Thursday, March 26, 2009

A New Name and More

Last week, I received my "Captivating" heart to heart DVD curriculum in the mail. I had bought this after getting a CBD catalog which offered a special code to get the entire curriculum for about 75% off. It was too awesome to pass up on.

So yesterday, I was sitting down to one of the discussions with these lovely women on the DVD. They were sharing their own stories of how God showed each of them His heart toward them, as opposed to the lies the enemy had thrown at them as little girls and even now. One beautiful woman shared how a friend prayed for her one day and felt that God was calling her His sunshine and His delight. These words from God moved her because she had always loved light and the way it reflected on things. Well, not long after this lady's friend gave her that word, her co-worker began calling her "sunshine". He had no idea that God had called her that first. As time went on, God just kept reinforcing to her in a myriad of ways that she was His sunshine, until she finally believed it. Since her childhood, she had felt there was something dark about her. But God broke the lies of the enemy with the truth of how He saw her. He gave her a new name.

Another woman shared how one weekend she went to a retreat and the speakers were encouraging everyone to ask God what His name for them was. The woman sharing this story did so but never "heard" anything from God. Disappointed, she told her friends that she had not heard anything and they prayed for her. She and her friends discussed her struggles with fear and so they prayed over that fear. The character of "Much-Afraid" from the book Hinds Feet on High Places came to this woman's mind, and she thought to herself- that is who I am, Much Afraid. She was thinking about what the enemy called her. But when she got home from her retreat that weekend, she sat down and opened the book mentioned above. Without any intention on her part, she opened it to the very page in which the Shepherd told Much Afraid that she would no longer be called that, but her new name would be Grace and Glory.

I just teared up when I heard these stories. And it made me think of my story.

I will not go into details, but basically I often felt "alone", "neglected", "unwanted", and "undesired". In a way, those were the "names" the enemy would place in my heart. I just did not feel many people were interested in me or delighted in me.

Well, last night God brought a scripture to my mind, and as I went to read it, I realized that there was so much more to it than I had known. I knew it spoke of God giving us a new name, one showing that He delights in us. But I had not known the extent to what else that scripture was saying. As I read it, I knew that God was speaking to me and giving me a new name, or actually two new names (as He did with the "Much Afraid" to "Grace and Glory" woman).

God spoke these names to me: "Hephzibah" (which means my delight is in her) and "Sought Out".

"You shall no more be termed Forsaken...But you shall be called Hephzibah [My delight is in her]... for the Lord delights in the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you...Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the Daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes [in the person of the Lord]...and you shall be called Sought Out...not Forsaken." (Isaiah 62 Amplified)

Forsaken. That word means neglected and left alone. That is the opposite of delighting in someone. To delight in someone means to take pleasure in them and desire them; which is the opposite of being unwanted.

Wow. God has not forsaken me. He wants me. He takes pleasure in me. He delights in me. He calls me Hephzibah, because His delight is in me. He rejoices over me. Not only that, but He does the opposite of leaving me alone: He calls me "Sought Out". Do you know what that means? It means "to seek with care". I am not forsaken; I am sought out. I am pursued. I am romanced.

God spoke this to me in such a personal way. But it is true for you also.

I will leave you all with these quotes from the book Captivating. We are sought; God does seek us and delight in us.

"Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventure but with duties and demands? We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought- that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us."

"Most of our addictions as women flare up when we feel that we are not loved or sought after...every woman wants to be seen, wanted, and pursued...We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing."

"We have all heard it said that a woman is most beautiful when she is in love. It's true. When a woman knows that she is loved, she glows from the inside. This radiance stems from a heart that has had its deepest questions answered. "Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for? Have I been and will I continue to be romanced?" When these questions are answered, yes, a restful, quiet spirit settles in a woman's heart."

"You have been and you will continue to be romanced all your life...every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears, all have been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God's version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on the lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens and fierce devotion...He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster."

"God has been wooing you ever since you were a little girl...What romanced your heart as a girl? Horses in a field? The fragrance of the air after a summer rain? Was it a favorite book like the Secret Garden? The first snowfall in winter?...These were all whispers from your Lover, notes sent to awaken your heart's longings."

"We have missed many of his love notes simply because we shut down our hearts in order to endure the pain of life. Now, we must open our hearts that we can hear his whispers, receive his kisses...If we listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our whispers to us in the wind...reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love...we've sensed it at the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean...Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing, deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty and adventure."

"God has written the romance not only on our hearts but all over the world around us. What we need is for him to open our eyes, to open our ears that we might recognize his voice calling to us, see his hand wooing us in the beauty that quickens our heart."


Michelle Gregory said...

there is something very special about receiving a new name. i hope that you hear many more from him.

and thank you for the reminder, and for quoting Captivating. maybe it's time for me to go back and re-read certain parts.


Amy said...

I love that picture of the women dancing with the Father.. wow!!!

mmmm.... how I love the Father's heart! He told me my name too! :) Your story is absolutely beautiful! He is so beautiful and HIs love is so true and good!

Love your heart always, my friend!

Oh oh and I have somethin' for ya on my blog.. yeah yeah yeah.. come on over when you get a sec!

~ Amy


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