|Angelika's artwork of the backyard and the flowers.|
Well, I can't put a name on myself, either. Okay, literally, people are confused on how to call me. (Come on people, we've been on this before! See post What's My Name?) Recently, I have been called Risa, which is rice in Russian, because my name here is pronounced Z-ur-na. It is similar in sound to some kind of grain. Then there's Jorna. Never mind where that comes from.
Figuratively, however, it has only been a few years since I have come to put a name on myself. But here goes the online tests which claim that they know me just by my name or my picture. (I know almost all, if not all, know what I'm talking about here. You can't resist those online tests too! Admit it...) I had pretty amusing moments laughing at the results. Some are quite accurate, others are barely there, still others are just pure flattery or feel-good statements or downright baloney.
One of the results told me : Zernah, You are brilliant and stubborn! Another one said that I am... Brave. Fearless. Never gives up. And the word that describes me perfectly is Beautiful. Then, another said that I am Benevolent. (I wasn't certain what it means, so I googled up the word.) Here's another one, but not just one word. With a name like yours, you were meant to travel to the beat of your own drum! You have always been the type of person who likes to approach the world differently. Sometimes, it might get you into trouble, but you are always able to stay positive no matter the situation. You were born with a unique gift to share with the world and you are a bright star that will bring joy and happiness to those that surround you! Never lose sight of how special you are!
Woah! The words sound pretty good, right? (I intentionally made them bold, colorful and large so you'll color with envy or cringe in embarrassment, or roll around with hilarity, or throw up in disgust. Ha! That's a multiple choice... statement.) But how about the days when I'm not brave or beautiful or benevolent? Or when all I want is to fit in and keep any attention away from me? Does that make me less of me?
I have been called other names, too, ones that are not so wonderful, while others are downright degrading. There's 'crazy', 'stupid' and 'ugly'-- I have heard in a few different languages. Ah, even looking at these words take me down the twisted road. They are childish and often uttered with a purpose to hurt and break someone down. Let's back up.
When I mentioned above that it has only been a few years since I've come to know who I really am, I am not exaggerating. It's a hard job. Some people have left home and loved ones just to sort of "find themselves". But I didn't have to do that. Instead, God put a desire in me to know Him more and to grow in Him. He placed me in different circumstances and places--- and the result is a journey of adventure to His heart. I wouldn't exchange it for anything (even if I do whine or throw tantrums whenever things go out of hand-- my hand).
In knowing God, I began to know myself, who I really am, and what I am going to be. I know exactly where I fit in. I Have been created to do so even before the world began. I just love what the Bible says, not only about me, but all of us. (Tip: Please read the verses below slowly. Relish every word.)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the praise of the glory of His grace,
by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us
in all wisdom and prudence,
having made known to us the mystery of His will,
according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times
He might gather together in one all things in Christ,
both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,
being predestined according to the purpose of Him
who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
I was made for His praise and be with Him.
We have myopic eyes. But it's not a surprise, considering what we often see and hear, or what we choose to watch and listen to. Often we are told that we are not good enough--- there's someone out there more beautiful with plumped up lips, sultry eyes and thinner than knife body. Or we are not smart enough, or more professional, or creative, or more put-together. So we strive and we lose ourselves, the one God has made. And since there's something missing in us, we struggle to fill it with something that gives us significance, be it possessions, profession, prestige, places (travel) or even the good things--- people (husband, family, friends, etc.). Oh, the many ways we lose ourselves!
But there is only one way to find ourselves again--- only in Him, who made us and loves us and wants to be with us. If you are in doubt, read the verses again above. (This time slower.)
In Him, I found who I am through His eyes.
His friend (John 15:14).
An heir (Galatians 4:7).
His letter (2 Corinthians 3:3).
His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19).
His servant (Acts 16:17).
Strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
His chosen (1 Peter 2:9).
Called (Romans 1:6).
His beloved (Romans 1:7).
His child (John 1:12).
And you are too, when you give your life to Him, just as He has given His life to you.
Many people have asked me what my name means. I really don't know. It's a name given out of love. My parents decided to give both of their names to me by combining the last letters of their names: Eliezer and Myrna equals Zernah. (Isn't that sweet?) So while other children grew up with their names and their meanings, I grew up with my parents'. And with their lives. I appreciate what they had given me--- a good name.
Like the flowers, with their scientific-and-exotic-Latin-sounding names, out there glowing, I'll glow with God's light with a good name, even on days when I don't feel benevolent, beautiful, or brave. Because He takes care of it. It's His thing. A favorite quote keeps me in line whenever I forget...
"(God) has surrounded you with beauty to teach you that you are not placed on earth merely to delve for self, to dig and build, to toil and spin, but to make life bright and joyous and beautiful with the love of Christ---like the flowers, to gladden other lives by the ministry of love." (E.G. White, TMB)
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