“My name is actually Monica, but I would like it if you would please call me Jennifer.”
I wished so much that my name was Jennifer when I was younger. I believed I would be more beautiful if I had that name. This thought went through my mind as a child so many times. I don’t really understand it now, but between the ages of four and ten I had a fascination with the name Jennifer. I think there was a girl in my church’s College & Career with that name who must have made an impact on me. Still, I desperately wanted to change my name. What kind of name was Monica anyway?
I had a few friends at the time that had an obsession with the name Jasmine. Similar situation, only they wanted to be whisked away by Aladdin.
I tried getting my family to call me Jennifer. When I told my dad he just laughed, and mom too seemed un-obliging. My sisters
gave it a solid effort, since I’m sure they were trying to change their names too, but a couple of days in, Jennifer still wasn’t catching on.
For a brief time, I told new people I first met that my name was Jennifer, creating my own identity with them as this dream girl, and living as Monica among my friends and family.
As I’ve grown up, I’m thankful that new name didn’t catch on (no offense to all the Jennifer’s). I’ve learned to appreciate who I am, not try to be someone else. I’ve discovered the meaning of my name actually is true to who I am and what I’m passionate about, since Monica means “counselor, advisor, truth”.
There is an epidemic sweeping our world where kids, teens, and some adults are stuck in an identity crisis. They have no idea who they are. All they know is they want to be someone else. They are trying on different personalities like outfits, seeing which one fits them best. Even Christians are swearing and having inappropriate conversations with some friends, and then showing up at church looking engaged in the service. Right and wrong continues to become more blurred.
Ever since I learned about this “multiple personality disorder” that is taking my generation by storm, I’ve been challenged in my own heart to see if I’m ever switching personalities or identities depending on who I’m around. Changing who we are around different groups of people isn’t just dishonouring to ourselves, it’s hurts the Lord.
God created us each uniquely and individually for a purpose. Part of this purpose is to bring different pieces of truth to other people. If you shy away from who you are around an intelligent businessperson, a confident mom, or a stylish teen, or an intimidating child, you are depriving them from the gift of yourself that you could impart to them during the course of your conversation or interaction with them.
Psalm 139:14 says
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (emphasis mine)
God made us each unique and wonderfully complex for a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If we don’t walk out life the way the Lord created us too, we are missing our on the tasks he predestined us to do! It hurts me deeply to think that I could miss any part of what the Lord has planned for me.
In the words of my son’s not so spiritual Sandra Boynton book, Perfect Piggies, “you got to be you, we got to be we!”
May we each walk confidently in who the Lord created us to be!