Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello My name Is...

Denise Karen Deerwester Northern (Birth Name)
Also known as:
Anxious, Fat, Depressed, Sinner, Failure, Needy, Burdened, Overwhelmed, Insecure, Victim, Judged, Fat, Ugly, Impatient, Religious, Downcast, Broken, Fearful, Stressed, Not-Good-Enough, ect.... (Given Name).

I do not want to be defined and known by my Given Names...I want to be defined and knows by my Secret Names - but, I kinda don't know what they are.

You may or may not remember last year when I did the read along to the book "Radical." I kinda struggled with it, it was a long book that just had that tendency to hit you in-between the eyes! Well, I am doing it again, this time I am joining my dear friend Marla and several others as we read along and discuss the book, "Your Secret Name" by Kary Oberbrunner. This book is about "discovering who God created you to be." This is a 50 day read along - and you can join too...

To say that I am excited for this read-along is kind of an understatement. I resolved to work through some stuff this year and to grow deeper in my walk/relationship with God as well as to discover who I am outside of my above given names. It wasn't until I picked up the book that I really understood the idea of the given name...but I knew that I have believed for an incredibly long time that I was defined by my given names, this just is not so. I can't wait to see what God has in store as I read this book.

So unto the "review" for week 1! I will forewarn you that I am not the most eloquent of writer or critical of writer...so this may be a bit of a disjointed review..."Deni-style" if you will.

Introduction: Basically discussing what this book it about, what is will "do" for you. Kary asks 3 questions as we prepare to dive in to this book:
1) Are you completely secure in understanding who you are? (Um - no)
2) Are you confident you know your true identity? (Um - again - not so much)
3) Are you fully resolved concerning certain monumental issues, like discerning your purpose, calling and lot in this life? (I think probably not).

The good news: I am not alone in how I answer these questions. Kary states: "God himself planted these questions deep inside your soul in order that you'd eventually discover the path that leads to him. Or, more theologically accurate, so that you'd reach the end of yourself and then finally be ready to experience the beginning of him."

I love love love the last part of that statement - reaching the end of yourself - so you can finally experience of beginning of Him! Oh how I want that.

Chapter 1: Discusses how in the very beginning Adam and Eve were actually known as man/woman..they didn't have names, they didn't need them before the fall. But what's more interesting is what happened right after the fall - Adam named woman Eve - God didn't tell him to.
"God never told him to name her. Only the chapter before, this act of naming, commanded by God himself, was reserved for Adam to bestow names upon animals, not fellow human beings...By naming his wife, Adam attempted ineffectively  to solve a riddle well about his pay grade. No other human can answer for us our deepest question of identity. Sing causes us to treat other people as less than human - more specifically, like animals. And sin seductively whispers the lie that we'll find our true identity by naming others or be receiving name from other people." (pg. 21)
 The chapter goes on to talk about how we receive birth names. Jacob (meaning "deceiver" and "heel grabber"), from the bible for example was named just that because when he was born he was clutching his twin brother's heel. I am quite thankful that my mom didn't name me Denise for a reason other than she liked it. After all, Denise means, "Devotee of Dionysos" (the god of wine.) I can assure you that I  am not a devotee of his, I find wine and all alcohol nasty!

The chapter also talks about our given names (like I stated above in my opening.) These can come from friends, family, really the world and this is what we are tagged with and most of us probably attempt to run from them - I know I do.

Thank goodness that God has a different name - a secret name for each of us. We need to be quiet and listen - so that God can reveal this secret name to us.

Chapter 2: Our God - the statue maker. "He designs us, shapes us and names us in love."What's good to know from this chapter is that God isn't just a statue maker who makes his statue and walks away from it, no, he is here (even when we don't feel him) and he sees and feels the pain we do through. It's easy to live in fear because of the pain that we suffer and it seems unfair that God would allow us to go through these pains. "Whether you believe in God or not, he believes in you. He fashions each of us according to his likeness." Until we know our secret name, "we have no other choice than to exist as unidentified individuals, privy to only whatever names the world wants to assign to us."

I want to leave with this statement:
"Good thing God has much more in mind. He wants to grant you a new name - a Secret Name, in fact - but you can only start embracing your future name when you stop running from your present ones. YOU MUST ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE IN ODER TO DISCOVER WHO YOU WERE CREATED TO BE."

If you would like to join in the read along, you can head over to Marla's Blog , there you will find all the details regarding how to get involved. Also, you can introduce yourself and read other's thoughts on the book too!


Marla Taviano said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this, Denise. Praying for you today that God will continue to draw you closer to him so that you can truly become all he has planned for you!!

Kary Oberbrunner said...


Thanks so much for sharing your heart and for your authentic words. I know God loves you dearly, holds you close, and wants you to walk in your new name, the name that He know you by. Keep pursuing Him.


LaRonda said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart. The verse from Philippians 1:6 came to my mind. "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." This post is a beautiful picture of the work that God is doing in you. Be encouraged!

LaRonda said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart. The verse from Philippians 1:6 comes to my mind. "Being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." This post is a beautiful picture of what God is doing in you. Be encouraged!