|Photo by Marcia Lee Laycock|
Once at home I began a rehabilitation program – good food, lots of soft words and kind pets. And a name change. Corner became Klondike. He took to his name well and was eager to please me as I began to train him. My neighbour said he looked like a cartoon character, with ears that were too big for his face and paws that told us he was going to be a big dog. As time went on, Klondike grew into his ears and his paws and his name. He became my constant companion, ever obedient and extremely protective. Klondike became my guardian angel and I know he saved me on more than one occasion.
As I saved Corner, giving him a new name and a new life, Jesus did the same for me. Shortly after I yielded my will and my life to Him, I opened my new Bible and read this verse: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV).
That was a significant moment for me because for much of my life people had called me by a name that was not mine. My mother, whose heritage was British, named me Marcia, pronounced Mar-see-uh with the accent on the first syllable. At home I was Marci. But when I went to school my teachers began calling me Marsha. I was too shy to correct them and although I disliked it, went along with that name and that identity until I was out of high school. At university I insisted that everyone call me by the name my mother had given me.
To this day people often mispronounce my name, either using Marsha or putting the emphasis on the last syllable. But now it doesn’t bother me so much, because I know the One who created me knows my name. That’s all that matters.
It matters, too, that I live up to the name I’ve been given. I don’t want to be like Abigail’s husband, Nabal, whom she said lived up to his name, which meant stupid. (Read the story in 1 Samuel 25). I’d rather be like Simon whose name was changed to Peter (the rock) and who grew into that name as God strengthened and guided him into his new identity as a leader of His church. Or Abram, who became Abraham and Sarai who became Sarah. They grew into their names too, as they fulfilled the destiny God had planned for them.
So what’s in a name? Identity is wrapped up in it. As we grow into the identity we were meant to have, we grow into the name we have been given – Children of God.
“… that you become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world ...” (Philippians 2:15).
Visit my website to learn more about my writing and speaking ministry.