Posts Tagged ‘depressed’


under Secret Stories, Written on December 27, 2010

I just finished reading Your Secret Name this morning (12/27).  I found the book interesting but did not feel particularly moved by it in any way. 

As I neared the end of the book I began to ask God in my prayers to reveal my secret name to me.  Still I finished the book wondering.  I took the test on line and could not really relate strongly to any of the given names…still wondering.  So I decided to click the “stories” tab.

My husband is depressed.  He hides it well and escapes it daily with habits that are not healthy for him.  He goes up and down with his moods but no one would ever guess he is depressed.  Saddest of all, he does not know Jesus. I am the only saved soul in my family, newly baptized this Fall.  After years of being a loyal Catholic and very comfortable in my faith, I am now searching deeper everyday to know Jesus.

It is a new life for me, one I want desperately to share with my family.  A few weeks ago I met with my Pastor’s wife to discuss how my role as a wife could change to make my husband happier and more complete.  I want to learn what God intends for me to be a s a wife and have been struggling with changing my habits and desires to create a better marriage.

I think one of the Secret Stories has shed light on my Secret Name.  Maybe I am Hope.  Hope for my marriage, my husband, my family and most of all Hope for me to hear God’s will and live it.


under Secret Stories, Written on December 6, 2010

I find it completely fascinating to watch God work throughout my life the last few weeks. I have been struggling with various things- one of them being the masks that I (and most people) tend to wear. I was having this conversation the other day with a friend that I don’t want to wear a mask at church- or in life. Next thing I know- God is working through circumstances to show me that masks (aka labels) have often been controlling my life and affecting who I *think* I am.

Last weekend we had a Ladies Event at church and the lady who spoke shared with us the damage labels can do to a person and how when we truly come to accept Christ’s love and mercy in our lives we gain new labels of who Christ says we are. Just very needed at the time.

Then, this weekend, while at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving I spent some time reading a book that I ran across in the local Christian bookstore (Cedar Springs). The name of the book- Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner. It dealt along the same vein- Names are powerful things- parents spend hours/days/weeks/months poring over names for their future children. Many times the name is picked by how it all sounds together but still other times names are chosen based on their meaning. We have given names- names that we have gained through our circumstances, through our choices. We also have Secret names- the names that God whispers to us that tell us who we REALLY are.

This book was very timely- and in fact, I actually dealt with this exact issue while I was reading the book. My given name was unloved, unworthy of love (not from my parents- I have always felt loved with them). This has been something that I have been struggling with quite some time- when I finished reading the book- I knew my secret name- and it goes back to my favorite verse- Zephaniah 3:17- I am “Delighted In“. I know that I am loved, and am worthy of love.

I would encourage everyone to read this book and recognize your Given Name(s) and then rest in your Secret Names… –Tami Grandi


under Secret Stories, Written on December 2, 2010

One morning a few weeks ago I was spending way too much time on Facebook while sipping my morning tea and I came across a link posted by a friend. The link was to a website promoting a new book called Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner.

The premise of the book is that as we journey through life we pick up names based on what others speak over us, or experiences that we have had, or choices that we have made. Some examples of those names could be ABANDONED or FEARFUL or REJECTED or FAILURE…you get the idea. In his book, Kary relays the fact that God has given each one of us a new name based on the verse in Revelation 2:17 that says:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

On the website there is a box you can click on that says, “TAKE THE TEST” (to find out what your secret name might be).

Now, I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first and was thinking maybe it was a little gimmicky but I am a sucker for those kinds of tests so I proceeded. As I looked through the list of potential names that I may have acquired the one that jumped out at me was DEPRESSED. I could have picked a few but I have battled that several times in my life so I really related to that one. I clicked on it and the next page said:

God’s secret name for you could be: HOPE


When I read the name HOPE it resonated with me so deeply that I took a long, deep breath and exhaled slowly as if I was actually breathing it in and allowing it to move through me. I thought…yeah…my secret name is definitely HOPE. I’ve known it for some time now. Hope is what has gotten me through many seasons and it’s become my story. It’s what drives me to want to reach out to others and share it. If you’ve ever felt hopeless then you know what I mean. Once you grasp it you want to give it away because there is an unending supply – plenty to go around.

