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Called by a New Name

by | Aug 6, 2012

Balancing a stack of dirty dishes and silverware, I was on my way to the kitchen when Diego and Giovanni intercepted me.

“Let us carry those for you, Michelle,” Giovanni smiled, taking the plates from me.

“But it’s my turn to do dishes today,” I protested.

“Yeah, but we want the dishes to make it to the kitchen in one piece,” laughed Diego.

“I can always tell when Michelle is on dish duty,” jumped in Daniel, “by the sounds of plates breaking and glasses shattering!” The others in the dining hall of the Central American Bible school chuckled as my face turned red. Smiling weakly, I slunk into the kitchen, humiliated.

False Labels

My clumsiness was a running joke among the students and staff. All eyes seemed to be on me when I was carrying something precarious, waiting for the inevitable catastrophe. “Don’t fall, Michelle! Don’t trip! Don’t break that!” my fellow students would call out. That only made me more nervous and self-conscious, and then I was more likely to fulfill their expectations!

Though I would laugh along when others made jokes about me being “accident-prone” or a “klutz,” I started to identify with those labels, accepting the fact that everyone expected me to fail.

But I’m not defined by others’ opinions. God has redeemed me out of that place of shame and given me a new name. I don’t have to identify with the labels of “clumsy” and “a klutz” anymore. He says I’m a beloved daughter, adopted into His royal family, given honor and treated with grace. Isaiah 6:2 says, “The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will designate” (NASB).

I still sometimes drop things, break things, spill things, or trip over my own feet. But now when friends laugh and make comments about it, I just smile and say I’m trying to slow down and be more careful. I’ve forgiven those in the Central American Bible school who labelled me a klutz, and I’ve rejected those false labels of shame and being untrustworthy. I’m learning to embrace my “new name” that the Lord has given me – “full of grace.”

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