– Dana Smith, Women’s Equipping Coordinator
I have felt God speak to my heart several times in my life when I have been desperate, in crisis, or at a crossroad. At the Wellspring Group Battle for Women’s Hearts event during the last weekend of August, 2017 I was at such a place, but I didn’t know it.
A new name
With weak faith, I took a risk and asked the Trinity to give me a new name. Would he do it? In a moment of solitude, I slowed my breathing and my thoughts, and waited. I asked him again. Then it came, soft and gentle – “BELOVED.” I doubted. My firstborn son’s name means beloved. Maybe I had just thought the word. Even still, I wrote it in my notebook, just in case I had not imagined it.
A big takeaway for me from the weekend was choosing humility over pride. Four days after returning home, my husband and I were eating lunch at a restaurant. He tried to help me with something and I resisted, leading to an argument. I was kicking myself for choosing the way of pride, feeling defeated for not even making it a full week. After lunch he handed me the car keys, and said he was going to the restroom. As I walked to the parking lot, the car parked next to ours caught my eye. I am a girly girl and lover of flowers. Not only was this car hot pink – my favorite color! – it also had a decal in the back window of flowers and the word, “Beloved.” What are the chances of that? I felt God saying to me, “You are my Beloved. And no matter how much you struggle, I will always love you! I know you and love you intimately.” I burst into tears, pulled out my phone, took a picture for proof that this car and these decals existed, and got in our car!
Over the next couple of weeks, I saw the word, “Beloved,” multiple times and in the strangest places. My God made it clear to me that I had not imagined that he had and was still speaking to me! Reality One battle preps helped to begin rooting out lifelong rejection and fear I have suffered. But because of what God had been doing, I felt safe to enter into the pain and receive God’s healing truly knowing how loved I am.
I have struggled with depression since my dad left our family when I was ten-years-old. At times it has felt consuming. Over the last couple of years I have considered getting a tattoo on my wrist as a visual reminder to help give me strength when I needed it. I had not been able to find a symbol that felt right, though, until I heard my new name! On November 17, 2017 I had “beloved” tattooed in a pretty script on my right wrist.
A new picture
I love sharing the story of how God spoke to me and has begun the process of convincing me of his great love! He is Amazing! I had put the picture of the car with decals in my favorites folder on my phone, so when I tell the story I can quickly find it! After telling it a couple of times, I realized there was another picture that I kept seeing on my phone that God wanted to use in my story. It was a picture of two of my sons when they were little. After playing outside all afternoon on a beautiful spring day, they had dirt in every crease and crevice. I put them in the tub and got the camera, because I thought they were so adorable, even nasty dirty! I filled the tub and scrubbed, emptied the water, and repeated. It took three scrubbings to get them clean, the dirt was so imbedded into their little bodies! I enjoyed that time with them, delighting in their personalities, their individualities – just loving them. When I see the picture now, nearly twenty years later, all the emotions come back!
Through that picture, God showed me that he delights in washing away my sin. My dirt doesn’t disgust him. When I come to him, covered in my ickiness, He is delighted to cover me in the blood of Jesus once again. Sanctification takes time, but he is so patient and loving, delighting in being with me and my willingness to sit with him in his presence!
I know my boys enjoyed being clean, but they had to submit to the process. I have to bring myself to the Trinity so he can do his good work in me! If I am running from him, staying busy, not taking the time to meet with him, how can he do his work? However, knowing I am his Beloved and He is delighting in the process of spending time with me makes me eager to come to him!
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” Song of Solomon 6:3a
One Step Further:
What do you say to yourself when you fail?
How might God want to speak to your identity today?
If you could more consistently rest in the truth that you are God’s BELOVED, how might that change the way you approach him and enter your world?