It was my last day in South Africa. Before leaving the country that captivates my heart, we had one last school visit—a church daycare.
In the middle of a poverty-stricken township, stood a haven. The building sat cracked and crumbling. The winter wind whipped around the outside walls. But the warm laughter of barefooted children seeped out the fractured windows and flooded my heart.
As I stepped into a room off the main sanctuary, a cocoon of heat greeted me. The light was dim. The air was quiet. A woman sat in the corner rocking a tiny form bundled in blue. Seeing me, she stood with a smile all white and brilliant, reached out her beautiful chocolate skin, and placed the sweet miracle, just six weeks old, into my empty arms.
Looking down, I cooed and held tiny hands folded like grace, waiting to be unfurled as a gift. While kissing his soft skin, I felt love slip over the edges of my heart, spilling into his tiny life.
What’s his name, I whispered into the thick air.
He has no name, the woman answered.
He has no name? I stood—my mind trying to process the enormity of those four words. Suddenly I felt his weight. His burden. This tiny babe with no name. My heart broke, and the cold wind slipped into its cracks. In less than six hours I would board a plane, and this babe with no name would haunt my dreams for years.
Have you ever sat at the edge of the world—a stranger to society? Or walked through a sea of people and felt you were alone. Or wondered if a single soul even cares to know your name? Not abandoned—really. But not really loved.
Don’t be deceived, my sweet sister. Your feelings betray you. They betray you because I serve a God who knows your name.
The God of the Heavens and the Earth created you. Knit you together. Numbered the hairs on your head. Purposed your life. This God—He gave you a name. And even when you have wandered in the lonely dessert, slipping on the hot sand beneath your feet, He is an oasis of belonging.
Because little in this life is easy. And there are days we think no one wants us. And there are days we shoulder the weight of stones hurled toward our heads. And there are days when we feel unloved. unwanted. unnamed.
He knows our name. And He knows the name of my sweet babe swaddled in blue.
Isaiah the prophet gave us these words from our Creator: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine (Isa. 43:1b, HCSB).
Did you hear Him? Did you hear Him whisper your name? We are His—bought with the price of a love stretched across splintered wood. We belong. We belong to the King of the universe. Our home is with Him. And there is nothing to fear.
Rise up, beloved sister. The King calls out to you. Because you are loved. You are wanted. You are named.
I am Human. Flawed. Passionate. Overwhelmed. Creative. Tired. JoyFilled. Messy. Colorful. Sinful. Redeemed. I am the wife of an all-too-human Prince Charming and mother of two beautifully-imperfect children. My soul belongs to Jesus. He’s the reason I can unveil Joy in this journey of life. You can find me at PetalsofJoy.org.