Re: Rename

We have so many names throughout our life. Some might call them hats we wear. Roles we fill. Labels. Titles. But they identify us. Define us. We may have chosen to take them on, or they may have been imposed on us.

We’re born and we become son or daughter. We might be sister or brother from the beginning or maybe later on. Grandchild. Niece or nephew. Cousin. We get older and become Student. Friend. Neighbor.

Other names may be spoken over us. Helpful. Rambunctious. Quiet. Smart. Challenge. Humorous.

As we develop our own interests, or maybe have adults who, with their best intentions want to introduce us to new interests, we take on other names. Athlete. Musician. Artist. Leader.

Then suddenly we’re staring at adulthood. We may choose our career, our field, our job or it may choose us. We may know what we want, or may spend years trying to figure it out. We may stick to one. Or try out many. But we also take on names based on our work.

For me, I knew what I wanted, but didn’t have anyone t tell me how to get it. So, I joined the military. I became Sailor. Weather guesser. And took on names defined by my rank and position.

I had other names too. I made a commitment of faith and became Christian. I fell in love and became Wife. Then Mom. Others provided me the name Aunt. Many years later, Grammy.

I’m at a point in my life where I’ve finally chosen a name I’ve wanted for so long. Author.

I’ve been blessed with many names and also afflicted with some. I’ve readily accepted some of the names and rejected others.

Names are important to God. His name is important. Often he is referred to in the capacity of our experience. One Who Sees. Healer. Shepherd. With Us. Strong. Mighty. Lord. Savior. When God told a man named Moses his name, he said, I AM who I AM.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned something amazing. I learned that the God I love and the God who loves me has always been in the business of renaming. He sees us not as others see us, but as he created us to be.

Exalted Father (Abram) became Father of Many (Abraham)

Supplanter (Jacob) became God Wrestler (Israel)

Jesus began calling his friend Simon by a new name, Rock (Peter)

And after Saul encounter Jesus, he went from a name many associated with a persecutor, to a different name, one meaning Humble (Paul)

The best thing I’ve learned, however, is that God also has a name for me. One he chose. One that’s good. Because he’s in the business of good gifts.

  • “…and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” Revelation 2:17
  • “I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:5
  • “And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.” Isaiah 62:2

What joy to know that we don’t have to be known by what we’ve done, what others think of us, and even what we think of ourselves. Instead, we can be know by the One Who Sees, the One who gives us a new name.

Ask. He’ll reveal it to you. And delight in who he sees you to be.

Grace and Peace.



About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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