I remember an encompassing feeling of longing I used to have as a child. I would be walking down the alley-like street between my sweet, elderly neighbor lady’s house and mine, and it would come over me. As I splashed through puddles on rainy days or popped tar bubbles with my bare toes on sweltering summery ones, I would wonder-
“Does anybody see me?”
And the longing would well up in me for someone to want to know me- to really seek to know me for all I am- and to love me.
It wasn’t that my parents didn’t love me. I always felt 100% loved by them. Yet, this longing welled up regularly anyway.
I Still Collide With That Longing As An Adult
Even as an adult, this feeling will collide with me when I least expect it. There are still people in my life that I deeply desire to know me. People that I had thought, because of the relational tie that binds us, would naturally seek to know me for who I am.
I would imagine many of us have people like that in our lives- long-term friends, parents, siblings, spouses, relatives, coaches, teachers, bosses, etc.
When these people, for whatever reason, exhibit little desire to truly know us, hold false perceptions of us, or entirely reject us, it can be very painful.
Seeking But Never Finding
I’ve seen grown adults still striving after the love of parents that long ago determined not to love them, but rather to abuse them. And I see how they try to bury their pain. And it grieves me.
I’ve seen orphans in Ukraine whose parents rejected them for no reason- perhaps accepting all their other children, but contemptuously treating this one child. It saddens me to the core.
Known Better Than We Know Ourselves
My comfort; my consolation is that we have One who knows us better than we know ourselves. I have felt Him whisper to my soul- “I know you. I love you. And that is enough.”
I remember something I learned in my teenage years that continues to fascinate me today. I was talking to a mom I babysat for that was like a mentor to me about how I didn’t really long for heaven, and felt I needed to understand it better. She had been through brain cancer (which she would die of just a few years after we had this discussion), and she lent me a series she had on heaven.
One of the things that fascinated me the most was the idea of Revelation 2:17
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
Names Represent Identity
I knew that, biblically, names represent the core of who someone is. When I read about the names of God- each in some way represent Who God is and shed a better light on various aspects of our incredible God. I’ve always loved studying the names used to refer to God in the Bible, as they help me to deepen my knowledge of Him.
My name has always fascinated me- at least after I became a Christian. Before, there was this character on Rugrats “Angelica,” and I just hated it when people turned my name into “Angelica” and spoke it with fake niceties. It was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
After I’d come to know the Lord and learned about the significance of names, my name took on new meaning to me. I felt it was something that fitted who I was to be, and I longed to measure up to the meaning of it.
Angela- bringer of truth
Brooke- a stream of living, bubbling water
What I knew of myself was that I felt God wanted me to be a bringer of truth- one that truth dances and bubbles out of like a refreshing brook of living water.
Our White Stone
So, looking at Revelation 2:17, we see a white stone with a new name written on it- a secret name. One only God knows right now. And that name represents our identity.
God’s secret name for us represents in a way nothing else can who we are to the core- what our unique role is in His kingdom.
As much as I am fascinated that I feel my current name was designed by God on purpose to compel me toward what I am to be, I am even more captivated by He who alone knows all I am designed to be. One of the things I long to find out in heaven is this eternal identity that God defines me by.
What This Tells Me
This little white stone tells me that my longing is fulfilled. I have Someone who has always seen me. It is El Roi, the “God who sees me,” the Name that Haagar used for the One who had seen her in her distress in Genesis 16.
He not only sees me, but He knows me better than I know myself. As much as I search and seek to be all He wants me to be now, there is yet more to discover, and He who has always known me holds that key.
What is your identity? Who has God designed you to be (at least what you know so far)? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you like this, please share it and check out some other posts: