Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorite, Beloved

With my favorite cousins Adam and Patrick at Christmas

I'm not sure why I started it.  A few years back I started pronouncing various cousins as my "favorite."  It didn't matter that I'd told Pat, Jon, and Adam that they were each my favorite.  When Jon would find out that I'd told Adam that he was my favorite cousin, I'd smooth it over by reminding Jon that I was his favorite cousin and really isn't great how much our family loves each other?  And so on and so forth.

From there, it spread to aunts and uncles, even my grandparents.  I was dubbed as Favorite Niece and Favorite Granddaughter.  I've never taken these titles seriously, more as a sign of my family's affection for me.

Before I started the Read-Along for Your Secret Name, I took the test on the YSN website to see what my Secret Name might be.  I was well aware of my issues but rather mystified over what the answer might be.

When the word popped up, I nodded and thought to myself, "of course."  It seemed so simple, this word that tied together all my deepest longings.  Still, I wasn't sure what it meant or what the book might hold.  The word stayed in the back of my mind as I read each week and as God worked on my heart.

As I've shared my past depression and self-esteem issues, my struggle in being single, and my perception that I'm often overlooked, God has been whispering to me. 

Beloved.

Part of me wanted to believe Him.  But did I?

Did I believe that the Almighty God called me His Beloved?

Today my soul confidently answers YES.  I am cherished, treasured, and loved.  This washes over me and I scarcely can take it in.

This is joy.
"By embracing our new identity, we naturally embrace our new destiny and a new way of seeing the world." -Your Secret Name, p. 155
While I am loved by many people, no one on earth calls me beloved and it might be that no one ever will. But I am finding that I am OK with this, as I rest in the comfort of God's love.  His all-surpassing love that has given me so much more than I ever dreamed or deserved. This doesn't mean that I'll never run into a bad self-esteem moment or that I don't want to get married anymore. Somehow these things matter less now because of my new perspective.

I knew I wanted to commemorate this season of learning and believing and accepting.  I had a pretty good idea of how I would do it.  First, I wanted to see what other words there were that are similar to beloved.  Out came my handy dandy thesaurus. 

Do you know what synonym I found? Favorite.

I laughed outloud.  Not only am I God's beloved but now I'm His favorite too?  This seemed to be too good to be true.

Yet it's not.  Very soon I will reveal how I'll be commemorating the lessons I've learned from this Read-Along.

I'll close with these lyrics that stood out to me at church:
I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
The riches of God's love will always be enough.  I pray that these words will always be true no matter what my circumstances may be.  For now I'm dancing in the knowledge of my new identity.  While I may not always believe my cousins when they say I'm their favorite, I'm marveling over being God's favorite and His beloved.  Thanks be to God.

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click over to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, your purchase will help support this site.  Thank you!

This post is part of the Your Secret Name Read-Along hosted by the ever-lovely Marla Taviano.

6 comments:

  1. I'm dancing with you, Leigh!! This is beautiful!! THANK YOU for all your amazing words you've written through this journey. You have a gift.

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  2. @Marla, thank you for the sweet compliment. Thank you again for this!

    @Tracy and @Het, thank you for cheering me on.

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  3. Leigh, You don't know me but I know your folks. They are "favorite" friends of mine. I, too, go through the same feelings that you've posted here. I'm almost 57 and never married and many times in my life I've felt invisible. Being married would be nice but God has been gracious to tell me that He is more than sufficient and the best husband I could ever have. Keep on being victorious in Him. And never forgot you are your parents favorite daughter.

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  4. @Pat, I have heard of you and your friendship with my parents! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing about your own experience. And for the reminder that I'm my parent's favorite daughter. I like to think that I'd still be their favorite even if there was competition:)

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