What's in a Name?
Today I share another essay from Dana’s wonderful little book, I Will Change Your Name: Messages from the Father to a Heart Broken by Divorce (Leafwood Publishers, 2007). This book is written especially for women going through the heartache of divorce, but I can testify reading it in two days (only because I made myself stop the first day) and finding words that I needed to hear. I recommend the book to those experiencing divorce and those in ministries to such friends or groups, and I recommend it without reservation. (An easy link to Amazon is below)
I must confess that I experienced some serious resentment about having to carry my ex-husband’s name after the divorce. At first I planned to take back my maiden name but my counselor advised me to reconsider. Because of the confusion it would cause my children, she encouraged me to try to find a way to live with it.
This wasn’t always easy. It was particularly hard after my ex-husband remarried. Now there was a new Mrs. Hood and it wasn’t me. So when one of my students called me “Mrs.” instead of “Dr.” it drove me crazy! It wasn’t because the “Dr.” thing was a big deal to me. Many of my students call me by my first name. It was that each time I heard "Mrs. Hood,” what I really heard was “forsaken, abandoned, and replaced.”
Once again the Lord had a message for me—a gift really. It was the night of my covenant group’s annual Christmas party. We had started a new gift-giving tradition two or three years earlier. Instead of trading gifts we began trading scripture blessings. Each person comes to the party with a scripture blessing written on a piece of paper. We number them, put them in the center of the table, and randomly draw numbers just just like we had with traditional presents. Then we read the scripture blessing aloud to the person who chooses our number.
It amazes us every year how God works in this simplistic tradition. Each person receives a word from the Lord that seems to have been chosen just for him or her. And on that year it was this scripture that the Lord, through my friend gave me. He reminded me that my earthly name doesn’t matter. My real name is “My delight is in her.” And while my earthly bridegroom chose another bride, my eternal bridegroom rejoices over me. What a gift!
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Not to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate;”
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”…
For the Lord delights in you…
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you.”
Link to I Will Change Your Name on Amazon