My maiden name is Muncher.
I never really thought anything about it until I reached junior high school and the teacher started laughing when she read the roll! She wasn’t being cruel or anything, she just…couldn’t help it. Paired with “Paige”, apparently it was even funnier.
So I became aware of my unique name. But when you have a big family, your name is not so unique anymore, because it is shared by so many people. In the area where I grew up, the name “Muncher” usually reminds people of singing and music. The Muncher Fmily Christmas parties always—ALWAYS—involve some sort of singing and music, whether it be karaoke, original songs, carols, or Just Dance. It’s what we do!
I was often called “Tim’s daughter” or “one of Melissa’s girls” or “a Muncher sister” growing up, and that was okay, too. I felt like it identified me as someone, part of something special.
When I got engaged, though, I couldn’t wait to become Mrs. Chris Givens. I spent many hours doodling my new name on notebooks, practicing my new initials.
Soon I got a teaching job, and I became Mrs. Givens. This is the name that I hear the most. From my 19 kindergarten friends, who speak it at least 10 times a day (not exaggerating at all—and it’s okay with me), to a school full of students who know me as the after-school music teacher, to parents at Walmart, and kids at the bank who don’t know what to do or say because Mrs. Givens is outside of the school. Yes, Mrs. Givens has been a huge identity for me. One I proudly wear and one that I pray to never take for granted.
Nine years ago—almost ten–, I became Mama. I heard him crying before I saw him, and I was startled that there was this baby, this other person, breathing my air and crying and making noise in the same room, even though he’d been with me for nine months. They got him all cleaned up and wheeled him and his eyes were wide open; he was turned my way. He seemed to be looking at me, as if to say, You’re Mama. You know what to do, right? This was a new identity for me that I grew to love with a fierceness that scares me and encourages me all at the same time. Two years later, another Givens boy was added to the family and he also calls me Mama, which is one of the sweetest privileges that has been bestowed to me.
Some call me a writer, and most call me a singer. My close friends know I’m a reader. I’m a lover of all kinds of words, whether they are sung, penned, or told as stories. The name I sometimes cringe at is musician. I don’t ever think that I am worthy of the title, although my Father has called me to this path time and time again.
And my Father- He knows me. He calls me by name. It’s a special name that He has saved just for me. When I’m at my lowest, when I’m wandering, not really knowing who I am, He calls me home by whispering my name in His loving way.
And I come home.
What is your name?
What do you go by? How do you identify yourself?
You know that game called “Two Truths and a Lie”? The one where you write down two true things about yourself and one lie and then everyone has to guess who you are and what your “lie” is? So, one day someone who was in charge of all Teacher Professional Development must have made a policy that said “Thou Must Always Engage in Two Truths and a Lie to Begin a Professional Development”. Because I’ve played it at, like, all the workshops. I have my same two truths and one lie in my back pocket that I always use. I’m ready! The first time I ever played the game, however, I had the worst time coming up with a lie about myself. I drew a blank. And I’ve noticed that other people have the same problem. Someone always wails, “I can’t think of lie about myself!”
Interesting. We can’t seem to think up lies about ourselves. It’s not our instinct.
But we sure do believe lies about ourselves, with little to no persuasion from the liar.
There are lies being told to us about ourselves minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and we believe them without virtually no argument.
Where are they coming from and what is the truth?
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I have come that they may have life.”- Jesus Christ (John 10:10)
The devil is a liar. He is a thief. He is a destroyer.
He wants to steal your joy. He wants to kill your identity. He wants to destroy your future. He will find that one tiny area where he sees vulnerability, and he will begin to whisper the lies. Nothing is off limits–he will use whatever he can get his dirty hands on; but he’ll disguise himself as something beautiful and convincing, and you’ll start questioning everything you ever thought you knew about yourself.
“You can’t do anything right. You’re not a good ________________. Your kids are so wild and unruly. Your house is a disaster. You are not _______________ enough. Why are you even trying to ___________? You’re nobody.”
I’m sure you’ve already filled in the blanks, haven’t you, friend?
Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Don’t let him kill your identity. Do NOT let him destroy your future.
Take heart. Jesus has come that you may have joy; that you may have a true identity; that you may have a future. And not just any kind of joy, identity, and future—but life abundantly. His purpose is for you to THRIVE in who you are—who He created you to be!
There is a Voice that’s bigger than the enemy’s hiss. The Voice is only a whisper, but it’s truth is louder than any lie thrown at you. That Voice is whispering life-abundant words in your ear. Take it in, friend.
Take it in.
What is your name? Who are you?
You are a child of God. (John 1:12)
You are a friend of Jesus. (15:15)
You are redeemed. (Romans 3:24)
You are no longer a slave to sin. (Romans 6:6)
You are not condemned. (Romans 8:1)
You are engraved on the palms of His hands. (Isaiah 49:16)
You are chosen. (Colossians 3:12)
This is not even a drop in the bucket of who you are to God. He calls you worthy, enough, treasured, loved. He calls you righteous, pure, blessed, His own. He calls you child, friend, forgiven. He calls you saved. He calls you by name. The name He has for you.
What’s the key to finding your identity in Christ? Spending time with Him. One-on-one. Daily. Until He’s a constant in your mind, your soul, your ear. His voice will drown out the noise of the enemy, and when you start to lost your identity and your way, you will hear Him calling you home.
There is Someone calling your name.
Who You Call Me To Be, Words and Music by Paige Givens, Copyright 2014. Take a listen!