The Surprising Thing God Said to Me

Stop calling yourself names.

And He said it with such force and finality that it took me by surprise.

Did He really just say that?  I asked myself.

But I knew.  I knew it was Him.  It certainly didn’t come from me.  And I was actively seeking Him at the time.  At a retreat, during a time of prayer after good teaching all day.

I think I started to cry.  But not the horrible, wrenching sobs of wretchedness.  No, they were the cleansing, quiet tears of joy.

I suddenly got a glimpse of how much He values me, how highly He thinks of me, even though I disagree with Him at every turn.  I call myself Worthless, and Useless, and Hopeless.  I name myself Failure, and Not Good Enough.  I call myself Thoughtless, and Selfish, and Resentful.

But He calls me His.  And He says that’s enough.

But He doesn’t just leave it there.

He names me Lovable, and Worthy.  He calls me Talented, and Important To His Plan.  He tells me that I am On Purpose, not A Mistake.  He takes my weaknesses, and He calls them Useful.

I often forget the things God said to me so lovingly that night — and would say every night, if I would just listen.

I still push those names away sometimes, calling them untrue.

Did you see that, God?  Did you see what I just did?  How I just failed?

He always answers.  I don’t always have ears to hear.

I saw.  Stop calling yourself names.


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