I love that we have names. Out of the millions of names my parents could have chosen, I love that they uniquely named me Adrienne Elizabeth at birth. Soon they would start using a different name for me. Sometime in elementary school, I received my nickname, “Adge.” I have no idea how that came from “Adrienne,” but I don’t know that I could be anything but “Adge” in this life. I love that once folks get to know me better, they call me by that nickname. It’s my term of endearment. Even the obstetricians and midwives I work with call me “Adge” instead of Adrienne. It makes me feel like I’m known, like I belong. Like I’m a part of their circle of friends and it shows me that they care enough to call me by my specific nickname. It’s partly how Erin and I chose our own kids names…the fun of getting the option to have a nickname. Everleigh Lindy is mostly called “Evie” in our home and Finnley Winters is called “Finn.” His middle name, Winters, came from a phenomenal leader from the HBO series, “Band of Brothers,” which shows the true story of a company of great men fighting in WWII. Erin and I both felt that “Winters” was meant for Finn…and I can’t wait to see all of the reasons why.
In the recent Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens,” there’s a particular scene that stands out to me. A young man who was taken as a slave as a young child has decided he’s tired of being on the dark side; he just can’t stand it one minute longer. So, he busts out one of the captured good guys from prison–a pilot who fights for the Resistance, named Poe. During the escape, Poe asks him, “Hey, what’s your name?” “FN2187,” he answers. And totally bewildered, Poe goes, “F? What?!??!” The young man replies, “That’s the only name they ever gave me.” To which Poe replies, “Well I ain’t using it. FN, huh? Finn, I’m gonna call you Finn.” And you watch in that moment how Finn is transformed, he even starts calling himself “Finn” as he meets new characters. He believes that’s his true name and as a result, the whole course of his life changes. He grew into that great name…He grew into his destiny. His slave name was history…his freedom name was his present and his future. I love that!
I’m sure many can relate, but getting my two kids out the door to school and activities on time is trying, to say the least. I was running late to get Evie and Finn to school and was hurrying them into the car one morning. My car was in desperate need of a car wash and Finn took his two little hands and wiped them on the car, all the way from the front tire to the back of the car. Hands covered in black dirt. We are sooooo late. “FINN!!!!” I yelled at him. Instinctively he wipes his hands on his coat and pants. Covered.In.Dirt. “FINNLEY! STOP IT!!! Look what you’ve done.” And Finn’s response stopped me cold, “Mommy, I am so sorry. I am no one.” Out of the mouth of my 4-year-old son. I was speechless. When he thought he was in trouble, my son just said to me, “I am no one.” He punished himself more than I ever could in that second. I dropped all of their school bags and knelt next to my son. “Finn, you are not no one. I am so sorry I lost my temper and made you feel so terrible that you would say that about yourself. Forgive me. You are not “no one!” That is not your name.” I held him for a while and eventually we made it to our destinations. I spent the day thinking about that statement. “I am no one.” I never ever want my children to call themselves that name.
And guess what? Neither does the Father, the One who created you. You are too precious and valuable to Him. You are not “no one” to Him. You are not just another face in the crowd. What is allowing us to feel like we are “no one”? Like we are just so-so. What fear, experience, or emotion has put us in the mindset that it’s okay to call ourselves names that aren’t truth? What is the name you by which you have been calling yourself lately? The names you are using to define who you are? For so long, I’ve called myself by what I am not instead of what I am. Boxed myself in. Lately, I’ve said, “My name is “not creative.” And God laughs and whispers, “Yes, you are. You’re still figuring yourself out…your gifting. But you use your imagination all the time. You have original thought. And those bony fingers of yours clicking away on the keyboard are creating something. Adge, I ain’t using that name “uncreative” for you!”
I’m convinced that a true name that God speaks over us has the power to change our lives! Our courage to be who He created us to be seems a little more “doable” when we hear His truth over us and gosh…then there’s that step-by-(little)step of walking into our destinies, one affirming conversation with the Father at a time.
So take a moment and ask yourself the questions: Have I called myself “no one” before? Have I called myself something even worse? Why? What is my name? What are the names that come from the God who speaks the truest truth over me? It’s a total heartbreaker to Him when we call ourselves by names that don’t come from Him…and He will no longer allow us to be so shallow to ourselves. He wants to address this matter–not leaving us in shallow water where truth just touches the surface–He wants to lovingly correct us so our truest names take us to deeper water, soaking us in who we really are. The false names are history…the names derived from freedom in Him are our present and future.
Colorado Springs, CO
Adge is an adventurer by heart, climbing 14ers (mountains over 14,000 ft high) and simply being in the wilderness refills her cup. She married a man who shares that passion with her, Erin, and together they have three children, Everleigh, Finnley, and Bodie. Adge has a huge heart for women. She works as a labor & delivery nurse, loves one-on-one conversations, and lattes with intricate foam designs!