I woke up this morning with a lot of different topics rolling around in my mind that are worthy of deeper focus – or at least I deem them so. I feel compelled to attempt a clarity and focus of my writing at this point in my life more than I have in previous writings. When the qualities of beauty and mystery in life are able to penetrate my awareness — it feels prudent to “hang on” to those moments. One way I can do this is through writing. Often I feel like my thoughts and writing are so much meaningless “drivel” (to use a word that an enemy of mine once used to describe my writing). Isn’t it interesting how some insults hurt us worse than others – shooting barbs into a bullseye of our essence which we cannot, by ourselves, dislodge. Anyway, forgiveness and the way of offences is another topic for which I have plenty of inspiration. Unfortunately.
Back to that earlier train of thought: I don’t believe (as much as I’d like to) that I am able to responsibly edit my own expressions of thought or feeling or questioning. Who am I to say what is ordinary or profound? Mysterious or obvious? Known or unknown? In short – we can never know the significance or insignificance of our words. Or how God -fate- or destiny might use them to shed light or hope on another’s search for meaning in life.
And of course the converse is true. So in writing, as in all things, one must not strive. I can’t strive to say “only the right things” or “only the things that matter”. I can only willingly express what is and then release it, knowing that the ultimate power and good that is Absolute Love will breathe the breath of life into that which comes from Truth. And that which is of cynicism and doubt or merely “chaff” will fade away and become of no consequence whatsoever.
The topics I woke up with on my mind this morning were of
1. My names which I have felt God has called me by-– and why.
And 2. The gift of not knowing.
How that happens and what it means. In each of these things I learn more daily about growing in love and being free.
What I am telling you next is private. It doesn’t really matter that anyone else would read it or know it. Truthfully, it probably won’t mean much to anyone but me. And it means everything to me because it is who I am as God sees me. That’s why it is private and personal. For the most part I consider it private because it is still so difficult for me to embrace these thoughts as truth and reality. There is another aspect of it though.
What I am about to share isn’t something that can only happen to me. It can and should belong in everyone’s conscience image of themselves: A secret communion or understanding of how God/Love sees us. It’s not generic like “God so loved the world” might suggest. It’s shockingly intimate. It is disarmingly precise. It is God speaking to me in terms of endearment as can only be described as how one lover speaks to another. Yet I do not claim that I love Him like this – or can. But I feel that I recognize and hear His voice as He names me. And with the naming He has bestowed on me an identity for which I feel “fitted” to. It’s hard to explain. It’s simple in light of the understanding that all things (including us) are His Creation. It’s complicated in the sense that the naming is so much more often felt as something I wish I could be to “someone” rather than being it for its own sake. The new name is often not comprehended as being possible in this life time. I guess what I’m saying is that the still small voice I think has whispered these personal names into my spirit is hard not to negate as fantasy or wishful thinking. The voice is persistent though and the name will be often confirmed and put in front of me on a frequent basis until I begin to accept that maybe it is so.
Isaiah 43:2 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are mine.”
God is still revealing to me what He means by the names He has called me by. Ten years ago He spoke to me about roses. In Hebrew “Shoshanah”. I wrote much about this in another journal. I am also “Rachael” which means “lamb” in Hebrew. There is a specific context for the naming in this instance and it was tied to my need for a father. It was a name I heard or “thought about” in my heart as being “me” but always wondered why. One day my mom told me (and she knew nothing of these thoughts) that Grandma Bose – who I was very close to – had wanted to name me “Rachael” before I was born. My mom didn’t really volunteer that information to me. It came out during a conversation between her and my daughter Grace. Grace was very young – 2 or 3 maybe and also knew nothing of my “claim” to this name. But, she had a doll that she was very attached to which she had named Rachael. I happened to be listening when my mom asked Grace what her dolly’s name was or I would have never known that my grandma had wanted to name me Rachael. This is only one example of an incident (there were several) that reinforced my belief that “Rachael” was not a name I imagined for myself but was in fact one that “The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name.” Jeremiah 1:5
So was the name I was given at my birth wrong? Was the name “Dawne” wrong? No! Absolutely not. In another story I have written I am the girl “Jophia “. In Hebrew it means “light”. When our Israeli friends began speaking to me in Hebrew now and then they would call me “Shachar” which is dawn in Hebrew. Most recently I was standing in the kitchen one afternoon a few weeks ago and the thought came into my head “Aurora”. I commented to myself on this internal thought — that “Aurora” is a lovely name. I also thought “but it’s not my real name – no one would ever call me that. I’m “Shoshanah” or “Rachael. I can’t be Aurora.” I liked it though. I wondered how I could use that name somehow. We were looking for a puppy to adopt and I made a mental note to myself to keep that name in reserve for a puppy. That was the end of my inner dialogue. The very next day I was sitting in the control room of the MRI and the radiology tech says (out of the blue!) “Aurora”. That’s all he said. Nothing led up to it. No personal conversations of any kind. We were just sitting there listening to the MRI machine banging and knocking and he throws that one word out. I was sure I had misheard him. I said, “What did you say?” He said, “Aurora. That’s your name in Spanish.”
Wow. Very cool!! So I’ve had this fascination — spiritual hunger maybe — to see my Creator expressing His glory in the mystery of the Aurora Borealis. I caught the briefest glimpse of it at the Lake of the Woods on my 42nd birthday. It was muted and dim but still so magnificent that I cried when I saw it.
All of this feels like arrogance or narcissism almost – to “claim” a namesake belonging to a phenomenon as striking and mysterious and awe-inspiring as the Northern Lights. At the time I witnessed them, God had not yet called me “Aurora”, but I felt, even at that time, that those lights were a gift with some special meaning for me because I saw them on my birthday. And it was July! I just never expected to see the Northern Lights during the middle of summer.
God is still teaching things to me about these names and what they say about how He sees me. What I do know is that when I think about the names He has called me and the way it changes how I see Him seeing me, I am sure that He delights in me! Like, really, really rejoices in me! I can scarcely wrap my head around it, let alone hold the thought in my heart.
This is the take home message: He “names” each of us! People don’t know it because they don’t recognize when a thought is “God calling” them. It starts with wanting to know how God sees you. Ask Him that and then pay attention to your ‘thoughts’. Those thoughts and ideas may actually be the still small voice of His Spirit calling to yours – whispering… “You are my beloved. You are precious in my eyes and honored. I give men in return for you, people’s in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:7)