So that was pretty cool but it gets better…

After I shut off my computer, I went about my day and ended up at the International Mall (don’t know how that happened!) Mid-way through my shopping excursion I decided to stop at Starbucks for my afternoon pick-me-up. I ordered my Grande Cafe Misto with whipped cream. My barista grabbed a cup and her pen and started to ask my name as they usually do. Here’s how it went…

Looking down at the cup she started to say,

 “What’s your name” but then she looked up and only got out “What’s your…” before she stopped mid-sentence, cocked her head to the side and said decidedly, “I’m going to call you HOPE“. Then she wrote it as my name on my cup!!

I was absolutely speechless. I must have gone white as a ghost because I was so shocked. I just stood there staring at her like “How did you know my secret name???????????????” She quickly realized that she had completely freaked me out so she started pointing at my shirt and said, “you know…HOPE” with this really nervous pleading smile. Poor girl!

Apparently in my rush to get dressed that morning I had thrown on my shirt that says HOPEand then (because I have serious short term memory issues) had totally forgotten that I had it on. Here I was thinking she was an angel from heaven disguised as a Starbucks barista confirming my secret name to me in person and she was just naming me from my shirt!

Anyway, I go to Starbucks a lot. I wear shirts that say things on them quite often. I have never had anyone write anything on my cup besides the name I have given them. Sooooo even though she was just a regular earthly barista I thought it was a pretty awesome coincidence!! I wish I could have told her the story but there was an enormous line behind me. I just smiled and told her that she had just made my day. That seemed to make hers 🙂

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kary (the author) on the phone about his ministry. He is passionate about the same things that we are at For the Girls International – helping people discover who God created them to be and helping them live out their purpose in freedom and grace!

So what is your secret name? Check out the website when you have a minute. What you find out might surprise you or maybe confirm what you’ve known all along.  –Tracey Metzger


under Secret Stories, Written on October 14, 2010

Hi, I am writing to let you know that I have just read “your secret name” and think it is one of [if not the best] Christian spiritual books I have ever read.

Easy to understand, yet at the same time very deep. It really has changed my life. I can so relate to the concept, and to some of your earthly names [including cutter]

I have always been fascinated about how in the bible God gave some of his followers new names, I always wondered if God thought of all of us by a different name.

I would recommend your book to all Christian people, it really does help free us from names [or as some would call them labels] amongst my names are fat, cutter, depressive, chocoholic, depressive…having read your book I now realize none of these are helpful and none can be how God thinks of me.

I am looking forward to learning my secret name and have sent an email to take part in the fasting too….I thank  God that you wrote this book, I believe all Churches should read this to their congregations, it has the power of the spirit in its words and truly can and will change lives.

Your sister in Christ.

Molested and Suicidal

under Secret Stories, Written on October 7, 2010

There were many times I found myself standing on the side of the road, closing my eyes as the downdraft of passing trucks rippled through my hair, thinking that just a few steps into that busy street would make everything better.

It wasn’t some singular event that brought me to the darkest point of my life, but an accumulation of sadness that left me feeling buried alive. I was already in a coffin, why not make it official; this wasn’t living. My mother and stepfather couldn’t see the sadness that haunted me, but my grandmother, a strong Christian woman whom I saw maybe once a month somehow knew.

I never spoke about it while it was happening, but in hindsight I know the signs were there if anyone had bothered to look: the lack of friends, the fear of men, the fact that I cried myself to sleep every night. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I called my mom from my father’s house in North Carolina and begged her to come get me. I don’t remember why she didn’t, but I do remember having to suffer through the rest of the week before my father drove my brother and I home.

For every other holiday and 5 weeks every summer my father came to collect my brother and I from our humble Ohio home and take us away to his three story mansion in another state. He was wealthy. He only wanted my brother, but I came with the package. I was lucky he remembered my name; he couldn’t remember my birthday or how old I was, and he had no qualms about reminding how I was a burden. He had demanded that my mother abort me, but I thank God to this day that she said no to him, if only just that once.

When I was two, he left my mom for another woman. My father had a lot of women, and a lot of girls. For years I stayed silent while he molested my cousin and I, while he groped other women who were not his wife, and while he tried to brainwash us all into believing some theology taught by him. We weren’t allowed to leave the house without him, we weren’t allowed to watch tv or listen to music, we weren’t allowed to go to church or celebrate Holidays, we weren’t allowed to wear certain clothes to bed.

He held gatherings in his house and would invite certain people over to listen to him teach. His theology was based on the bible, but only the parts about sex, rape, and punishment. His choice of punishment was a beating from a wire hanger twisted into a rod…and some reference to sparing the rod and spoiling the child.

