Who are You? Who am I? These are odd questions because we both know who we are. Don’t we?
I imagine, your first instinct would be to take the question literally – like someone asking for your ID, but it’s quite possible I’m asking a more gaping question that takes more thought and contemplation.
Let me think about this for a moment. Maybe you should too.
I suppose I should begin with my name. It would obviously define who I am and would separate me from you and the rest of the 7.8 billion other people in the world.
But then what is a name? That could become an even more cavernous question to explore. and time is short. So I needed to resolve myself to a more shallow exploration of the question and take a few days to think about this.
After giving it some thought and introspection, I’ve come to believe that the name given to you at birth, is likened to the engine on a train. All the other names and titles you acquire during your life’s journey simply fall into place behind it as life moves you down the track.
Each car is like a chapter in your story, holding memories and moments and etched across each car is yet another title or tag to latch to the car that follows.
My train, I discovered, is quite long. My cars are packed with wonderful stories and adventures but unfortunately most are concealing secrets like a string of Pandora’s Boxes. Each car is tagged, quite appropriately, by people and circumstances in my past that reach far beyond the sparse information found on my birth certificate.
Some tags or titles I carry are better left in the dark for now and I would rather not repeat them, just as secrets are sometimes better left hidden and sleeping dogs are better left undisturbed.
I did, however, compile a list that I am willing to share with you now. I wrestled with and toyed with this question of WHO I AM and, after deeper reflection than I anticipated, I wondered if the list would reveal the answer I was searching for, or would it pose an even deeper question.
Will the answer to who I am go beyond my name’s sake and reveal more – particularly…who I have become. Will that spawn yet another list or be a welcome revelation? Maybe the answer is in the Caboose.
Let me share the list I have compiled or yet the train cars I’m willing to disclose and then we can decide. I have put all of them in italics to help you count just how many there are.
Due to the month I was born in, I suppose I am a Pisces for all those into Horoscopes and a Caucasian, Baby Boomer for those wanting to put me into a demographic box.
Besides the affectionate names I was called as a baby (which I do not remember) I’ve been identified at one time or another with two first names and four last names …not all at the same time. (That would be 4 names if you were counting.) This rarity includes a first and last name given to me at Birth by my 18 year old, unwed mother.
This unfortunate circumstance at birth gave me my first label – Illegitimate. I was renamed and relabeled as – legitimate – at the time of my adoption, but after searching for 46 years and finding my Birth family, I now proudly use the name my birth mother gave me initially. I use it as my PEN NAME here and as the AUTHOR of my Books.
Legal court documents labeled me as Abandoned by my birth mother but then officially Adopted…Two more official, legal labels.
What the court and the world did not know, because they are buried in the Pandora Boxes, is that before I would reach 8 years young, I would be part of a statistic with those Molested, Abused and Neglected, but that’s a whole different story.
I was called Shorty and Curly Locks for a while when I was 2-3 because I had curls and wore very short dresses (I think it was an attempt to mimick Shirley Temple). Don’t we look alike? Someone apparently thought so.
When I was older my Aunt called me “Mona Lisa” because I rarely smiled. I wonder why?
With the help of Ancestry and DNA I not only found my Birth family but found that I am English, French and Irish. Basically I’m a Mutt but mostly I’m proud to be a red blooded American.
I’ve been a Daughter, step Daughter, step sister, sister (after I found my roots), a Wife (twice), considered a Gravida 4 Para 3 in the maternity ward, called Mom by three sons and Grandma times 7. (That’s my favorite)…
and lets not forget the title Girlfriend for all those many broken hearts I left behind…I wish.
I’ve been considered foster mom to an assortment of two and four legged critters – chickens, ducks, horses, dogs, cats and birds…
My first Husband called me names that fall into the category that I can’t repeat, which reminds me that I was legally known as the Petitioner during my Divorce and became a Divorcee after.
My second husband called me Sweetie Pie…which I will always treasure as one of the best names I’ve ever had.
According to any questionnaire I’ve filled out over my 68 years, I’ve checked boxes that referred to me as Miss, Mrs and Ms, Single, Married, Divorced and Widowed, Applicant, Renter, Owner, Purchaser, Member, non-Member, a Referral, Seller and Purchaser, Working, Retired, Living but not yet Deceased. That will be the last box checked… but not by me.
I’ve been the Youngest, the Oldest, Over The Hill and none of your business.
On my Drivers License it has stated that I have been either a Missourian or Floridian, Brunette or Blond, with and without Glasses and an official Organ Donner upon my demise.
I’ve been called an Employee and an Employer, a Student, Teacher, Nurse, Real Estate Agent, Team Leader, Assistant Manager, Manager and Supervisor…and even a Second Lieutenant and Moral Leadership Officer in the Civil Air Patrol.
I have been called a Friend, Neighbor and Confidant…
a housewife, housekeeper, chief cook and bottle washer, a wedding cake maker for my best friend, a seamstress, gardener, a farmer of 6,000 tomato plants and hundreds of pumpkins, hostess and even an event planner.
I was sadly considered my husband’s primary Caregiver for over 18 months after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and before he went home to the Lord. Now I have found myself, (for the past 4 years) in the same capacity caring for a wonderful, retired, Florida Deputy Sheriff, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 6 months after we met.
I’ve had the privilege of being a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group Leader, Leader of a Women’s Group, Church Council Member and presently the Mission Coordinator at my Church.
