Ann Cooper McCauley

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What’s in a Name? Everything

A couple weeks ago my agent told me she was rereading Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive. Familiar with John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart, I listened with great interest. Diana told me about the part in his book where John asks the Father to reveal who he is and what God calls him. But when he later hears something, he questions it. None of it seemed to make sense.

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The moment Diana told me this story and before I heard what God called John, a voice whispered, Beloved. At the time I thought, God’s calling me Beloved? That’s my name? Well, I made that up.

Later that morning, I sat in the warmth of the sun and my thoughts ran like this. Amy’s name meant beloved. Why would God call me after my stillborn daughter’s name? Made no sense. Couldn’t be true.  I must have imagined I heard God speak—and that? Pathetic. Wonder how often I think He’s speaking to me when it’s just my own voice? And again, I heard, Beloved.

Two days passed, and the answer surfaced as crisp and visible as the frozen frost on the grass outside my window. Amy lived inside me. She never moved or took a breath on her own once she passed from me. So how could my love for her have been so consuming? Why did I mourn with such great loss? She did nothing in this world outside of me. Not a single thing.

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And there? The answer. How is it a mother of an unborn child can love the unseen in her womb with intensity and yearning? The love a mother feels cannot be explained. It just is. Love is a mixture of hopes and dreams and potential as bright and fresh as life itself.

A mother shares an inseparable bond with her infant, one that forges and shapes the present and the future. That child will be her baby for the rest of her life.

And me? Why does He call me, Beloved? I don’t do a thing. Not a single thing to gain His love. My parent and creator loves me freely and without condition. It’s an innate bond.

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I bought Waking the Dead, and I read word for word John’s account of what happened in the mountains that day.

“It started raining about ten minutes later, and the wind really whipped up as we climbed above the tree line. All was wetness and heather and rock and crag… and I was loving it. It reminded me of the Scottish Highlands in Braveheart; I felt I was hiking in a mythic reality. Then I remembered the day’s mission, and I began to ask God one of the most important questions any of us will ever ask: What do you think of me, God? Who am I to you? The guys were strung out over a mile or two along the trail by now, and I was alone and just reaching the pass.

 You are my Wallace.

Something in my heart sank. Yes sank. Good Grief John—look at you. You’re pathetic. You’re making up the voice of God. Filling in the blanks. Cooking up what you’d want Him to say to you.”

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Later when John least expects it, God questions him during an intimate moment. God ask s him, what do you love? His answer was the wildness of the hike—the wind and the rain—leading the band of men. What else did John love? Seeing people set free. The book goes on to say that John sat in silence, then He heard God say…

“Are you convinced?”

God asked John questions that allowed his heart to open in truth. He couldn’t deny what God had spoken, could he? God revealed.

Friends, your name may be different from mine. Perhaps you’ll ask God what He calls you and doubt when He answers, but remember—He wants you to know intimate things. He wants to lead you. He wants you to fulfill your destiny. So, why would He hide information from you?

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What does Beloved mean to me? Because I am loved by my Father, I value people.  And, I have an assignment—one which tells you God can and will speak to you. In this life. On this planet. He yearns for you.

Your potential in this life is unleashed when you realize His focused, unrelenting love and accept Jesus as the portal of His grace. Just as my daughter was fully part of me in the womb, you are fully part of your Creator. His heart, pregnant with you, pulsed and brought you forth from your mother’s womb. His design for you? He wants you to be His forever.

 

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Listen for His Whispers

17 Comments
  • Karen Hollis on February 10, 2015

    Thanks for the encouraging words. They are such an inspiration to me. I know God loves me so much, but it is always good to hear it. I am at work but cried because this is so good and speaks to me. I value people too because I know how special each person is to God and they are very special to me.

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 10, 2015

      I cry with you, Karen. Because He is so precious. Love you! Life would not be worth living if not for His contant love and attention to the detail. He stoops down to embrace us in so many ways. By the way, you might be thrilled to know that Meg just rented the house next door to us and is moving back. God is good to me! I love having her close.