He made me feel dead inside for so long, so that all I could do was cry and never feel relieved. When I was seventeen, I couldn’t take it anymore. Knowing that he still had my little sister and I couldn’t save her, that he hadn’t been punished for what he’d done to me or my cousin, and that I would always be afraid and never be able to love a man made me feel hopeless. I was tired of crying and feeling empty.

I was raised a “Christian”, but after my father’s insane cult-like teachings, I was afraid to trust in God. There’s an amount of subservience, fear and humility required in Christianity, and I didn’t want to love someone else who was going to make me feel small and worthless without him. I didn’t want to feel insignificant or afraid. I just wanted to feel whole, and I didn’t want to hurt anymore.

I decided not to step in front of that truck. It was in my living room, far from the road or coffins that I found peace. I gave up and I broke down, and I cried like I had never cried before. I asked God to save me and fill me with his love, and I was shocked at how immediately I felt fulfilled and at peace. Whenever I find myself questioning or doubting God, I remember that day when I decided I would rather live than die and He was there to help me do it.

Every day I pray for my father. I pray that God will save him, because in doing so, so many other innocent lives will be saved. I know there is nothing God can’t do, and even though my father seems like a monster, he’s not beyond help. I don’t know if I can ever truly forgive him, but God can, and I try to every day.

With God I know, I am not Abandoned, I am Remembered. I am not Broken, I am Whole. I am not Suicidal and Depressed, there is Hope. And I am not Fearful, because God is always with me.


under Written on August 13, 2010

God has been after me, trying to give me my name for so long, but I’ve been too stubborn. Instead I’ve clung to unsatisfying  names that others bestow upon me or that I grasp at on my own. I’ve tried to run from those names, but without my TRUE name to replace them, I always return.

These names are the faults, shortcomings, and failures that others see in me and the failure, inadequacies, and struggles that I try to hide and cover. Complaining, self-loathing, depressed, afraid, angry, mean, failure, trash. All of these, and so many more that I’m not yet brave enough to share here. It’s better to have a horrible identity, than no identity at all. But these names don’t offer healing.

Through a question in the middle of the night, a postcard in a bookstore, a facebook connection, and a gracious gesture from a person that I have never met, but I am honored to know even the least bit now, I am seeing how God has been pursuing me with this for so long. I have a name, my TRUE name.

I am hesitant to say I know it, although I believe I do. It is beautiful, but if I try to look at it from the perspective of what I am capable of doing on my own, it is daunting. Only through God’s gracious gift of His Son and His continuing work and strength in a person so fallen, will I ever truly be able to embody this beautiful name: REDEEMED.

Did you ever look at all of the meanings of the word redeem? To buy or pay off; to buy back; to recover by payment; to exchange for money or goods; to discharge or fulfill (a promise); make amends for, offset; to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.

Do you know what the opposite of REDEEMED is?


If any of you know me, truly know me, you know that I have felt abandoned and have been abandoned in various ways. I have felt the weight of that abandonment. For a long time it led me to question whether or not God really cared for me at all. I truly believed that God existed. I believed wholeheartedly that God loved other people. But, somehow, that God simply couldn’t love me, not if He really knew me the way everyone insisted He did.

If He knew my facade, maybe He could love me, but not if He truly knew all of the dirt. Then during my first semester of sophomore year, while in my Exploring the Bible class, God allowed me to hear. I didn’t learn His name for me that day, but I did find my name for Him.

Genesis 16:13- “You are the God who sees me.”

In the desert, alone, running away after being mistreated by her master for bragging up the fact that she was pregnant, God met Hagar. He saw her. He knew what she had done, He knew what Sarai had done, He knew that she was pregnant and not with the child He had promised Abram. But He SAW her. He comforted her and promised that her son would also become a father of a nation.

He saw her. He knew her. He comforted her. EL ROI- the God who sees me.This name impacted me so much that I now wear this reminder permanently in black ink on my wrist.

I have my name for God. I have His name for me. It is a large name to live up to. In fact, there is no way to embody that name on my own. God is the only one capable of getting me there and I know it’s going to be a long and hard journey.

Thank you, to everyone that God has been using in my life, and continues to use in my life, to bring me to the place of knowing my SECRET NAME.

Some of this might be confusing to some of you. I had never thought of such a thing as a secret name before, even though it’s mentioned in the Bible. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been trying to carve out a name for myself for years, not knowing the whole time I was merely seeking something to fill the gap that was meant for true name.

Anyway, this might clear a little bit up and maybe, if you don’t already know God’s name for you, begin the journey of finding it. 🙂