God Changed my Name from Queen of @#$%

I was excited to hear  best-selling author, James L. Rubart, speak at the monthly meeting for the Northwest Christian Writers Association. Two years before he spoke about his six year journey to publication and the discouragement of repeated rejections. At that time, he urged  us to keep writing and not give up on our ambitions.  “Step through your fear, out of the shadows, and into the destiny and the light God has planned for you.”

Since then, he’s written and published books faster than I can finish a grocery list. I knew he’d be encouraging. Maybe he’d unlock the secret to getting published.  Maybe he’d shed some light on a marketing plan that couldn’t fail. Maybe he’d give tips on plotting my novel.

  I was ready to learn.

He began talking and I began typing, but it was not what I was expecting to hear.  (The italics are from Rubart’s keynote.)

The thief comes to steal and destroy, he wants to destroy our dreams and our desires.

Our desire reveals our design, our design reveals our destiny.

Do we know our names?
     Child of the King
     Heir to the Kingdom
     The one Christ died for
     Kings and Queens

We have taken on false identities that are not true, that are keeping us back.

From 8th grade I believed the lie,  "You can’t write."

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Are you kidding me? That’s a total lie.

What names have you been called?  Loser? Lazy?

Sticks and Stones

When Rubart  mentioned the names  we were called, tears instantly transported me back to the winter of 1982. Although nearly 50 years old, the wound was still raw. I was thankful I was sitting alone at the back of the room so few would witness my breakdown as I relived the painful memory he’d revived.

I’d entered the locker room to question my PE teacher about the D on my report card, figuring it  was an honest mistake.  It was one of my favorite classes taught by one of my favorite teachers.  I was good at sports and tried to be helpful and friendly during class. I  didn’t even complain when she made us run laps. Besides, it was my senior year and this grade would seriously affect my chance for Salutatorian.

I assumed I’d receive a changed grade, but she unloaded unexpected rage.  Her dirty-blonde Dorothy Hamill hair bobbed around her face, her open mouth gave me a  view usually only her dentist saw. Her tirade  ended with, “You really think you’re something! You  walk around here like you’re the Queen of @#$$%!”

The unleashed fury was so shocking, I could only escape.

I tore down the hallway, into the institutional green bathroom and  locked myself  in a stall. I crouched  on the toilet  seat so she couldn’t see my feet.  She came into the bathroom and called, “Melinda! Melinda!”  But, it was too late. The other name she used  had seared a hole into my heart. I bit my lip hard so she wouldn’t hear me cry or breathe.  When she was gone, I freely sobbed.

It wasn’t only about the grade. I had thought she liked me. I couldn’t begin to imagine what I’d done to deserve the D and her attack.  It wasn’t due to lack of effort or participation on my part.

Her hatred for me cost me my class rank,  my ability to vie for scholarships and my trust for adults. Worse than that, it branded me with a name of shame I wore for decades.

Rubart continued talking.  He told of the girls from India who were named “unwanted”  at birth but had a ceremony in to chose new names.

God is in the business of renaming. He renamed Abram to Abraham.  Sarai to Sarah.

There’s a name God wants to give you.

There’s a name He wants to erase from you.”

The fall after the name-calling incident,  I was a  typical non-Christian college freshman without parental restraint and attended  every party I could find. But I had another desire that couldn’t be quenched, to find spiritual answers to life’s questions. I began attending several Bible studies and reading the Bible daily.

The tug of war over my soul didn’t last long, I became a born-again Christian and experienced a life-change in October. The following week, I mustered up the courage to attend the Campus Crusade meeting advertised on a campus bulletin board.

Afterwards, a young man with the love of Jesus radiating on his face approached with a smile, stuck out his hand and said, "Hi, what’s your name?"

My name…my name…my name…it struck boldly and instantly in my mind. I’d been reading the verses in 2 Corinthians  that said faith made you a "new creation in Christ." I decided a new creation needed a new name.

"Hi, I’m Mindy," I said.

As I grew in faith, I realized how profound this action was. 

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Rubart continued, “ Revelation 2:17 says to him who overcomes…I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

God loves to give names. So does the enemy.

Next week  I encourage you to get alone and silent before the Lord, and ask “What would you call me?”

Also go through the list of names you were called by the enemy and release them.  Pray over them and reject them in the Name of Jesus.The Lord is into Names.”

Rubart offered a way to transform the title of shame spewed with spittle and hatred by my high school teacher to a name bestowed in love by my heavenly Father.  I prayed.  Weeks went by.  I continued to pray and ask the Lord for a new name.

One Sunday I sat in the pew warmed by the words of faith  and worship that swirled around.  In prayer, I released burdens to the Lord  I’d carried way too long.

My new name settled around me like a mantle of peace, a covering of love.

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BELOVED

I’m no longer a teenager named in hatred by a teacher for reasons I’ll never discover, I’m a woman loved and named  by Someone who died for me for reasons I’ll never fully comprehend.

The wisdom Rubart shared that evening wasn’t what I’d expected, but it was exactly what I needed.

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In each of his books, Rubart’s characters undergo serious transfomations as they replace lies from the enemy with truths from God’s Word. You’ll be enthralled not only with the fast-paced action, but with the spiritual awakening within your own heart.

James L. Rubart on Pinterest

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5 Responses to God Changed my Name from Queen of @#$%

  1. Karen November 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Made me get all blurry eyed! Love you, sister.

    • Mindy November 5, 2013 at 12:22 am #

      Love you, too. Thanks for faithfully visiting my blog. I appreciate it!

  2. Required Name November 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Just wow… thank you for sharing. I’m now praying for that teacher, that she has found the freedom that forgiveness from our LORD can give…. likely she has not forgotten that time either.

  3. Denise November 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Love how God heals even our oldest wounds and renames us- such a good story.

  4. WholeHearted Home November 13, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    It made me feel so sad that a teacher (especially one you liked) did that to you. I love why you are called Mindy instead of Melinda now. I just loved this post and how well you articulate it. I can identify with you because I had a fourth grade teacher that didn’t like me and who called me a nincompoop which is a terribly degrading name to call a child.

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