I know a woman who was once married then divorced and now remarried to a different man. She retained her first husband’s last name and then hyphenated her new husbands last name. I will not use the woman’s real name but an example might be: Mary Smith-Jones.
What I find intriguing is she hates her ex-husband. She is very bitter and has not forgiven him for many things he did.
So I wondered why did she keep his last name when she remarried? I am sure she has her reasons but I’m not bold enough to ask.
As I thought about this I realized I have done the same thing throughout my life. Not literally with last names, but with names I labeled myself with.
Before I knew Christ, I was Melissa Abused.
When I became a Christian I thought I was completely and totally healed from my past abuse, yet I never sought God’s healing. Even though I was a child of God and was given a new name I held on to my old name.
I became Melissa Abused-Saved. Not very encouraging, is it?
The Lover of my soul must have been jealous. I wonder how many times He tried to tell me I no longer needed to retain that name. Why would I want to hold on to it? Maybe so I would have a reason to be bitter, angry and to complain?
Because I never dealt with my abuse and the wounds that my abuse caused in my life, I traveled a deadly path, one that lead to an adulterous affair.
Not until I hit rock bottom did I realize I was clinging to my old name and just tagged “saved” at the end.
I now had a choice to make as I clawed my way out of the darkness that threatened to take over my life. Would I now become Melissa Abused-Saved-Adulteress-Forgiven, but never really allow God to forgive me and carry around the weight of the name adulteress?
After a lot of counseling I realized I have been renamed in Christ.
Revelation 2:17 tells us, “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”
I get so excited at the thought that my Savior has a new name picked out for me, one that only I will understand. I can almost feel the white stone in my hand, the smoothness slipping between my fingers.
I suppose I do still hyphenate my name but the names are much different.
I am now Melissa Saved-Forgiven-Redeemed-Loved-Daughter of the King.
What about you? What is your hyphenated name? Do you have any names you need to shed? Release them into your Father’s care, He has a new name waiting just for you.
Here’s a great song by Matthew West that goes beautifully with this post, click here. If you haven’t seen the video it is awesome.
Are you willing to share your name(s) with us? What was your name before knowing Christ or having the relationship with Him you have now? What is your name now? Embrace the truth of this new name. Share it in the comments.