If you were to meet me in person, I might hug your neck, shake your hand, tell you my name is Amber. You’ve heard the name before. She was one of the girls before Jenny on Forrest Gump, on stage, naked behind a guitar. She was the name on the spine of one of my Grandmother’s books, Forever Amber – a prostitute, an Amber scandalously ascending in society with her sexuality and reckless survival skills.
She is me, too … abortion, affair girl. She was me, a jewel, her ways set as in stone.
But my first name is Mary. My Mother’s Mama is Mary, carelessly hilarious, a sharp red head buried under grey. And my Daddy’s Mama, too, was Mary, a steady churn for biscuits, babies, honesty, and laughter. I wanted to keep their name instead of making my maiden name as my middle name when I became a Haines.
And now the name is more than that, especially as I battle a sometimes consuming fear of who I used to be. Now I am Mary, the one delivered from seven indwellers, the one to whom Jesus appeared, the one who goes with Him, wants to wrap Him in spices. She is the one who says, “I have seen the LORD!”
Or she is Mary, Martha’s sister, who knows the One Thing, who doesn’t worry, only listens. She is Mary who anoints, who puts her chest to the ground in unabashed purity, who touches His skin. Emotional Mary, she cries till her hair is wet and can think of nothing greater than to be at Jesus’ feet pouring out her very best.
A lot comes with every name given to us and every name we call ourselves.
What are the names you believe for yourself? Have you yet assumed Righteousness of God in Christ? If Jesus were to have named you at your birth (new birth), what do you think the name would be?
By Amber Haines, The Run Amuck