  • Dawn on February 10, 2015

    Thank you Ann. Recovering from cancer is hard. I’m not the same as before… Constant pain and getting through my day trying so hard to take care of my family… Your post has me in tears… He knows my name… Each day is a gift.

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 10, 2015

      I know I have quite the imagination, Dawn. But if everything in heaven is amplified and more brillant than what we can perceive–like Todd Burpo’s description in his account of his son in Heaven is for Real, it wouldn’t surprise me if God has named many of us Beloved, but when our Father says our name or calls us by name it won’t sound the same. It’ll be a twist on the name specific to each of us. When our children were little we had pet names for them all. That pet name almost always had to do with them as individuals–whether it reminded us of a physical characteristic or a personality trait (usually both). Examples: Jarred was my “Buddy” because of his warmth, docile personality, and love for being near me. Meg was “Cricket” because her hair was coal black, and she loved to hop, skip, and jump. Joanna was Jo Jo a cute name for a slight, happy little girl who loved to laugh and play hard. There are many buddies and Jo Jo’s in the world, but NONE like mine. Why should it surprise us God has “pet names” for each of His own?

  • Rachel on February 10, 2015

    This is so good, Ann! In my mind I have often compared God’s love for us to the love I have for my children. It helps me understand His love a little bit better. I adore my children, but I know He loves us even more!

    • Randy on February 10, 2015

      Very good “Beloved”.

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 10, 2015

      Thank you, Rachel. Like you, God has taught me so much from parenting. I know He planned the family unit to give us a glimpse into His love and care.

  • Becky Bost on February 10, 2015

    Absolutely beautiful!! I had often pondered the idea that God will give us a new name in our glorified bodies (as Revelation seems to say), but I had never thought about God having a name for me other than the one my parents gave me at birth. Thanks for something to talk to Him about!

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 10, 2015

      I hadn’t either, Becky. I love names, too! One of my favorite aspects of writing fiction is coming up with character’s names. I always knew they were important, and I wanted to know the meanings of the names we felt inspired to give our children. The way God changed names of people in the Bible fascinates me, too. “I have called you by your name and you are Mine.” (Is. 43:1b)Is one of my favorite verses.

  • Betty Wingfield on February 10, 2015

    Really loved this post, Ann. It made me think of this old song:

    I was once a sinner, but I came
    Pardon to receive from my Lord:
    This was freely given, and I found
    That He always kept His word.

    Refrain

    There’s a new name written down in glory,
    And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
    And the white robed angels sing the story,
    “A sinner has come home.”
    For there’s a new name written down in glory,
    And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
    With my sins forgiven I am bound for Heaven,
    Never more to roam.

    I was humbly kneeling at the cross,
    Fearing naught but God’s angry frown;
    When the heavens opened and I saw
    That my name was written down.

    Refrain

    In the Book ’tis written, “Saved by Grace,”
    O the joy that came to my soul!
    Now I am forgiven, and I know
    By the blood I am made whole.

    Refrain

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 10, 2015

      Isn’t that good, Betty? :) I also love, (Isaiah 62:2b) “You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name.”

  • Nichole Hall on February 13, 2015

    Great post Ann! I often have asked God many questions about what He wants me to do for Him. Sometimes, I like His answer and sometimes I do not. But what I won’t take for granted is that intimate relationship that gives me strength when I’m weak, comfort when in pain and joy in tribulation. Thank you for sharing how God works as OUR parent. Often times we get so bogged down in parenting others we don’t let God parent us!

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 14, 2015

      The comparison is rich. Thank you so much for your sharing your thoughts with me, Nichole. Love you!

  • Jenny Carlisle on February 14, 2015

    Lately, God is reconnecting me with part of my family from whom I have been disconnected. It is His way of saying, “See, I know who you really are, and how special you are.” Quite humbling, and so full of unexpected joy.

    • Ann Cooper McCauley on February 14, 2015

      How wonderful, Jenny. He is so good to give us what we need–even when we don’t know we need it! LOL Thank you, dear heart.

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