The Daniel Dilemma—Who Am I?

The Attempt to Rename Me

When I was a child, I (and all my friends) wanted new names. We chose for ourselves names that evoked fantasies about great strength or mystical powers or whatever captured our fancies. My best friend, whose last name was Ball, desperately wanted to be called Crystal. But it wasn’t what we called ourselves that really mattered; it was what we answered to.

Written in the Stars

In The Daniel Dilemma, Chris Hodges talks about naming his children. He and his wife chose a Biblical name and a family name for each of their children, naming them intentionally. So did my husband and I. Our children’s names mean “Ruler / God has been gracious,” “Grace / Pure,” “Victorious / Friend,” “Descender / God is my judge,” and “Clear / Consecrated.” Some of them have grown up into their names, and others—not so much. Still, they are young and God isn’t finished with them.

My given name is Susan Elaine, which means Lilly / Light. As I began to grow in God’s word, I was struck by the fact that when God changed Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah, the meaning of their names didn’t change as much as the added “ah” was the breath of God. That’s when I changed my name to Susannah. The meaning is still the same, but the spelling includes the breath of God.

But we adopt many names throughout our lives. Sometimes we allow circumstances to define us. We take on the name of a disease, tragedy, rejection, betrayal, and words that tell us who we are like “stupid” or “fat.”

We can let the culture around us define us, or we can call on God to tell us who we are. Satan would love to persuade you that you are not who God says you are. And if we listen to him, we will live out what he says.

But by the same token, if we listen to what God says, we can live out His name for us. Which do you choose?