Day 8: {truth} or dare? A dangerous game of name calling

She (Naomi) said to them (the people of Bethlehem), “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.  I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty.  Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”  Ruth 1:20-21 esv

Naomi entered into a dangerous game of name calling as she encountered family members and friends in Bethlehem.  She rejected her true name of Naomi, which means pleasantness or agreeable and took on the name of bitterness or Mara.

I refuse to be judgmental of Naomi.  I’ve participated in this dangerous game of name calling more times than I care to admit.  My name Lisa holds beautiful meaning:  Oath of God, God is satisfaction and in an English translation – My God is bountiful.  When I choose the truth of my name – I love my name.  Who wouldn’t want to be called ‘My God is bountiful’?

However, a number of years ago as I experienced my own journey through the famine land, I felt anything but bountiful or satisfaction and certainly saw no evidence of God’s oath stamped on my existence.  It seemed I was in great danger of losing my husband and both of my sons – not by death as Naomi had, but loss loomed large none the less.

girl in wheat 31 days

I was tempted… and I often fell – made an agreement with the lies of the enemy about my true identity.  I dared to call myself names I felt were more suited to my empty life.  I was bitter, angry, hurt, and I most often called myself failure.

That is until beautiful, loving women of my faith community gathered around me to speak the {truth}.  They would not allow me to choose these lies and speak the ugly name of failure over myself.  I began to receive deep inner healing as they prayed with me and looked into God’s word with me.

We, together with Holy Spirit’s guidance, were pulling up the lies – the weeds – which had begun to take over my heart garden.  In the place of those weeds called lies, we began to sow seeds of truth.  With my friends help, the seeds were watered, life fertilized the ground of my heart and Jesus shed His Light in my heart until the beautiful garden of truth began to spring up and produce fruits of the Spirit.

In a truly transformational prayer time with friends and Holy Spirit, I was asked this question:  Who does God say that you are… By what name does your heavenly Father call you? (5 minutes)

In the quiet of my heart garden, the Lord met me there and the fresh breeze of His whisper washed over me with this name – Passionate Pioneer of Peace.  In my spirit, I heard my Lord assure me, “Daughter, this is the name I call you.”

Interestingly, as I researched Naomi’s true name and the bitter name she chose for herself, I found a beautiful {truth}.  God is famous for taking our bitter and making it sweet.

Brittains SGBAs the Israelites wandered through the desert wilderness – free from Egypt, but not quite home in the Promised Land – they came to a place called Marah, which means bitterness.  Do you remember this place from Exodus 15:23-25?

The people found water in this place, but the water was bitter.  Have you ever felt like they?  Dry, thirsty – water, please!  But the water was undrinkable.  Moses cried out to the Lord for help.  There at Marah, the place of bitter water, the Lord showed Moses a tree (perhaps a branch or a log) to place in the water.  Miraculously, the water was turned from bitter to sweet.



Oh, Naomi, you experienced this miraculous blessing of God in your life, and me too.  Gleaning here, I recognize the entrance of Christ’s tree into my bitter circumstances miraculously changes my testimony to sweetness.

  • Will I embrace {truth}?  Will you?
  • Who are the trusted friends in your life who love you enough to call you out when you dare to play the dangerous game of name calling?  Will you ask them to hold you accountable?  And will you do the same for those you love?
  • Will you ask the Lord in the witness of trustworthy brothers and sisters in Christ for the true name by which He calls you?  (Words of Jesus, His promise: “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”  Matthew 18:19-20)
  • Will you (along with me) with accountability choose to call yourself by the truth of your identity in Christ – your true name – for His glory and the power of your sweet testimony?

Eyes on Jesus and Shine  ~Lisa