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Sunday, July 6, 2008

He Knows My Name

Can you imagine going into labor almost 6 weeks early and then when you finally fully come around, you have not one baby but two? That's what happened to my mother. We were born at a time with twins were a rarity. Until we were in the fifth grade, we were the only twins in our elementary school. If I remember correctly, we were only one of three sets of twins in my high school.

Some twins out grow some of their identicalness. That has not been the case for us. Last fall, she went to the Hearts at Home Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. One of my best friends is the founder and several people from my church went to help out. My sister had person after person greet her with, "Amy, I didn't know you were going to be here!" She got tired of explaining that she was not who they thought she was.

As a child, we were both fairly shy and quiet. To our horror, when we would go out somewhere, people would stare and point and say, "Oh, look at the twins." It made us want to sink beneath the table.

Being a twin became my primary identity. People couldn't tells us apart, so they opted for "the twins" and things like "whichever one you are." I felt like no one apart from the pair. Add to this the fact that my family was abusive. We learned that it was better to be invisible than seen.

Over the years I've realized that this "one of a pair/many" mindset has played out in my faith. I took John 3:16 (NIV) to heart:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world. My faith had kind of global feel it. Yes, I was loved and accepted but only because I was one of the masses.

Several years ago I went through a very rough patch. While I still believe in God, I decided not to go to church, not to make any more effort in my relationship with Him. I felt with the things that had happened, He had deserted me.

After 9 miserable months, I was even more desperate. I showed up on the doorstep of my current church. I was befriended and loved on, but I remained wary of God. Each week when communion was passed, I let it pass me by. There was a fear that I had in some way "snuck in the back door" and that I could only stay as long as God didn't notice me.

This went on for about 6 months. I do not remember what the pastor was preaching on, but one Sunday I had the overwhelming urge to take communion again. I whispered to my friend, "If I take communion do you think God wills zap me?" I honestly imagined a lightening bolt from heaven. "No," she assured me. And then, she said, "Let me serve it to you." In those precious moments, God began to reveal to me that he indeed saw me and loved me.

Recently, I went to Proverbs 31's She Speaks conference. I had the privilege of meeting many of the friends I've made in blogland. I was surprised how many people recognized me by name and threw their arms around me in delight. I still tend to think of myself as "overlooked" or "uninteresting." Those few days were a precious reminder that not only the lovely women I met saw me, the God of the universe sees me. He delights over me. He knows my name.

Isaiah 43:1 says the following:

But now, this is what the Lord says -- he who formed you, O Israel; "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.

Praise God, that He knows my name and He knows yours as well!

  • Which do you relate more to, the global thought of God loving you or the personal thought of Him knowing your name?
  • What do you think is behind your feeling that way?
  • How can knowing God knows your name and has redeemed you change your perspective today?
God's Work In Progress,

This year I'm focusing on hope. I'd love for you to visit my personal blog:

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Blogger Kari said...

What a beautiful post and just what I needed today! I have always had more of a personal experience of God but it is so great to remember that He is interested in even the small details in our life!

July 6, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

A beautiful post. It is wonderful to think that God knows by my name.

July 6, 2008 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger StitchinByTheLake said...

My parents didn't go to church when I was a child but neighbors picked up the four of us every Sunday for a year (until they were transferred out of town) and took us to SS and church with them. Consequently, I've always thought God sent a limousine (really just a 1951 everyday sedan) just for me! :) He made sure I had a ride to get where I could be taught about Him. After that I walked, most of the time alone, the 7 blocks to get there because I knew that if I didn't go God was going to miss me. Blessings, marlene

July 6, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

When I was a child, I used to wonder how God could hear my prayers and everyone else's! Now, I realize that what I pray for may not be what is the best. I pray "Thy will be done.'
God bless you, Cindi

July 6, 2008 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a very lovely post, thank you.

July 6, 2008 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Aren't you glad that you're not just one of the masses to God. I love it!
Great post.

July 7, 2008 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Joyful said...

Oh my goodness, Amy, this entire post is so true of me, I could have written it...but not as well.

As you know, I'm at identical twin, born almost a full 15 weeks early - the story surrounding my birth is truly a miracle. I can relate so well to everything you wrote - being known as "the twins", being mistaken as my sister (I wrote a post on that not long ago:

All through school, the "computer" refused to recognize my existance and I was given a hand-written timetable and report card each semester - right through High School.

The "whichever one you are" and the idea of being "seen and not heard" are familiar sayings etched on my heart.

I too, had a year of wilderness wandering in my 30's - but, like you, God's love broke through one Fall morning. He spoke to me through a song, "You are a treasure, worth more than anything under the sun or the moon, God's greatest treasure is the treasure of you." I had believed that God could personally love everyone else, but didn't believe He could love me unconditionally - although, I had been a Christian since the age of 8.

Thanks for reminding me again today that I am His. I love the verse in Isaiah that tells me I am precious and honoured in His sight and He loves me!

He loves you today and always too!
PS. Wish I had connected with you at "She Speaks" - did you attend the Blogger's Reception? It would have been wonderful to meet you.

July 7, 2008 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

I remember learning the song as a child when I needed it most: "Oh how He loves you and me." Then at a time I believed my identity was that of my jaded family life, "He Knows My Name." He called me out to be different, unique and set apart with my new identity, His unique calling for me. This post serves as a wonderful reminder for me from that time of life. Thank you for sharing it, and may He continue to give you incredible peace and joy as you see yourself through His eyes.

July 7, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger SharonB said...

The first time I realized how personal God was, and that He knew MY name brought tears to my eyes. I had been a Christian for a long time before realizing this! He knows my name! He calls me by MY name!
To me it means SO much because to know someones name means that you have cared enough to pay attention and learn it. Growing up in a family as I did(long story)I felt I had no value, or worth. I was a bother, and often felt invisible except when someone needed something from me.

To understand fully that God is a very personal God and know's my name has given me value. God loves me, He cares for me, He knows my name.

July 7, 2008 at 10:30 PM  

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