#SheSharesTruth | The Name Your Daddy Gave You

Linking up with She Reads Truth and their She Shares Truth assignment, and Oak & Oats!

When I was like, seven, I renamed myself. For whatever reason, I got a bee up my bonnet and decided that “Chelsea” was a much better name than “Rachel”.

I wrote “Chelsea Smyth” on all of my school papers, would correct my teachers and my family and friends, and called myself “Chelsea” in that epic inner-monologue that a seven year old has.

Don’t ask me why. I just decided that I wasn’t “Rachel” anymore.

This nonsense lasted about two weeks, and I’m not really sure why it stopped. But I’m pretty sure it was my parents. Frustrated that I was calling myself a false name (and also probably frustrated by my stubborn and eccentric behavior), they probably sat me down and said something like this:

“Rachel. Your name is R-A-C-H-E-L. That’s the name we gave you, that’s who you are.”

The name “Rachel” means Little Lamb of God.
Do you know what “Chelsea” means? Chalky Wharf.

She Reads Truth has been going through the book of Ruth for the past two weeks…and I love Ruth like butter loves a biscuit. It’s been SO GOOD, ya’ll. If you haven’t read Ruth lately, get thee to SRT.

Anyways. In the beginning of the book, Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi renames herself “Mara”. “Mara” means bitter, which is a huge contrast to “Naomi”, which means sweet or pleasant.

Ruth 1:19-21
So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?”. She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”

Naomi had just endured the loss of her husband and her two sons in a foreign land, and she’s journeying back to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, in tow. Yeah, she’s bitter. She’s angry and devastated. She has no provider, no protector.

She allows her circumstances to define her.

If you haven’t read the book of Ruth, I shall insert a *spoiler alert* here. Go read it. Seriously. It’s four chapters. It’ll take you 20 minutes. I’ll wait.

God sees Naomi. He hears her. And then He blesses her more than she could have imagined. By the end of the book, she has a wonderful new son and a grandson and a daughter who everyone says is better than seven sons (v. 15). Do you think she asked people to call her “bitter” anymore?

Not a chance.

I can imagine the twinkle coming back to her eyes, the laugh lines getting deeper, her age-spotted hands eager to tickle her precious new grandson. Naomi’s life is sweet.

I think, in a way, God was sitting her down and saying…

“Naomi. Your name is N-A-O-M-I. That’s the name I gave you, that’s who you are.”

God is a good dad, and He doesn’t want His children assuming an identity that isn’t theirs. When we allow ourselves to be renamed by our circumstances, He wants us to quit actin’-a-fool and remember who HE SAYS we are, what names HE HAS given us.

What name is He trying to remind you of today, friend?

Your name is Redeemed.
Your name is Precious.
Your name is Hopeful.
Your name is Significant.
Your name is Joy.

What “names” are you claiming today?

Under Grace,

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Other Lovely Reads…
A New Name
The Perfect First-Year Anniversary Gift
5 Minute Microwave Hummus
Living With Less | Possessions (THIS)
I will always be a sucker for Farm Weddings…#sorryimnotsorry

31 thoughts on “#SheSharesTruth | The Name Your Daddy Gave You

  1. Found you through SRT! What a great post – thank you for sharing today. (When I was 8, I changed my name from Molly to Dawn. For a couple of weeks…pretty sure this was because Stephanie on Full House tried the same thing in a recent episode. I’m glad I came to my senses 😉 )

  2. Thank you for the uplifting words this morning! What we feed ourselves daily is what we will believe. This is incredible truth to write everywhere in our homes, mirrors, cars and desk. 🙂 I need this most at work so I don’t let my circumstances get the best of me. It’s been a slow process for me learning to step back, reflect on God’s truth, then react.

    • Hey there, Sarah!! Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂

      Absolutely – what we fill ourselves with every day is what we will end up believing. I understand that work can definitely be discouraging sometimes…I would definitely encourage you to put Scripture around your desk or workspace to remind you of God’s truth throughout the day! Reflecting on God’s truth can be a hard thing to remember sometimes…I know that Scripture post-its definitely help me!

      Have a blessed weekend, friend!

    • Sarah, how true that is… “What we feed ourselves daily is what we will believe.” This is why it is SO important to spend time in the morning (any time in the day, really, but the morning especially) with the Lord, in the quiet of the dawn. If I have even one day where I’m a bit off with devotions and bible study, I can fall into believing the worst things. So thankful for the fact that we can sit and ask the Lord to show us truth on a daily, minutely basis, no matter what! Praise you, God! Be blessed, Sarah. 🙂

      • AnnaLee, that is a beautiful name!
        Yes! About a year and a half ago I stumbled upon SheReadsTruth (also how I found Rachel 🙂 ). It has transformed my quiet time and connected me with so many bold, precious women that spread positive messages of influence. Have a glorious weekend!

