The Power of Being Named

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There is power in being named and naming.  Names call forth identity and purpose.  Names can also shut down the same.  When critical seasons of change happened in the ancient world, often the person’s names changed as well because names and identity were understood to be inextricably entwined.

When I lived in South Sudan I had the honor to name quite a few little ones.  It was always something I took as a high privilege because it was a chance to call forth meaning, identity and purpose in profound ways.  Being named has power.  With our words we call forth things that are not into being and set boundaries for our lives.   With our words we speak life {or not} into those around us.

Words and names are holy, sacred, powerful things.

You who have been with me on this journey across continents, seasons and years have likely noticed seasonal re-namings of this place.  You can trace my seasons with their changing names From the Unpaved Road became Bravely You which became Illustrated Grace and maybe a few things in between.  These names have been a litany of mile markers on the journey deeper into His heart and to live more fully out of my own.

What you likely don’t know about me is that Michele is actually my middle name. My first name is Diane. My mom is also named Diane and she loved her name enough to pass it along to me. For years it was just the name that got filled in on legal documents and that I had to correct doctors offices from calling me.  I never went by it and it didn’t really feel fully mine.

But that has been changing.  Mom and I were chatting about what address I could use in social media land that was uniform and simple seeing as the obvious MichelePerry was taken and she off the cuff suggested, “Why not DMichelePerry? It’s how you sign your name anyway.”

I came home and did some digging to see it was universally available.  I started switching everything over and suddenly Diane had new meaning for me.  It was no longer the name I never used, it became a beautiful gift from my Mama that I get to carry with me always.  And it was the one letter that allowed my worlds to be aligned and tied together and completed.

Diane means a number of things, but a little research turned up some beautiful truths.  Diane can mean heavenly.  It can also be a reference to the top sail of a sailing vessel, which is the primary forerunner sail that drives the boat forward. Di– means double and Anne is grace so from a little more creative perspective it can also reference double grace.   And it is all grace.  Every little bit of it.

This site has been a travelogue of me finding myself. Owning our names and our story is one of the bravest things any of us will ever do.

Naming is a powerful thing.  And the most powerful name of all is the name God calls us.  Beloved.  Be Loved.  Be the Loved.  And no label or name of man can ever cancel out the purposes and promises of God written over our lives by His love.  His love is too powerful for that.

And so this site ceases to be about grand poetic themes, and has become about simpler, deeper moments that are as I am:  Here.  His.  Yours.  D. Michele Perry.

{But I still go by Michele… in case you are wondering. 😉 }