Of Names and Treasures

Last Christmas Eve, I opened a gift from my sister and brother-in-law. I think my reaction was more than they’d bargained for: when I saw the necklace with all three of my children’s names engraved into it, I immediately burst into tears.

As my emotional tendencies are somewhat of a family joke already, I spent the rest of the holiday receiving various items (plastic cups, scrap paper, etc.) with different names written in Sharpie on their surfaces. Tissues accompanied these offerings. Yep. They all thought they were hilarious.

And, okay, they kind of were. J

But the jokes didn’t stop me from tearing up every time I looked at the necklace.

Those names are so precious to me — they belong to my babies, these little people who were knit together in my womb and have forever changed me. We picked each name so carefully. Sean: God is gracious. Christian: Follower of Christ. Kailey: Beloved. Sweetheart.

Their names represent our hope in them and for them. Our gratitude to their Creator.

Physically, emotionally, mentally — these children have taught me the meaning of love in a whole new way. I’ve fed them, bathed them, read to them, played (countless) board games with them, disciplined them, cleaned up after them, prayed for them, loved them day in and day out. They constantly surprise me with their thoughts, with their faith, with the people that they already have become.

They are my treasures. And I wear their names close to my heart, a physical symbol of how proud I am of them. These three names, these three unique souls — out of all the billions of people in this world, these are the children God put into my care. These are the blessings He gifted to me. I am honored to be their mother, their advocate, their biggest supporter in this world.

So, yes. I cried at the sight of those sweet names in an unbroken circle, in this tangible acknowledgement of our love.

And yet — as carefully as Neil and I picked those names…even though I’ve been with each child of mine day in and day out, watching them grow in every way…I still do not know them like their Heavenly Father. I do not love them like He does.

He pulled together each strand of DNA to create their specific ways of laughing, particular eye color, shoe size. He gave their personalities, their capacities to learn, their humor. He gave them their taste buds, their hair color, their fingernails. He breathed into them life and spirit…with a calling for each to fulfill and the gifts to accomplish it. He created their longing for Him, their purpose that will lead them back to His heart.

And just like He did all of that for my three babies, He did that for you.

You are immeasurably precious to Him. He catches your tears, numbers the hairs on your head.

You are so special. Unique in physicality and personality. You are valuable, worth everything to Him.

And I know that sometimes we can feel overlooked. Unimportant. It can feel like no one really sees us, that no one really knows us…like we don’t matter. This is a lie of the enemy. Satan, from the beginning, wanted Adam and Eve to feel like they were lacking something essential. He wanted them to feel that they were not good enough as God created them. And in the same way, he twists our emotions so that we believe that our God is holding something back from us. That He doesn’t really care. Satan wants us to feel worthless, condemned, and insignificant so that we will not accept the joy that is our portion in Jesus Christ.

And joy is your portion in Him — joy and peace, purpose and freedom. Salvation and restoration. Love is your portion in the Lord, your God and your Father.

When you feel those lies of worthlessness, look to the God who sees you. He knows you, inside and out, and calls you His child. He who created you knows more than just what you have done, where you have been, the names given to you by people in this world or names that you chose that were not gifts, but burdens — He knows who you are in Him. Those names that carry weight, shame, and fear are cast away by His power, replaced with Mercy. Grace. Righteousness. Blessing. When Christ dwells in you, then He has redeemed you to be who you were created to be — His own treasured possession. (Exodus 19:4)

He has named you, child that He loves, and it is in His name and in His creation anew that you can hold to kairos (eternal, God-time-line) hope. “To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17)

Hold onto the Truth — you were fearfully and wonderfully created, made in His own image — and worth enough that the Great Shepherd came to rescue you, giving His own life so that yours could be eternal. You are so loved by Him, that He could never forget you…for He has engraved you on the palms of His hands! (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Yes, you are cherished. Yes, you are wanted. Treasured.

Beloved.

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

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