As I sit scrolling through the life in pictures photos on social media, I begin to ponder life-changing moments. Most of my life has taken place at a time where meals and thoughts are not captured in tweets and grams. Rather, my life is etched in my heart and mind, and the box piled to the brim with old photographs. Lifetimes passed documented in crumbling black and white photographs. Memories of much simpler days, and less rushed times.
I clearly recall the moment when my husband proposed. We were 650 miles apart. I was in Illinois finishing college. He was in Mississippi beginning a new career. After four years of dating, the recent loss of his mother to cancer, and his move to what felt like across the world with his father, my then boyfriend decided it was time to change my name. He couldn’t propose in person. We were too far apart. But he and I both knew that we could no longer handle this long distance romance. We either had to make it permanent or let it go. That day, across a long distance call, he asked me to be his wife. I joyfully agreed, and we would begin the planning for him to change my name.
There was another man in my life who had changed my name already. My step-father adopted me. He changed my name when I was just a few years old, forever making me his daughter. When I was young, I was unable to grasp the magnitude of the joy that I would find in a name change. My father, my husband, but the greatest of all would be my God.
The moment when I truly came face to face with Jesus. That instance when I knew that He alone was my forever Father, my Savior, my Friend, and my Redeemer changed me forever. He would change me from a multitude of names I had given myself over the years. Names like unworthy, useless, ugly, stupid, and a waste. But God had different names for me.
Travis Cottrell published a song in 2005 that sums it up so perfectly.
You Changed My Name
You changed my name when
You called me forgiven
You changed my name when
You called me redeemed
You took my shame and
Wrote a new beginning
To the story, I was living
And I’ll never be the same
The moment I accepted Christ as my Savior and sealed my eternity with Him, He redeemed me. He bought and paid for me, His daughter, with His blood. Long before the black and white images placed in my memory box, Jesus Christ came to this earth as the perfect sacrifice for me. While many generations before my mother had not yet been born on this earth, my heavenly Father had already prepared for me. He knew me, and all those years later, while His Only Son lay in the tomb awaiting His miraculous resurrection, God knew that He wanted me in His world. And, He wanted me to be His daughter.
When I cried out to Jesus and asked Him to save me, He rescued me called me forgiven. He changed my name from sin and shame, calling me redeemed. He erased the un’s and the not’s from my name and changed them to beautiful, worthy, valuable descriptors of a daughter of The King. That day He wrote a new beginning and changed my story forever. I truly never will be the same because All Mighty God changed my name. Have you allowed Him to change yours too?