What's your name?
What's your name? "Oh why hello there, I'm Tayler."
Every time you introduce yourself you say your name. You let them have something that they can identify you with. The next thing people generally want to know is "what do you do? Or what do you want to be?" This is another part of your identity. Another part of what makes you, you.
Everybody is given a name when they are born. A type of identity so others can recognise and call you. So you can be an individual. So you have a place in the world.
So what's your name? My name is Tayler. But that's not just who I am. That's my name. It's part of my identity. If everybody knew me of just from what my name was, this is who I would be: for one who works as a tailor (That's what my name means).
Hallelujah that's not what I am known as because if anyone knows me they know that sewing and making clothes is not my thing.
In fact I took soft materials for one and only one year at school.
I chose to make a skirt. A white skirt, but let me tell you by the end, when the skirt was finished it was no longer just white but rather white with red spots all over it and I had sore fingers and a very fed up soft materials teacher.
So thank goodness we are not only known for by what our name means. What other names do we have?
Some of my other names include; daughter, sister, friend, teacher.
Those are some of the other names or labels that are part of my identity, part of who I am and part of what makes me 'Tayler'.
But there are some other not so positive things that I also attach to my identity. Some other labels that I put upon my name and attach to who I am. Maybe words like failure. Unworthy. Shy. Not good enough. Not like other people. Liar. Fake. Defeated. Useless.
These like teacher or sister are what I attach to my identity what I attach to the name 'Tayler Jane Elliott-Bateman'.
When I think about the labels I give myself whether they are positive or negative I think about how I have let some of those names affect my life and definitely become who I am.
For example, for my whole schooling life I was painfully shy. Shy was one of the labels I have given myself and a label that others have given me. It helped them identify me and it provided me with something to grasp onto.
I didn't have to be that shy. It was a choice. I chose that label. Now I am choosing to get rid of it and place it with other words. Being shy is not necessarily a bad thing but it's not really who I truly was. If you were to ask my family or my friends if I was shy with them they would say, "heck no!" The problem for me was that I wasn't being consistent. I needed to shed that label and find a new one.
This reminds me of a song I have listened to recently and how the negative words we use to form part of our identity don't have to actually be true. In fact they aren't true. We have words that trump the negative and are what we should really be believing.
These are some of the lyrics that got my mind going:
(Hello my name is - Michael west)
"Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget
Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognise me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief "
As I was listening to this song I was like "yup, I know those names, I think that's how you spell Tayler actually..."
Then the song continued and the tone changed and went:
"Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time
Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life"
Whether you or I believe it or not God has given us names and words to describe us and these are true and alive in our lives.
These are words like; beloved, masterpiece (for we are Gods handiwork - Ephesians 2:10), treasure (The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his treasured possession - Deuteronomy 7:6), accepted (Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God's glory - Romans 15:7), a new creature (So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come - 2 Corinthians 5:17)!
These are just some of the many names God uses to identify you and me. We don't have to believe them just yet but they are true.
As I write this I am challenged to think about the names and labels I have put upon myself. Are they the truth or do I need to shake them off and (if we're going back to what my name 'means') clothe myself with new trumped and truthful words?
So, what's YOUR name?