Labels vs. Names


Labels vs Names

It was the middle of the day and I was driving down the highway. With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I questioned, “God, why do I have to be like this? Why can’t I just shut up?!”

One by one, all the labels put on me since I was little bounced around in my head.

“You are so rebellious!”

“You always have an opinion!”

“You’re always going against the grain!”

Labels

It’s funny how labels attach themselves to us. If we’re not careful, they become a part of us. Everything we do and say oozes out, filtered through this second layer of skin.

We make these labels a part of our very being. We believe they belong to us. We believe they identify us. We’re shamed by them.

Identity

In frustration and desperate to rid myself of this part of me, I cried out to the Lord,

God, am I just a rebellious girl who doesn’t know how to submit?

I don’t know how to go with the crowd. I don’t know how to smile and pretend I agree.

God, why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I just stay shut?”

And isn’t it funny? The way we expect God to show up and speak to us when we’re deep in some type of ritualistic and spiritual prayer? Yet it pleases Him to break through the mundane of the every day with glorious, life-changing truth.

“I created you this way. I gave you that voice. You just have to learn how to use it.”

People labelWait, you made me like this? Seriously? Like, on purpose?

All this time I’ve tried to change this part about me, yet you created me like this?

For the first time in my life, I looked at this part of my personality without shame.

People label what they cannot understand. However, God names whom He created, (Isaiah 43:1).

God created me like this. That part of me that fires up when I am convinced something is not right… that part of me that bubbles up inside not allowing me to ‘just let it go’… that part of me that has been misunderstood and misinterpreted since I was a little girl… that part- God created it. It is part of my identity.

Call To Action

One of the questions in Noel Yeatts study guide for her book, AWAKE, is “Read and discuss Proverbs 31:8-9. What does this mean for Christ followers?”

“Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy,” (Proverbs 31: 8-9, NKJV).

After reading the verses, my mind and heart went back to that conversation God and I had on the highway several years ago. “You just have to learn how to use it…” 

This verse gives us a reason to use our ‘voice’. It gives us a command to open our mouths and speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. It calls us to action for those who are poor and needy. We have a responsibility- a mandate to be the voice that doesn’t relent, doesn’t back down, and rubs against the grain of this culture.

If That’s You

  1. Trade those labels for your true name and identity. Join a community of storytellers, using their voice to help change the world. 
Become a World Help Blogger. (Find more information here. Then sign-up here#WHBLOGGERS).
  2. Find out more about Noel Yeatt’s book. (Get it right now, $2.99 on sale) [affiliate link]. Simply sign up on Noel’s blog and she’ll send you the first 2 chapters for free. 
  3. Join Noel and Michele-Lyn for an online book study.

Getting rid of the labels, and walking in my God-given name and identity,

-Darlene

(Won’t you join me?)

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Posted on September 18, 2013, in 2013 {Live Life Fully Committed} Challenge, LIFE, LIFE LESSONS, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, WorldHelp and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Darlene,

    I had a good chuckle with some of the things you were thinking during your highway drive. I soooo struggle with this. I get fired up so easily and am not afraid to speak my mind at certain times on the things that really bother me. It gets me into trouble sometimes and I’m sure I’ve rubbed some wrong.

    I’ve learned to tone it down quite a bit as of late but I know that I am still labeled certain things…specifically at work where I work with many atheists. I love the point you made about God making us this way. I had to read that a few times. It is so true! If everyone was silent and walking on egg shells nothing would move, nothing would be done, no one would hear what they needed to hear. I just have to learn how to say things more eloquently! Thank you for the encouragement!

    By the way…I just got Awake and have also just joined the World Help Bloggers!

    • Heather, I’m so glad you stopped by. I believe having a ‘voice’ comes with the responsibility of how we will use it. There have been many times, I’ve written something or wanted to say something, but I have felt the Holy Spirit saying, “Hold your tongue, Darlene.” It’s in those moments, I realize how easy my words can be used for destruction. Sometimes, well intentioned words crush spirits. It’s important we keep this on the forefront of our minds.

      When I say, God has taught me that He created me like this, I’m talking about the ability to communicate and stand up for His cause. However, it doesn’t give me a free pass to use my words to say whatever I want, when I want. {That’s the hard part! 😉 }

      Getting rid of labels can be so difficult. But the more we read the truths in God’s words, the better we understand who He created us to be.

      I’m so glad you got the book Awake and you’ll be joining the World Help Bloggers team! It’s such a great opportunity to fine-tune and use the gift God’s given you. Praying God continues to lead you in your writing.

      -Darlene

  2. Thank you so much for this. I too am one that goes against the grain and I am so encouraged by this to allow my identity in Christ to be what defines me and not what others think about me. I love how the Lord said to “learn how to use it” and that is what I am learning now. Pray for me as the Lord teaches me to use my voice; the voice He created!

    • Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your heart. I think it’s so important for us to submit to the authority of God so that we can measure our passion against His word. I think we will quickly know when we’re using our voice foolishly and when we are in fact being led by God. Praying God continues making it clear for you until all that remains is a complete understanding of His will for your life 🙂

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