Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My REAL Name

Recently a friend sent me a copy of Hannah Hurnard’s classic work, Hinds’ Feet on High Places.  It is an allegory chronicling the spiritual journey of a young girl whose name we know as Much-Afraid.  Even though Much-Afraid was engaged in the service of the Chief Shepherd and greatly desires to please Him, she is hindered by her shame and her extended family who despised the Chief Shepherd.  The term “much afraid” accurately captures the fear-filled life Much-Afraid is living. 

But the desire of her heart – to go to the High Places – becomes known to the Chief Shepherd who immediately offers to take her there.  The journey is long and arduous fraught with many opportunities for Much-Afraid to live up to her name.  However with the help of her ever-present companions and the promises of the Chief Shepherd, Much-Afraid finally arrives at the High Places where she is transformed and given a new name by the Chief Shepherd ~ Grace and Glory.

I love that we get to listen in to Grace and Glory’s conversation with the Chief Shepherd as she shares with Him some of her greatest lessons of the journey.  Her third lesson made my heart leap with desire:  “… you, my Lord, never regarded me as I actually was, lame and weak and crooked and cowardly.  You saw me as I would be (italics mine) … You always treated me with the same love and graciousness as though I were a queen already…”*

I’ve known for a long time what my name was, Not-Good-Enough. However, like Much-Afraid, God is transforming me.  Hurnard’s allegory has me pondering what God’s name is for me.  It is a good pondering.  I have an idea. 

But what excites me the most is God has always known me by my real name, His name for me.  His name inspires hope and joy and is an invitation to mature into His choice of name for me. 

The Apostle Paul has a lot of names for himself, like the Least-of-Apostles.  Or as Saul, he was Jesus-Persecutor.  But God named him, Chosen Instrument (Acts 9:15).  And Paul matured into the name God gave him. 

Back to Grace and Glory, I am challenged by her heart, “My Lord, I cannot tell you how greatly I want to regard others in the same way.”*   Father, please help me to see others as You see them.  Amen.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, …”
Jeremiah 1:5

*Hurnard, Hannah, Hinds’ Feet on High Places; American edition 1975 by Tyndale House Publishing, page 230.


  1. Lovely, Sue. Thanks for posting this. I need to reread this book! The past year has been a powerful time in recognizing all the names people and myself have given me and trusting God in letting go of the lies and believing only who He says I am. What freedom and joy lies in trusting God in such a way!

  2. I enjoyed this post, Sue. It is challenging to think of the names I have for myself in contrast with those the Lord has.

    I appreciate the peek into your inner thoughts that you allow us on your blog. It speaks to the heart.

    There are a few technical comments I could make, but I prefer to not leave them here. How may I communicate?