It’s storming outside. I don’t mind. There’s something soothing in the rain, the wind, and the strange grayish light. Suits my current mood.
Kate says: name.
Louise: renowned warrior.
The middle names of my grandmothers, given to me the day I was born.
I’ve been bitter. Unprocessed anger and cherished grudges revealed in sarcasm that’s just fury with a smile painted on. Replaying old conflicts in my mind like favorite movies. Miserable in the feeling, but accustomed to it.
Jesus changes the meaning of my name. He changes me. He holds my clenched fists in His hands and gently guides me to pry my fingers off of the rage. I am not bitter, but free. I carry with me the fragrance of His presence. I can love, because He loves. I can forgive, because He forgives.
Renowned warrior, I don’t know about that. I’d much rather be known as a gentle lover, someone with a warm smile, a listening ear, and open arms. And yet, there is a core of steel that runs through my middle. Whether it’s refusing to let illness define my life, or working to improve things in my community, or praying for a long (and growing) list of teenagers, or encouraging someone to do something brave and scary, or daring to declare that there is truth and His Name is Jesus…
There are things I will fight for. Never with a weapon. Rarely with a raised voice. But I will fight.
The difference is that what I fight for now no longer leads to bitterness. Jesus worked that change in me, too. It’s all about the hope, the joy, the love.