  3. I loved your post this morning. I especially like the last part of your post beginning with God is a good dad . . . We all need that reminder.

  4. I loved this post Rachel. Beautifully written!
    My name….Amy means Beloved- and that is a meaning that I need to claim everyday (which is probably why my middle name is Dawn 🙂
    I am not just Beloved by my parents who named me, or my husband….but by the God who created me. I loved reading through Ruth SO much!
    So glad to read your thoughts on it this morning!

  5. Rachel, I loved this. Thank you! I found your post from SRT by randomly clicking a link and it’s SUCH a blessing, as all of your posts have always been! Praise God for you, sweet sister. 🙂

    “Anna” means favor or grace; “Lee” means shelter from wind or weather. I don’t think my parents knew that at the time of naming me (or maybe they did– who knows), but it’s amazing just how much it’s been true in my life– and just how much I’ve forgotten it.

    Today, I didn’t have the best of devotional times with the Lord– I wasn’t very focused, and I came to it fearful of many things in my life that I’m afraid of “failing God” on… my life has been chalk full of change, and I’ve been too scared to trust Him through it most of the time, causing a lot of freaking out. Reading your post brought me to a place of Godly sorrow for once again casting a light on Christ that wasn’t like Him at all. It brought to mind what I read today (Exodus 4-5) and put in my heart what I should’ve taken to heart much earlier: that it does not matter who I am– my flaws, my failures, or my faltering lips– but who the Lord is, His abundant provision for every faltering flaw within me, and what He’s called me to do. Praise God for you, that your words spoke to a part of me that needed much firm reassurance and encouragement. I love you, sister! Praying that you’d be incredibly blessed in the coming week!

    • AnnaLee!! Ah! I’m so glad you found my wee lil’ blog, friend! Thank you for your sweet words!

      AnnaLee is SUCH a beautiful name. I love finding out the meanings behind names, you know? I think there’s such beauty in embracing the meanings of our names.

      My dear friend…you’ve got to give yourself the same grace that God gives you! His grace is sufficient for you…you don’t have to prove anything to Him or work your way into His love. He doesn’t want you to be engulfed in sorrow or shame, but in the freedom and joy that the Cross brings us. Blessings, my friend!!

  6. Love this! Just finished the Ruth series and adored every minute of it. Jenny means “beautiful purity” but I don’t know how many times I’ve unintentionally renamed myself and told myself I was anything but beautiful or pure. Reading Ruth was a great reminder that my circumstances do not define my meaning or my purpose – only God can do that.

    • Hey there, Jenny! Thanks for popping in!

      Ah, Ruth was SO good, wasn’t it?! Are you doing the Sermon on the Mount study?

      Your name has an absolutely stunning meaning…hold onto that, friend! It is so tempting to let our circumstances or feelings rename us, but God’s Love defines us in such stronger ways.

  7. Hi! I found you through the oak &oats linkup and can I just tell you THANK YOU for this beautiful post! It’s such a good reminder as I often want to rename myself as “ugly” or “unworthy” depending on my circumstances of that day. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that it is HE who loves us and HE who names us!

    • Hey there, Sarah!! Thank you so much for stopping in from the Oak and Oats link up!! Elizabeth is just fabulous for hosting it, isn’t she?!

      You’re so welcome, friend! I’m glad this encouraged you! Letting our feelings or our circumstances rename us is so tempting and ends up being so discouraging. It can be hard to remember that it is in GOD that our identity is secure!

  8. Visiting you from the Oaks&Oats link up.

    She allows her circumstances to define her. She lets her soul turn bitter. Don’t we all do that sometimes? I remember a mentor in college pointing out to me that when I let bitterness and hard feelings take over my heart, the person who suffers the most is me. Really eye opening.

    So thankful that we aren’t named by our circumstances or situations. We don’t have to live under those things. We can live under God’s love and grace instead. What an identity change.

    • Hey Ali! I’m so glad you stopped by!! Thank you!

      Absolutely…bitterness is a poison that only affects us. I think at one point or another, we’re all guilty of letting bitterness or circumstances replace the knowledge of God’s sovereignty! What a relief that He has better grace for us!

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