changing it.  Then came the day of my birthday.

I still wasn’t feeling good about myself, but my attitude lifted considerably when a good friend dropped by to wish me a Happy Birthday.  She had known how I had been feeling recently and wanted to cheer me up with a gift.

As I opened the brightly colored gift bag I laughed with her and enjoyed the little treasures she had brought me.  There was a new hair barrette, a candy bar, and a yo-yo for fun.  Then, as I removed the last item, I smiled and looked with gratefulness into my friend’s face.  She had bought me a lovely embroidered bookmark with my name and its meaning in big pink letters.  It said:  “KIM”.  “Highest Honor”.  “Strength and honor are her clothing.”  Proverbs 31:25.

Perhaps God was trying to tell me something?  I quickly brushed my feelings off though, since my friend had known about my recent struggle with my name, and was obviously just trying to make me feel better about myself.

Later that evening another friend dropped by, one whom I hadn’t talked to in quite awhile.  She had also brought me a gift to celebrate my birthday.  As I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, I opened the small package and carefully removed a beautiful pink picture with my name and its definition painted among lovely flowers of pink and purple.  Over 8” high and 6” wide, it boldly proclaimed “KIM”.  Meaning:  “From the Royal Meadow”.

I looked at my friend and thanked her through tears of joy.  This gift was no coincidence.  God was clearly and lovingly speaking to me through my friends that day.

He was reminding me that nothing is ever left to chance.  He creates us, designs our lives, and even picks out our very name, all before we are born.  Psalm 139:13-16 says -

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God’s loving voice to me that day was overwhelming and a point of revelation and renewal in my life.  I began to look forward with excitement to my future knowing His unseen hand was continually guiding my every step and healing my every hurt.  He had assured me that He knew me and had lovingly chosen my name even before the creation of the universe.

What is God speaking to you today?  He created you, formed you and bestowed on you one of your most precious features – your name.  He prepared you for your life; a life of victory.  Today, embrace the knowledge that you are perfect, and you are loved!

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