In response to Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner, Chapters 5-7:
I was especially in awe as I read through the chapters for this week. Not so much because the author exposes his past life as a "cutter," but because of how easily ANY of us can (and do!!) end up going down a path like that. And, let's be honest here, one doesn't have to be a physical "cutter" to do some pretty extensive damage with the sharp blade that is one's OWN MIND.
We all try so hard to be something we aren't. Sometimes, I suppose, it's because we just want to. But many times it's because we perceive that there's something FOR us if we will. Affection? Attention? Understanding? Acceptance? Control/order? Something.
We just REALLY want to be someone else. Maybe it's because we know who we WANT to be or who we want others to THINK we are. And that's all that matters at the time. For the author...and for myself...we often find ourselves running from the "given" names that have landed on our proverbial desk plates, whether by force or by apathy. Some of our desks are quite full. Hmmm...who will I be today??
I can certainly relate to the author's intrinsic motivations to BE so very much as he was growing up. Captain of this, best at that. I was that way. And I've recently spent some time thinking about that person I was--that person I am--in an effort to determine WHY. What drove me to those extremes? Why did I care so much? I did come to some interesting conclusions, but these chapters have helped to give me a lot more insight into how I allowed Satan to get so close to me I could hear his constant whisper in my ear, though I kept close to home and church. (And if you think he's left me alone, you'd be mistaken.)
Because each and every time I name myself (LAZY, SELF-ABSORBED, FAILURE, ANGRY, INEPT, UGLY, QUITTER), I welcome Satan by my side. To pal around with me throughout my day/week/month/year...so he can make sure I know who I REALLY am when no one is looking. He makes it real clear. And then I make sure to follow through with the punishment I deserve. The blood from THESE cuts has been flowing for so long I'm beginning to lose consciousness. I'm no longer aware of either the scars or their cause. Tethered to reality by only the echoes of the names--names I hate about myself--ringing in my ears.
But here's the thing.
There's one name I keep forgetting GOD has given me.
It's the only name that counts. It's the only name to which I need to answer. And as I listen to Him calling me by name, it drowns out the whispers.
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." Romans 4: 7-8
This post is part of a read-along with Marla Taviano.