name: discovering where your true identity lies

name - discovering where your true identity lies - id badge

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually. It matters. Most parents spend a long time choosing their offspring’s name/s, although some of us might wish we didn’t have the one we ended up with.

I came into the world earlier than expected, born to parents who could barely agree on anything. Legend has it that my father simply pointed to the two tiny scraps in incubators and named us as he saw fit. My sister was swiftly named after stars and my name became a diminutive of my mother’s.

It felt like I needed to be like her, at least a little as I grew up, but we were chalk and cheese. So it wasn’t until I came to faith in Christ in my teens that I saw any merit in my name. It was in the Bible, after all, and a fruit of the Spirit no less! πŸ™‚

Yet the name that means the most to me is that of Jesus, who has many titles and attributes as well. Jesus is the Name above all names. His is the name we whisper in prayer and seek out in anguished despair. Our commission as believers is to make the name of Jesus known to others as we demonstrate His mercy, grace and love.

name - Our commission as believers quote (C) joylenton

I have a light

I have a light
given to me from birth
recessed in dark
it was sparked by holy love
making a home in my heart

I have a light
flowing out of my spirit
it’s often dim
or at least I cannot see
how it might shine out of me

I have a light
it flickers when the wind blows
it’s barely alive
but a mere candlewick
you can hardly tell it’s lit

I have a light
which God wants me to let shine
just as it is
because he fuels the flame
so his name can be proclaimed

I have a light
glowing on the inside
burning bright
revealing Christ within
and how I might live for him
Β© joylenton

name - candle flame - I have a light poem excerpt (C) joylenton

May you take hope from knowing you are more than your name suggests, more than your weakness or illness, and more than the spurious names or labels others have identified you as or you have spoken over yourself.

You and I are more than society says we are because our true identity rests in being wholly beloved and precious children of God.Β  And we are called to be His disciples, acting as a healing gift of salt and light to a needy world.

I’m honoured to be adding my poem to the five-minute-friday community posts as we write out our thoughts on this week’s word prompt “name.” You are welcome to join us here and read the great variety of posts being shared.Β 

Not all of us have had perfect parenting or happy families. Solo artist (and previously lead singer for Creed) Scott Stapp’s story is a painful one, but as he shares in the song below, he is determined to make things different for his own son, because God has turned his life around. That’s the hope for all of us as we live out our redemptive stories here.

25 thoughts on “name: discovering where your true identity lies

  1. I love this. It has been a tough week for me. My inner light has been flickering and I have had to cling fast to my faith to get through. God has definitely fuelled the flame, and trimmed the wick, so that it neither went out, nor caused an explosion!

    • Hi Letitia, clinging fast to your faith takes inner strength, resilience and courage. Well done for hanging in there when the going got tough! And praise God for fueling the flame and trimming the wick because He will never snuff out a faltering wick of faith but fan it back into a fiery flame again. May you continue to lean on Him and hope for better things to come. Bless you, friend, for being here and sharing your experiences. I’m glad you did. πŸŒΈπŸ’œ

  2. The Nuns at the Hospital where I was born were thrilled that my parents (both Presbyterian) named me Michael. It wasn’t until college that I began to explore my namesake, Michael the Archangel ❀️

  3. This is a beautiful poem, Joy! It is so important to remember that our true identity is in Christ, and that he wants to work in us and shine through us.

    • Yes, it’s vital for us to grasp the truth of who we are in Christ. Otherwise we are in danger of seeking our worth and value elsewhere. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus “wants to work and shine through us?” I’m always awed by that thought. Bless you, Lesley. πŸ’œ

    • I’m so pleased it resonated with you, Trudy. I was in two minds about whether to use that song or not, having only just heard it this morning. But my husband suggested it and I thought it might help someone because I know something of Scott Stapp’s story after having read his autobiography. Our true identity in Christ is so precious, isn’t it? May we become ever more aware of the huge gift it is to us. Blessings and love to you! xo πŸ’œ

  4. Well-said Joy. Such good reminders to shake off the past and focus on the here and now in Christ. It is a privilege to read your poem here. Took me through the many phases of journey with Jesus. Praying He continue to speak loudly through your pen dear sister.

    • Julie, it’s taken me longer than I thought or hoped to shake off the shackles of the past and begin to truly see myself as I am in Christ. I guess we’ll always be a work in progress in this lifetime. But journeying with Jesus, and with the support of fellow believers, is well worth the challenge it might represent. Thank you for your lovely prayer. May it be so for you too, dear sister! πŸ’œ

      • Oh I am so thankful for your honesty, Joy. For me,the seasons of doubt and insecurity have led to greater awareness of who I am in Him. I don’t want to say I expect to backslide, but I do know more challenges lay ahead. So as you said, Jesus, the support of fellow believers (thank you Joy!) is a blessing and a privilege. Have a beauty-full day there across the pond!

      • Julie, I do believe we learn the most from our seasons of struggle. Faith stretches itself and grows stronger for acknowledging our doubts and fears and being totally transparent with the Lord. Although we might dread days of darkness and pain, we are thrown more onto God’s mercy and grace. Such times can linger for years, as with chronic illness, but they do eventually yield the sweet fruit of surrender, endurance, perseverance and a deeper love for our Saviour. Praying for you. I appreciate your honesty here too. And the weather is complying here. It’s a beauty-full 24Β°C and rising. Summer seems to have hit these shoes! I’m wearing a sundress while sitting indoors… πŸ˜ŽπŸŒ…πŸ’œ

  5. Dear Joy,
    I am so glad that you bear the name you do! I can see how God planted that light, and has nurtured it and brought it into such vibrancy. You may feel that you are that flickering wick, but when you share your words and poetry with us from that hidden place within, the light flames so brightly with His joy! What a precious truth to cling to, that our true identity has been planned by HIM all along. Blessings and love to you my dear friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh what a joy bringer you are! Maybe every Joy needs a Bettie to see into the depths of her soul and encourage her on her path towards wholeness. If it wasn’t for your open, receptive, prayerful and perceptive heart, and willingness to read my words, any vibrancy you see would be dimmer indeed. It’s rather wonderful how God gifts us to see His work in others but so often hides it from ourselves. A saving grace, methinks! Blessings and love to you too, dear friend! xoxo πŸ’œ

  6. What a wonderful encouragement! We are more than our names or names we have been called. We are forever tethered to Jesus, the name above all names! What glorious hope! Thank you for this thoughtful post, delving below the surface of a name. Blessings to you, dear Joy! P.S. I love your name!

    • Melissa, I’m so glad you have been encouraged here. Yes, we are “forever tethered to Jesus, the name above all names.” What a glorious hope that is! Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment and for being gracious about my given name. It’s one I’ve often failed to live up to, although I can always attest that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Blessings and love to you! xo πŸ’œ

  7. Joy is my favorite characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. What a beautiful post, I am glad I searched “poetry” today, for it led me to your site. I look forward to receiving your posts in my feed. Blessings to you – JOY β™₯

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