Not too long ago I went through a name change…I did not publicly announce it to everyone I knew. It was a gradual process, done over the span of several months. God had placed the idea on my heart a couple of years before I even choose to step out in faith and actually make the change.
For several reasons I struggled with the decision to do so. One…everyone knew me by my old name. Two, it is not something that is commonly done…our names are given to us by our parents. Most people are born and die with the same name. The third reason and the biggest hurdle for me to get over was the fact that I did not believe that I deserved the name God had given to me. You see Nava means beautiful and I did not see myself as beautiful. I am not just talking about outward appearances, I am speaking of who I am inside. I was ashamed of my past, what I had done, who I once was. Even though the Bible clearly tells us that we are a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), that our sins are washed clean (Isaiah 1:18), I was not believing this! The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had a lack of faith! I was not really, actively believing and as the last part of Romans 14:23 tells us… ‘and everything that does not come from faith is sin’.
Where had this come from?!? This lack of faith…this sin that was so silent I had not even noticed it creeping into my heart and my mind? It had come from years of allowing the enemy to speak lies over me. So now that this sin was revealed how did I break it off? I had to turn to the scriptures…
‘For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,’
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV
‘But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ Luke 12:7 KJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ‘ John 3:16 ESV
The Bible contains so many more scriptures describing just how precious we are to God, so many that I cannot list them all here for times sake. God loves us! In fact the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is a love story written to us from God. I was believing the enemy instead of the creator of the universe when it came to how I viewed myself. I was picking and choosing what I was going to believe…for I believed that Christ has died on the cross for my redemption, and yet I was not believing what the Bible said about my self-worth!
THIS IS DANGEROUS! We can’t have it both ways. Either the Bible is the inspired word of God as 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:’ (KJV) or it’s not, in which case, it is just a man-made story about a great prophet…and nothing in the book is absolute truth.
Well I KNOW that the Bible IS in fact the inspired word of God, I KNOW that their IS a God and everything written in the Bible IS true! I am living proof…I am a new creation. The old ‘me’ is gone. When I look back on my life its like looking at a stranger…which is exactly why God gave me a new name! My sins ARE gone! They HAVE been washed away! Once I understood this I was fully able to embrace my new name. Of course Satan did not like it! Right away he came in for the attack. I was accused of changing my name as a way of running from my past. I laughed…just like it says in Proverbs 32:25 ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.’ NIV
I laughed because that could not be farther from the truth. I don’t try to hide my past…now obviously I don’t go around giving an account of all my past sins to everyone I meet on the street; who does that? But I do when led by the spirit share my testimony. I am not afraid of my past, where I come from…what I did…I am not proud, but I am not ashamed. You see I did not publicly make an announcement of my name change for two reasons. First, God was still working on me. (Just as he is today) Second, I did not need to…those who know me…really know me, know my story and the reason for my name change. My testimony has touched and changed the lives of too many others for me to be ashamed. It is powerful and it points to God’s redeeming grace! Just as our testimonies are supposed to do…my name is not about me! The truth is that my name points to God the father and just how much he loves each one of us.