Do you have a nickname?
Throughout my life I have had several. One of the first I can remember is Pookie. I have no idea why, but a friend of my parents gave me this nickname and it stuck for much of my childhood.
My birth name is Jennifer. I only know a handful of people that have ever called me that, some still do. For a majority of my life up until I got married I was called Jenny. For some reason after I got married I simply dropped then “ny” and started to sign my name as Jen and that’s who I am today. Although, again there are a few people who know me only as Jenny, and that’s okay.
My husband has lots of nicknames for me. He affectionately calls me “dear” most of the time. Or for fun he likes to call me J-dawg. To our children I am mom, mommy, or mother. My mom has called me sweetie for as long as I can remember…but I am pretty sure she calls everyone that.
In my Bible reading today I came across a question that has sort of stopped me in my tracks. If Jesus were to give you a nickname, what would it be? Has your personality undergone major changes? What still needs work?
I can tell straight up what still needs work, that’s easy. I know he would call me stubborn, argumentative, even too negative at times, impatient, and easily angered. These are areas that I pray almost daily for him to help me overcome. I am indeed a work in progress.
I can without a doubt say that yes, my personality has undergone major changes over the years. Life experiences, marriage, parenting, and spiritual growth have all been opportunities for me to learn new things about myself. I’ve learned that I love to give to others. I don’t like to be in the spotlight, I am more of a behind the scenes kind of person. I am stronger than I ever realized. I suppose this is a positive effect of my stubborn nature. I love to try new things and see new places. I am a passionate planner and organizer. I have become an avid reader and I enjoy journaling and blogging as time allows. Many of these personality traits have been seasoned over time. I’ve learned to be humble and more forgiving as I have experienced these things gifts in my own life.
But could I channel all of these good and not so good personality characteristics into one word, one nickname that Jesus would call me? As I sit and think about this the word that comes to my mind is Brave Warrior.
The dictionary defines Warrior as: a person engaged in some struggle or conflict. This might seem depressing. But the more I think about it, the more it fits. I think many of us are always in some sort of conflict between the good and bad characteristics of our own unique personalities. But because we belong to Jesus we are His warriors. We are created uniquely by Him for a purpose. We can bravely overcome the qualities we wish we didn’t have and fight everyday to be the people he longs for us to be.
I may not always feel brave. But when I allow the Spirit to work within me I become more courageous and that nickname feels more and more like something I can be proud to be.
So what would your nickname be?