When I was a little girl, I remember sitting in my sandbox one day, asking God the familiar words… “Why me? Why am I here?… Surely I am not who you want, I am not the pretty girl in my class and my sister is way smarter than me.” It wasn’t long before that, the other little girls in the first grade had made fun of me for liking moon pies. For goodness sakes, I would have never eaten that moon pie when they gave it to me if I had known it would give me cooties! But nevertheless I did, and the other girls ran from me as if I had the plague. I really don’t understand that day but for some reason it still resinates in me as something that may have created a stereotype about me for the rest of my school days.
When we all made it to high school, I became “cheerleader” but not until the popular, more coordinated girls had been chosen first. I was a little “chubby” but still made the cut. Funny how I look back at the pictures… I really wasn’t that chubby, but compared to the other girls, I was. In fact, I remember in the tenth grade I sat behind a fellow who might have been about as chubby as I was. One day I entered the room and his first words to me were “Hey Fatso!” Well of course, I was deemed “Fatso” for the rest of my high school days.
All in all, my high school years were good, but deep within me I still carried names for myself. I always felt that I didn’t quite measure up to the other girls who seemed to have the boyfriends, thin bodies and terrific coordination. I did manage to hang around with some popular people but I kind of felt like the “sidekick.”
In college, I was deemed as “best in class” and received awards for that, which in-turn, helped me get a job in Florida shortly after marriage. They told me that my instructor’s letter of recommendation gave me fantastic reviews and they were so glad to have hired me. After I worked there for a while, it was clear that I was no genius so I ended up doing ordinary work. At the job I have now, 27 years later, one of my supervisors calls me, “The Sweet Amy.” I guess I can be sweet, but not everyone there thinks I am…. one woman calls me “fake” and there are others who probably have way worse names for me that I may never know.
I have accumulated some good names though… “Mama,” “Bestie,” “Sweetheart,” “Cutie,” “Sis,” to name a few. But I still carry names for myself that are more like marks or scars.
So what is a name? I mean, how can I have so many and still be the same me? People give names to someone without truly knowing a person deeply. Can it be that the names don’t mean a thing? Honestly, they probably don’t…at least, not here on Earth… because deep down inside of me is something that only God knows about me and only He understands. I am unique in His eyes and in His heart just as everyone else is to Him. This cannot be anything but true because His word says that He will give each of us a stone engraved with a new name that no one will understand but Him and the one who receives it (See Revelation 2:17).
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so anxious to hear my Father in Heaven say my new name when I meet him face to face. Because then, without a doubt, I will know who I really am and why He chose me.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and designing me uniquely and set apart from others. I know that you love each and every one of us differently yet you love none of us any less. It may be difficult for me to comprehend but I am so thankful that you, and only you, know the true me. And that is enough for me. In Jesus’ sweet name, Amen.