I was a registered Democrat for most of my life. I’m now officially registered as an Independent for reasons I won’t go into now.
I’ve been Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran and Non Denominational…I would prefer to be simply considered a Christian …Mostly I am thankful to be known as Forgiven by God and Saved by The BLOOD OF CHRIST.
Now, at 68 years young, I am proud to embrace my newest titles… Blogger of this site and Author of a soon to be released Book titled ‘SECRETS and HOLY WHISPERS’ which is the first in a series.
That’s 98 names and titles – not including the ones I can’t repeat. I’ve worn so many hats over the years I’m loosing my hair… Wow!
Looking at the list, it really does help me to know who I was and who I’ve become.
I’m proud of all the good and not so beautiful names I’ve acquired over the years. They all have made me into the person I am proud to be today.
This challenge to find myself and asking “WHO I AM?” has been like looking in a mirror and watching my life flash before me or like standing on the station platform watching and waving as the train whisks by.
After seeing my list and checking it twice, do YOU know me any better now than when we started? Have I answered the question sufficiently? Is it enough information for you to know WHO I AM? I bet we have some names, titles and tags in common.
It may take more than a few minutes, possibly even days, to truly explore how many YOU have acquired over the years. How long is your train?
This exercise in self disquisition may be a bit challenging, daunting, exhausting and maybe even a bit fun to see how many titles you’ve acquired over the years.
Let me know how many you come up with. Mostly, I pray, you will find it rewarding to see just how far you’ve come.
If not, it should be a wake up call. Are you proud of who you found yourself to be or does your train need to change course.
I apologize if your exploration led you into deeper water…as it should have. I anticipated the fact that encouraging this type of reflection may lead to the deeper end of the pool, but think about it. Aren’t you more than the list of titles and names you’ve compiled? I hope that you know that you are.
This is the true reason for my inquiry into who we are. People and circumstances, moments, transgressions, errors in judgement, losses and gains, hills and valleys don’t dictate who we are. All those things may help mold us from the lump of clay we started out as, but it is not the finite answer as to who we are. We are so much more.
God knows who we are – who He created you to be.
God says in Scripture that ‘He knows my name‘. He knows Yours as well..
In Isaiah 49:16 NIV God says “I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
I am Thankful for the person I have become and that God knows my name and carries me in the palms of His hands.
Jesus knows how important our name is. It not only seperates us from the rest of His sheep but it tells Him and the World who we are. All those names we carry behind us not only say who we are but it shows the world what kind of person we are.
Jesus, himself has at least 100 different names in the Old and New Testament. (Yes, He was even referred to in the Old Testament by Prophets).
We find evidence of Him in the books of Genesis chapters 3 and 12, Micah 5, Isaiah chapter 7 and 53 and Psalms 22.
In the old testament he was foretold to come from the House of David and reign over the house of Jacob. That’s like someone saying over 1,000 years before you were born, that you were going to be born from the house or bloodline of Smith and that you would run the family business. That’s Amazing!
In Luke 1:32-38 it says that “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” AWESOME!
Think about all the names Jesus has been called. Each says who he is.
He is the Lion of Judah, Counselor, Savior, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Messiah, Redeemer, Rock, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, The Way, Truth and Life, The Word, The Vine, Son of Man, Son of the Most High, Lamb of God, King of Kings, Immanuel, Jehovah, High Priest, Good Shepherd, Deliverer and Prince of Peace to just name a few.
The very first name that God gave to himself is recorded in Exodus 3:14 (NIV): “God said to Moses, “I am who I am … say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’
Jesus is God. Therefore He is the Great I AM! He’s not the great I Was or the Great I Will Be. He is THE GREAT I AM! Yesterday, today and forever.
In the new Testament Jesus was talking to his Disciples and He asked them a question similar to what I have asked you.
Matthew 16:13-20 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” In other words, ‘Who does everyone think I am’?
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”.
After Jesus died and rose from the dead, Thomas said he would not believe Jesus had risen until he saw and touched the wounds on His hands and put his finger in His side. Once he did…then he believed Jesus was who everyone said He was..the risen Christ.
Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:26-29.
You and I, my friend, were Blessed by Jesus before our mothers were even born. Jesus was talking to Peter about YOU and ME over 1,900 years ago. That’s amazing!
Don’t be filled with doubt as Thomas was. You will find all of the answers as to WHO YOU ARE in God’s Word. Ask God to reveal His Son to you as He did for Peter. Blessed are we that believe and have not seen.
Once you do, Jesus won’t just be a name, a story, a Prophet or a Good Man. He will become your SAVIOR.
Then you will KNOW that You KNOW, That You KNOW who He is and Who You are.
You’ve seen my list. More importantly, you’ve seen my heart for Christ within these lines. It’s not important that you know who I am or who my train says that I am. My most fervent prayer, is that you will Know who Jesus is and recognize that you are much more than your list of names and titles.
Who am I? I know without any doubt that I am more than any list that I can compile. I am the daughter of the one true God, the Creator of the Universe. I am precious in the eyes of the same God that died for me on a cross because He couldn’t stand the thought of Heaven without me. I know who I am and that I am His.
Now..the question is…have you figured out WHO YOU ARE?
Think about it. The God who created the universe holds your name in the palm of His hand. HE knows EXACTLY Who You Are. Ask Him. Just call out the name of Jesus.
It’s the most Powerful Name there is. It’s a name that will change your life.
From my heart to yours, VICTORIA